We will feature both scientific and practitioner sessions, providing a well-rounded and comprehensive exploration of higher education with impact. You will have the opportunity to engage in lively discussions and hands-on workshops, learn from inspiring keynote speakers and educators, and network with like-minded individuals who share your passion for higher education.

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The conference will feature five types of sessions, each with a distinct focus.


Schedule of the conference

You can find the overview of the block diagram here:

Blokkenschema HEWI

The block diagram below is provided subject to change.

You can download the scheme (pdf, 171 KB) to save, forward or print the file.


Get ready to be inspired! Our upcoming event will showcase a selection of keynote sessions that promise to be game-changers for each of our focus themes: civic higher education, student-centered higher education, inclusive higher education, and future-proof higher education. Our lineup of distinguished speakers and experts will take the stage to share their invaluable insights and perspectives on each topic. You don't want to miss out on this incredible opportunity to gain new knowledge and learn from the very best in the field.


Prof. dr. Paul Kirschner

"Preparing students for (currently) non-existing jobs."

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Preparing students for (currently) non-existing jobs

The fact that most of today's students will one day practice an occupation that does not yet exist, is widely accepted. New jobs are constantly emerging, and recent developments in AI (Artificial Intelligence) only seem to accelerate this process. From the Dutch Social-Economic Council (SEC) to the World Economic Forum (WEF), we hear that numerous jobs will be consumed by automatization, and people are wondering how to educate students today for a future that seems so unsure.

This is no easy feat. We do not know what will happen (I, in any case, do not possess a crystal ball) and you can not change education overnight. And even if you were to succeed in implementing a brand new curriculum across higher education, the first students would graduate in 5 years, and by then everything will have changed again! However, do not despair, the answer is simple, given that you regard education from a different point of view. I will share how to do this in my keynote; I call it: future-proof learning.

Paul A. Kirschner (1951) is an emeritus professor of educational psychology at the Open University (Netherlands), visiting professor at Thomas More University of Applied Science (Belgium), honorary doctor at the University of Oulo (Finland), and owner of kirschner-ED. He is a research fellow of the American Educational Research Association, the International Society of the Learning Sciences, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. He has published ±400 articles on learning, instruction and designing effective, efficient, and satisfactory education. Paul also ceaselessly re-translates educational research into applications for teachers and policy-makers. His two most recently published books are How Learning Happens and How Teaching Happens.


Prof. dr. Orhan Agirdag

"Equity in Higher Education? Yes we can!"

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Equity in Higher Education? Yes we can!

Equity in higher education is a pressing issue warranting concerted attention and action. This keynote seeks to elucidate the current state of inequity in higher education, examining the structural, systemic factors that perpetuate disparities. We draw on higher-education data, highlighting the disparities across socioeconomic and racial lines. Importantly, our approach empirically rejects deficit and colorblind ideologies which ignore or oversimplify the complexities of systemic inequity. Instead, we argue that confronting these issues directly and honestly is not only possible but necessary. We propose innovative strategies and policy recommendations that acknowledge and value diversity, are underpinned by recent research, and are inspired by successful case studies from around the globe. These strategies aim to foster inclusivity, improve access, and enhance outcomes for all students. Emphasizing the need for institutional commitment, faculty engagement, and curricular transformation, we offer a robust blueprint for change. This presentation underscores the pivotal role of higher education institutions in advancing equity by actively acknowledging and addressing systemic disparities.

Orhan Agirdag is a Professor of Educational Sciences at KU Leuven and the University of Amsterdam. He is also a member of the Young Academy of Belgium and the Education Council of the Netherlands. Formerly, he was a Fulbright Fellow at UCLA. Dr. Agirdag's research lab focuses on educational inequality, teacher education, multilingualism, and educational technology. He has authored more than one hundred publications that have been cited more than 3500 times.

Lorraine Aangepast

Dr. Lorraine McIlrath

"Transforming higher education in Ireland to achieve equality, diversity, and inclusion –
perspectives from policy and practice."

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Transforming higher education in Ireland to achieve equality, diversity, and inclusion –
perspectives from policy and practice.

Since 2015-2016, higher education in Ireland has concentrated on the development of more equal, diverse and inclusive structures and processes to transform the sector. These have related to gender review processes and practices, higher education policy, policy enactment at the local level, and lessons learned from national policy, strategy and funding models. The significant advances made in less than a decade in terms of overcoming inequalities, structural challenges, promoting inclusion, and advancing diversity will be explored in terms of impact. This keynote aims to highlight recent transformations across higher education in Ireland in terms of pioneering efforts and activities to embed equality, diversity, and inclusion through community engagement and partnership. These efforts underpin the idea of the civic university and academic citizenship in terms of enabling positive social change to alter social injustices as they relate to the career progression of women within higher education, the inclusion of refugees, asylum seekers, and people with intellectual disabilities within higher education and ensuring that higher education embraces members of the LGBT+-communities, to mention a few. While this keynote focuses on the culture and context of Ireland, it will contain aspects and ideas that can be applied elsewhere.

Lorraine McIlrath, BA (University of Limerick), MA (Ulster University), Ed.D (Queen’s University Belfast), is the Director of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Interculturalism (EDII) at Mary Immaculate College since January 2022. She has a career steeped in addressing the public good mission of higher education and is committed to the ongoing development of research and practice that underpins equality, diversity, inclusion and interculturalism in Ireland, Northern Ireland and internationally.

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Dr. Julian Dobson

"Understanding universities’ civic impact: beyond public engagement towards systemic change"

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Understanding universities’ civic impact: beyond public engagement towards systemic change

The notion that universities have a specific responsibility to the places that host them is relatively recent. However, the 21st century has witnessed an increasing focus on universities’ civic role and impacts. In the United States, the UK and Europe attention has focused on their role as ‘anchor institutions’ in places, contributing to the economic wellbeing of their communities. Recent work in the UK has sought to question and expand that role further, emphasising the multifaceted character of universities' potential impacts in a context of global and local challenges. A Civic Impact Framework has been developed to guide and encourage such thinking. Yet the strength of many universities’ commitment to the wellbeing of their local communities remains questionable. There is a high risk that civic engagement and impact are reduced to a public relations exercise, designed to enhance institutions' own status rather than their wider communities. In this talk I will use early learning from England’s National Civic Impact Accelerator programme to tease out some of the opportunities for and barriers to change, drawing on the wider institutional history of universities to consider what such changes might encompass.

Julian Dobson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. With a background in journalism and consultancy, his research and writing covers a broad interest in place and society, with a particular focus on the complex systemic changes required to achieve environmentally and socially just approaches to urban life. His research expertise is in social and economic regeneration, urban greenspace, town and city centres and the civic role of universities. He is especially interested in how and why change happens and the role of evidence in shaping policy and practice.

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Dr. Aminata Caïro

"Holding Space for all our stories: The challenge of Inclusive Education"

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Holding Space for all our stories: The challenge of Inclusive Education

As the world has become more aware of patterns of inequity and inequality that cover our landscape, there has been a pursuit to correct what has been askew for a long time. From the streets to the halls of education there is a call for something else, something more. Aminata Cairo uses the concept of stories and sees the pursuit of inclusive education as the pursuit to expand our collective story. Although many believe this to be a noble cause, actually changing how we do things and expanding our stories remains difficult. In her presentation Dr. Cairo will take the audience on a journey to explore what makes the pursuit of inclusion so challenging and will challenge the audience to think about what it really requires. If this is what we say we want, how will we help each other set a new course

Aminata Cairo is an anthropologist, psychologist, educator, storyteller, “love-worker”. She is an independent consultant “who works with people”. She is the former lector of Inclusive Education at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. She is the only lector of African descent in the Netherlands. Since 2022 she is the Lector (research professor) of Social Justice and Diversity in the Arts at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. She received the International Education Faculty Achievement Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian award at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2013 for her efforts. In 2016 she received the Honorary Order of the Palm, a state decoration by the Government of Suriname for her contribution to culture. She is particularly interested in using her academic, artistic and community skills to support, honor and celebrate the voices and stories unheard, overlooked, silenced and marginalized. Her work is exemplified in her book: Holding Space: A Storytelling Approach to Trampling Diversity and Inclusion (2021).

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Prof. Dr. Bram De Wever

"Moving to a digital first but human centered higher education?!"

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Moving to a digital first but human centered higher education?!

In this keynote lecture I will start by providing an overview of research focusing on technology-enhanced learning and instruction. This research deals with questions that we all face when implementing innovations in higher education settings, such as what are challenges for developing online and blended learning environments, how do we need to design courses for higher education with impact, is online teaching the same, and which competences do you need for teaching in online synchronous video based environments? In the second part I will present my vision and assumptions for the future, namely that we need to move to a digital first but human centered higher education. This part will deal with other questions that we are facing, such as: will we still need higher education teachers in the future, did covid change our way of teaching permanently, and how do we deal with technological innovations in higher education.

Bram De Wever (Ph.D., 2006) is Associate Professor at the Department of Educational Studies at Ghent University, Belgium, and head of the research group TECOLAB at that department. His research is focusing on technology-enhanced learning and instruction, peer assessment and feedback, computer-supported collaborative learning activities, inquiry learning, and argumentative and collaborative writing. Most of his research takes place in a higher education setting, followed closely by adult education and secondary education settings. Bram was Associate Editor of Journal of the Learning Sciences, is currently involved in the editorial boards of Learning and Instruction, Computers and Education, the International journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and Journal of the Learning Sciences. He is the supervisor of the Flemish Research team of PIAAC (Programme for the Interna-tional Assessment of Adult Competencies; OECD) and is a furthermore active in the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) and the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS), where he respectively has been a SIG coordinator and program chair.