The conference will bring together representatives from the higher education sector to learn more about robust evidence and best-practice evaluation for widening participation and student success.

TASO will launch new evidence and host a range of high-profile speakers to help the sector understand the importance of evidence-informed policy and practice.

  • Our first day focuses on the evidence landscape for improving equality gaps in higher education. See more details in the agenda below.
  • Our second day will consist of more practical sessions on best-practice evaluation. Find out more about the second day. Do not forget: you have to register separately for our Day 2 sessions.
  • Both days are free to attend

Register to attend: Day 1 – 21 April 2021 

TASO Conference Day 1 - Programme

Please find below the programme for the first day of our conference on Wednesday 21 April 2021. This may be subject to change.
Time Type Title Speakers Chair
10am AddressWelcome Professor Eunice Simmons, Chair TASO Board of Trustees and Vice-Chancellor, the University of ChesterN/A
10:15amVideo message Remarks from the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP
Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for UniversitiesN/A
10:30am Address Introduction to TASODr Omar Khan, Director TASON/A
10:45am Panel session Social mobility in 2021: can higher education help us “build back better?” Professor Lindsey Macmillan, Director, Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL

Sasha Morgan, Director, Social Mobility Commission

Chris Millward, Director Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students
The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP
11:45am Break
12pm Panel session Using evidence in policy and practiceJonathan Kay, Head of Policy EEF

Anna Smee, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Futures Foundation

Nancy Hey, Executive Director of What Works Wellbeing

Ryan Shorthouse, TASO trustee and founder and Chief Executive of the UK Think Tank Bright Blue.
1pm Break
2pm Panel session Supporting and extending opportunities for mature students in higher education Susannah Hume, Director, Evidence Development and Incubation Team, King's College London

Professor John Butcher, Director, Access, Open & Cross-curricular Innovation, ‎The Open University

Student representative, Stephen Akpabio-Klementowski

Dr Eliza Kozman, Deputy Director (Research) TASO
3pm Break
3:15pm Panel session What role does evidence play in closing race equality gaps? Dr Barbara Adewumi, University of Kent

Dr Paul Ian Campbell, University of Leicester

Student representative, Patrice Mighton– Diversity Mark Intern

Shakira Martin, TASO trustee and Head of Student Experience at Rose Bruford College.
4:15pm Address Closing remarksKate Green MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education
4:25pmAddress Wrap upDr Omar Khan, Director TASO

Who should attend?

  • HE professionals interested in improving access and student success
  • Anyone wanting to learn more about evidence-informed practice and policy