Keynote Speakers

Debbie Holley is a Professor of Learning Innovation and the Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning at Bournemouth University. A passionate educator, she is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. A JISC ‘Digital Expert’, she leads on digital innovation to encourage students to blend and personalise their learning inside and outside the formal classroom. Internationally her work is acknowledged through her research into the student experience and education futures.

Dr Alan Hodkinson was for many years a Special Educational Needs Coordinator and senior manager in the primary school sector. Currently, he is an Associate Professor for Learning Support in Schools, in the Department of Disability and Education at Liverpool Hope University. He is a member of the review team that was set up by the Quality and Assurance Agency (QAA) to revise and update the Education Studies benchmark statements. His research interests are in the representations of impairment and disability in textbooks and digital media employed within educational settings and the development of chronology in primary schools. Alan also has a keen interest in educational inclusion and special educational needs in relation to national and international policy and practice formulation. He is the author of the ‘best selling book’ book Key issues in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion.

Kyriaki (Kiki) Messiou is a Professor of Education at the University of Southampton, UK. Internationally known for her research in the field of inclusive education, her work focuses on children’s and young people’s voices as a means of understanding notions of marginalisation and developing inclusive practices in schools. Currently, she leads a study that involves 30 schools and five universities in five European countries.

Professor Steve Rutherford is a National Teaching Fellow, and Director of Undergraduate Education in the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, U.K. Steve gained his BSc and Ph.D. in the biosciences at the University of York, followed by post-doctoral research at the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, USA, and the University of Oxford. During his time in the USA, Steve was an adjunct teaching faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno and California State University, Sacramento. Steve joined the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University in 2005, where he has been the Deputy Director of Undergraduate Education since 2009, and Director of Undergraduate Education in 2017, he was awarded a personal chair in Bioscience Education in the summer of this year. Steve’s educational research interests focus around four themes: (i) Self-regulated learning and the development of student study skills; (ii) student identity and knowledge retention during transition from school to university; (iii) collaborative learning and the formation of student learning communities outside of the classroom; and (iv) the use of Web 2.0 tools in assessment, collaborative learning and teaching. Steve has an exensive publication and presenation record and has edited two collected volumes on collaborative learning, and informal learning respectively. Steve also has interests in the history of medicine and military surgery, and is currently writing a book in 17th century surgeons. As a champion of teaching innovations, Steve regularly delivers seminars to HE professionals on technology enhanced education and innovative teaching practice, and for the Council for At Risk Academics. Steve was awarded a prestigious UK National Teaching Fellowship in 2016. He has won local awards for teaching excellence and is regularly nominated by students for ‘enriching student life’ awards at the University. Across the sector, Steve is involved in several projects which have included funding from the Higher Education Academy and Physiological Society.

Dr Nidhi Singal is a Reader in Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She has worked extensively in Southern contexts focusing on issues of inequitable access and learning opportunities for the most marginalised groups, with a particular emphasis on children/young people with disabilities. Given her expertise in qualitative research methods, her research focuses on exploring teaching and learning processes in schools and classrooms in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Nidhi has published extensively for multiple audiences, including academics, policy institutions and civil society groups. She is also the Chair of the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE).


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