Why evaluate? A widening participation symposium


When: Monday 27 November 2017

Where: University of Sheffield

Time: 09:00 – 17:30

Price: £75 (£20 for students/low waged)

Places available: 120

A draft agenda and booking form are available on the University of Sheffield’s website.


This event seeks to encourage learning and debate about evaluation in widening participation. Sharing expertise and experiences can help nurture creative and innovative changes in practice and research, so that we can all meet the diverse needs of students, communities and the country.

This is a symposium and not a conference. We want everyone present to be actively engaged in sharing and developing ideas through practical and theoretical discussions and activities across the day. Everyone present will shape the day to make it as inspiring as possible.

There will be no papers presented at this event. Instead, the day will open with two plenary discussion sessions, where invited experts will present short position statements on a particular topic. During the afternoon, participants will take part in a series of stimulating facilitated workshops designed to raise understanding, share effective practice and provide ways forward.

Evaluation is an ever growing, complex and often contested field of research. This event will not attempt to simplify the issues or provide a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. We want to provide an opportunity for those working to widen participation to higher education to engage in discussions, actively listen to different ways of working and critically reflect on their own practice.

Throughout the day there will be opportunities for everyone to make their own contributions to new ways of thinking about and conducting evaluation in widening participation.


This event is open to anyone with an interest in exploring why evaluation matters for widening participation and who has a commitment to learning new ways of thinking about and tackling the challenges of transforming higher education into a more equitable place of learning. Please come prepared to be an active participant throughout the day.

We have a maximum capacity of 120 participants, with reduced-fee places available for students and low-waged workers.

Workshop places will be strictly limited to 30. You will need to sign up to a workshop and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.