SHIFT, 13th January 2021

Radically reimagining Higher Education for a new era: working together for a just and sustainable future

About Shift

Our annual conference of learning, teaching and assessment is now into its 14th year. As ever, the title of our conference series – SHIFT – reflects the changing HE landscape. Recent events have challenged traditional operating models of universities, forcing changes in their approach to teaching, research, community engagement and management. Universities are experimenting with new models to achieve their multiple missions and reviewing their ways of engaging with different communities. Addressing these challenges requires the strengthening and establishment of collaboration within and across universities. The conference aims to bring together these experiences to inform a debate to "build back better" the post-pandemic university. Specifically, the conference wants to highlight the value of collaborative approaches in shaping the university of the future.

Conference programme now available

You can view the full conference programme here which includes an overview of the day and all session abstracts.

If you have any queries, please contact

Conference keynote: Professor Monika Foster CMBE PhD PFHEA

We are delighted to be welcoming Prof Monika Foster, currently Head of Business and Management at the University of Sunderland, as our keynote speaker to our annual SHIFT Learning & Teaching Conference on 13 January 2021.

Prof Foster's keynote will explore "Co-creating enhanced transitions: Engaging students in developing online resources to improve student experience". More information about the keynote is available here.

Conference Themes

Led by a committee with representation from the different faculties and directorates of the University of Greenwich, as well as from Greenwich Students' Union, the conference will address the following themes through its keynote presentations and parallel sessions; as ever, underpinned by practices that lead to improving teaching, learning and assessment outcomes:

  • Reclaiming educational commons: Reclaiming educational commons and commoning in the context of higher education is about shared communal, public (non-privatised and accessible) spaces, activities, knowledge, open-access journals, and co-operative innovation for the common good e.g. on developing a COVID-19 vaccine. It resists the continuing privatisation and commodification of education and increasing imposition of neoliberal logic, and instead focuses on building community (common)wealth and embracing critically reflective education pedagogy.
  • Intersectional curricula: This theme explores approaches to decolonising curricula to address structural inequalities impacting on the lived experiences of marginalised groups and to promote social justice. Submissions with an intersectional lens discussing race, gender, class, able-bodiedness and/or LGBT+ in curricula are particularly welcome. We invite submissions that challenge the status quo and showcase innovative and radical approaches to overcoming barriers and structural inequalities. Submissions highlighting collaborative projects between staff and students, or institutions and Students' Unions are particularly welcome.
  • Working together: This theme explores experiences of innovative forms of collaboration within and across universities. Submissions discussing theoretical or empirical approaches to harness the potential of collaborative relationships with students, employers, local communities and international partners are welcome. Participants presenting work about intra-organisational collaborations linking different units and departments or inter-university experiences are also invited to submit to this theme.
  • Post-pandemic pedagogy: This theme explores new approaches to partnerships for learning and teaching with students and employers to devise assessment strategies to demonstrate competence and increase employability. We welcome accounts of integrating theoretical and/or competence-based and experiential learning pedagogies promoting student engagement and experience in virtual classrooms and using digital and online media for distance and blended learning.

Proposal Formats

We invite contributions aligned to the themes and in the following formats:

Research Paper / Scholarship/ Action Research 20-minute presentation

A traditional conference presentation of up to 12 minutes followed by a question & answer session moderated by the session chair.

Lightning Presentations 20-minute presentation

A shorter and more focused presentation (no longer than 10 minutes) to explore innovative practices or work underway in a more informal space allowing for a live discussion with other participants.

Workshop 60-minute interactive session

The workshop format should be designed as an interactive session for participants to explore a topic related to the conference themes in more detail by engaging directly with other participants. Whilst the workshop format may include some content delivery, this should be minimal - no longer than 20 minutes in total - with the focus being on providing space to explore the topic in a deeper way, benefitting from the sharing of perspectives and experiences with other delegates. This format can also be used to experiment with innovative teaching practices aligned with the conference themes.

Proposal Guidance

Specific proposal guidance will be provided when submissions open. When considering the preferred format for your contribution to SHIFT please keep in mind the following:

Research Paper/ Scholarship/ Action Research

  • Proposals should relate to research/ scholarship/ action research relevant to the conference sub-themes.
  • This format is more suited to completed research/ projects where you can explore the analysis and outcomes.
  • Strong proposals will demonstrate engagement with appropriate relevant literature and/ or scholarship, and include between 5 and 10 references.
  • Strong proposals will be evidence-informed.
  • Papers produced in partnership (student-staff/ academic-professional/ university-external organisation) are encouraged.
  • Presenters will be asked to provide their presentation in advance of the conference.
  • Proposals should be between 750 and 1,000 words long (references excluded).

Lightning Presentations

  • Proposals should relate to innovative practice or work such as action research relevant to the conference sub-themes.
  • This format is more suited to scholarship or action research that is not currently completed and for which informal discussion would be beneficial to presenter and delegates.
  • Strong proposals will demonstrate engagement with appropriate relevant literature and/ or scholarship. Including references in the proposal is encouraged.
  • Proposals produced in partnership (student-staff/ academic-professional/ university-external organisation) are encouraged.
  • Proposals should be between 500 and 750 words long (references excluded).


  • Proposals should relate to at least one of the conference sub-themes.
  • Workshop facilitators may utilise their own practice, research or scholarship as a basis for the workshop.
  • Strong proposals will demonstrate engagement with appropriate relevant literature and/ or scholarship. Including references in the proposal is encouraged.
  • Workshops facilitated in partnership (student-staff/ academic-professional/ university-external organisation) are encouraged.
  • The workshop proposal should include plans for at least 40 minutes of active delegate engagement/ discussion.
  • Proposals should be between 500 and 750 words long (references excluded).

Proposal Submission

We invite contributions from practitioners, professional services staff, academic staff and students. Co-authored presentations with students are particularly encouraged. We also welcome presentations about ongoing projects at any stage of their development.

If you require any additional guidance or support during the submission process, please get in touch with Proposals will be submitted electronically through this website; the submission link will open on Monday 14th September. Please submit the complete proposal by Friday 23 October 2020.

All submissions will be blind peer-reviewed, and authors will receive feedback and be provided the opportunity to resubmit if required.All proposals will be made available to delegates and selected ones will be invited to contribute to a special issue of Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching. We expect a quick review process to support a fast-tracked publication.

Summary of Important Dates 2020-2021

Submissions openMonday 14th September 2020 
Delegate registration opensMonday 14th September 2020
Proposal submission deadline  Friday 23rd October 2020 
Authors receive feedback on proposals Friday 20th November 2020 
Re-submissions deadline Friday 27th November 2020 

Delegate registration closes

Friday 11th December 2020 
Publication of conference programme Friday 18th December 2020 

Submission of presentations (the ones considered for Compass)

Friday 18th December 2020 
Submission of presentations Wednesday 6th January 2021 

Conference (Online)

Wednesday 13th January 2021 

Submission of full papers for inclusion in Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching

Friday 26th February 2021

Further information:



You can view the full conference programme here which includes an overview of the day and all session abstracts.

If you have any queries, please contact

SHIFT 2021 Organising Committee

Riccardo De Vita (Chair, Faculty of Business)
Charlie Allen (Organisation & People Development) 
Tom Bacon (PR & Communications)
Debbie Bartlett (Faculty of Engineering & Science)
Zoe Campbell (Greenwich Students' Union) 
Anna Costantino (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences)
Andrew Day (Library Services)
Rachel George (Greenwich Learning & Teaching) 
Alison Gilmour (Greenwich Learning & Teaching)
Emmanuel Mogaji (Faculty of Business)
Sam Mujunga (Greenwich Students' Union)
Simone Murch (Organisation & People Development) 
Laxmi Pant (Faculty of Engineering & Science)
Sandhiran Patchay (Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences)
Anna Radley (Organisation & People Development)
Alison Rae (Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences)  
Tania Struetzel (Greenwich Learning & Teaching)
Richard Wild (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences)


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 2021 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.