SHIFT 2024, 10-11 January

The theme of this year’s conference is 'Inclusive Higher Education: Myths and Realities'


SHIFT, which is now into its 17th year, is the University of Greenwich annual conference of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. The title SHIFT reflects the changing Higher Education landscape. The theme of this year’s conference aligns with one of the major strategic priorities of the University of Greenwich Strategy 2030 ‘Inclusivity and Culture’, which focuses on promoting social mobility, equality, diversity and inclusivity in Higher Education and beyond. SHIFT 2024 aims at investigating these areas in connection with theory and teaching practice, whilst providing a space for critical reflection in various Higher Education settings and contexts.

SHIFT 2024:

10 January 2024 – Online

11 January 2024 – On-Campus (Stephen Lawrence, University of Greenwich Campus)

Register to attend SHIFT 2024.

Keynote Speech

This year we have the pleasure to host Professor Kalwant Bhopal from University of Birmingham, who will deliver an online, thought-provocative speech on:

“Black and Minority Ethnic experiences in higher education: social justice, inclusion and white privilege”

This talk will examine how Black and minority ethnic staff and students remain marginalised in higher education. It will provide statistical data on the inequalities experienced by staff and students, followed by empirical research on Black and minority ethnic academics in UK and US higher education. By drawing on empirical research, the talk will also explore how processes of whiteness and white privilege work to perpetuate the white space of higher education. The talk will conclude by examining possible ways forward for higher education to engage with a socially just agenda for the inclusion of all groups.

Our Keynote Speaker:

Professor Kalwant Bhopal

Kalwant Bhopal is Professor of Education and Social Justice and Director of the Centre on Research on Race and Education at the University of Birmingham, UK. Kalwant’s research focuses on the achievements and experiences of minority ethnic groups in education. She has conducted research on exploring discourses of identity and intersectionality examining the lives of Black minority ethnic groups as well as examining the marginal position of Gypsies and Travellers. Her research specifically explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly White spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. From 2017-2019 she was Visiting Professor at Harvard University in the Graduate School of Education. Her recent book, White Privilege: the myth of a post-racial society was published by policy press. Her new book (with Martin Myers) Elites and the making of privilege was published this year by Routledge.

Conference Theme

The concept of inclusive Higher Education (HE) is continuously being reframed and challenged within a shifting socio-political and economic context. Issues around diversity and democratization of Higher Education, how to implement inclusive approaches in teaching and learning practice in the current neo-liberal climate of Higher Education, how to reduce the award and gender gap, and how to decolonise the curriculum, are only a few of the perennial questions around inclusive education. For example, the recent pandemic raised critical and vital questions about inclusivity in online spaces and with digital technologies, and recent developments in AI challenged our common conception of ‘traditional’ assessment and generated heated debates on authentic teaching, learning and assessment. Under this labile global context and against the backdrop of a changing landscape in HE, there is a need to reflect on how institutional policies, approaches, strategies and pedagogical interventions can be re-imagined for fairer, socially just and meaningful processes and outcomes.

SHIFT 2024 aims at providing a space for critical reflection and debate on current practices, approaches, strategies and interventions — both at a macro-institutional and a micro-pedagogical level — in an effort to bridge theory and practice on inclusive education in Higher Education and bring positive change.

Inclusive education in Higher Education will be examined through two lenses:

  1. Social justice, which challenges social, cultural, and economic inequalities imposed on individuals arising from any differential distribution of power, resources, and privileges, through the examination of the very structure of Higher Education itself, and
  2. Intersectionality, which examines “the way in which various forms of inequality operate together and exacerbate each other” (Steinmetz, 2020). Intersectionality provides a critical framework for recognising, examining, and challenging oppressive power relations (e.g., due to social class, race, ethnicity, culture) which may be perpetuated in educational contexts, policies, strategies, resources and processes.

Proposal Themes, Formats and Submission: 

The call for proposals for the SHIFT Conference is open to internal and external colleagues interested in exploring inclusive teaching and learning in Higher Education through the lenses of social justice and intersectionality.

The exploration of this conference theme will focus on the following 3 areas of the cross-institutional Inclusive Higher Education Framework:

Curriculum Design and Delivery: e.g., inclusive curriculum design frameworks and practices, decolonising curriculum, hidden curriculum, inclusive teaching, learning, language and resources, technology-enhanced learning

Assessment and Feedback: e.g., inclusive strategies/approaches in assessment and feedback, assessment for learning, transparent and democratic processes in assessment, authentic assessment, participatory approaches to assessment/feedback design and processes, rethinking assessment in the age of AI, providing constructive feedback

Community and Belonging: e.g., academic and pastoral support, developing a diverse and inclusive culture in an institutional environment, online teaching or social media to enhance community of practice, widening participation, accessibility, student well-being.

We welcome submissions that align with the Conference sub-themes, and in particular submissions that consider one or more of the following dimensions:

  • critical reflection on applications of inclusion in different contexts (e.g., in classroom pedagogy, policy, guidelines, institutional resources and pathways for study, etc.)
  • engaging in theoretical or conceptual debates on inclusive education
  • demonstrating connections or disconnections between theory and practice in inclusive education
  • exploring inclusivity in different contexts, settings, groups, disciplines, etc. through an intersectional lens
  • exemplary practice planning and taking actions that account for and seek to overcome intersections of inequality in Higher Education or a critical investigation of practice in this context.

Contributions/Proposals from individuals, groups, interdisciplinary collaborations are welcome, and particularly those that involve collaboration with students.  Sessions should involve critical reflection, exploration, scholarship or evaluation of activities undertaken. Proposals may focus on innovative strategies, reflective and/or critical analysis of teaching practices, initiatives, interventions, evaluations, and research in the following formats:

Paper Presentation/Discussion Paper (20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions): A traditional conference presentation for sharing ideas with the audience. This can be about a research project (whether complete or in progress) or an example of a teaching practice you wish to share. We encourage staff presenting about their practice to consider co-presenting with students or with colleagues from other disciplines. Discussion papers are best suited for complex presentations that involve multiple innovations. There should be clear implications for practice and/or areas of critical debate, inviting participants to engage with your findings and ideas.

Case studies (20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions): Case studies can be compelling stories on inclusive education practices based on real-world experiences with implications of wider practice. Case studies can illustrate, describe, explore, analyse, reflect on, or challenge approaches or practices on inclusive education carried out to address a specific problem in a particular context. They should describe the challenges experienced and how these were addressed, reflect on the experience, what could have been improved, describe why the case study may be of importance to the delegates and how particular principles and methods can be applied in teaching practice. .

Workshops (40 minutes with 10 minutes for questions): Interactive sessions based on engaging the audience with a key idea, practice, tool or research outcome. Workshop facilitators may utilise their own practice, research or scholarship as a basis for the workshop. Your proposal must outline how you intend to encourage interactive participation in your session (e.g., through specific activities).

Showcase/Panel Discussion (40 minutes with 10 minutes for questions): Discussion sessions featuring a group of colleagues (around 2-5) from the same or different programme or school. These informal sessions will share a variety of practices (e.g., technology use, exemplary practice, etc.) with an emphasis on how they connect. We encourage staff presenting about their practice to consider co-presenting with students.

Lightning talks (7 minutes and 3 minutes for questions): A short presentation on a topic of your choice. This can be about some research (particularly in progress), new ideas or sharing expertise in a quick, insightful and easily digestible format.

Proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Contribution to the conference theme
  • Clarity and coherence of the proposal, including the problem or question addressed, and findings or solutions offered
  • Theory and/or evidence suggesting the effectiveness of highlighted practices, solutions or findings or quality of reflections on lessons learned
  • Likely value to a range of participants across contexts, fields, disciplines.

Proposal submission: Please complete this form to submit a proposal. Submissions are open until Monday 4 December 2023.

Review process: All submissions will be blind peer-reviewed. Authors will be notified about the result of their submission via e-mail.

Key Dates for SHIFT 2024

Proposal submission opens3 November 2023
Delegate registration opens3 November 2023
Proposal submission deadline  4 December 2023
Authors receive feedback on proposalBetween 1-11 December 2023
Delegate registration closes9 January 2023
Conference 10 January 2024 (online)
11 January 2024 (on campus)


Please register here to attend SHIFT 2024

There is no fee for attending the conference.

Refreshments and light lunch will be provided.

Further Information.


For further information on the SHIFT 2024 Conference please contact us via

For queries on registration or technical issues please contact conference administrative lead Alex Cheung

If you have any colleagues or networks who may be interested in the SHIFT 2024 Conference, please do circulate this call.

Privacy Notice

When you book this conference we process information about who you are and your contact details; information that you provide on adjustments that may need to be made to enable you to attend and your dietary requirements. This information will be used by relevant University of Greenwich employees to manage your attendance and participation at SHIFT 2024 and enable you to provide your feedback afterwards. The data that you provide will be held for a period of 5 years and will not be shared with third parties. General information about the university's approach to data protection and to your rights can be found here.