Global Summit to Mark WAHED 2019

04/10/2019 | News

The World Access to Higher Education Day Global Summit, Advocating for Equity.

To mark the second ever World Access to Higher Education Day, the University of Edinburgh will be hosting the WAHED Global Summit on 26th November 2019. The summit will present an opportunity to examine in detail, the challenges associated with addressing inequalities in access/success in HE, and discuss the future development of World Access to Higher Education Day.

Bringing together colleagues from key organisations engaged in the global access to HE agenda, with representatives from over 15 different countries, the summit will see the launch of new research supported by the Lumina Foundation from the US that looks into the impact of equitable access policies across the world.

It will also feature contributions from policymakers/organisation working in the UK and internationally including:

  • The Commissioner for Widening Access in Scotland
  • NCUK
  • The European Universities Association (EUA)
  • International Association of Universities.

The event which aims to share practice and develop ideas regarding how global collaboration can further access & success in HE across the world will form part of the Asia-Europe Foundations Capacity Building Training on Equitable Access to Higher Education from 24-27 November at the University of Edinburgh.

At the Summit delegates will learn from global best practice in the field, link with colleagues both from the UK and internationally and become part of a global conversation on how to make higher education accessible and exchange ideas and practice.

Please note that this is an invitation only event, if you have any queries please contact Grace Imwensi at:


08.00: Registration

08.45: Starting the global conversation
Live discussion with delegates from the Equity Practitioners in Australasia Conference, Perth

09.30: Formal welcome
University of Edinburgh  Vice Principal Colm Harmon and Assistant Principal Liz Grant

10.00: Sir Peter Scott, Commissioner for Fair Access Scotland

10.30: Session 1: Equitable Access to HE: the Global Challenge
Chaired by Dr Graeme Atherton, National Education Opportunities Network (NEON)

Jamil Salmi, ex Head Tertiary Education, World Bank launching the 2019 WAHED research report ‘How policy can widen access to HE’ (by skype)

Thomas Jorgensen, European University Association (EUA), INVITED Project Survey Outcomes: Strategies towards equity, diversity and inclusion at higher education institutions in Europe

11.30: Break

12.00: Session 2: Focusing on equitable access issues (led by University of Edinburgh)
Chair Laura Cattell Head of Widening Participation

A focus on Disability: Introduced by Justin Van Fleet CEO, Theirworld
Vibhu Sharma – Disability & Inclusion Research Consultant with Theirworld.
Barriers to be broken. Working with and for people with disabilities on education, equal opportunity and social and peer inclusion.
ASEF partner in conversation with Anthony Gartner, Associate Director, Student Equity and AccessAbility Services Swinburne University of Technology Australia

A focus on Conflict:
University of Rwanda. Widening access in a Post Conflict Country – global and local opportunities
Lived experiences of navigating the challenges of accessing education:
Johanna Holton, University of Edinburgh Mastercard Scholarship Director in conversation with a Mastercard Student Andhira Kara from South Kordofan, Sudan
Susie Burpee,Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and Sue Welburn University of Edinburgh in conversations with a CSC scholar

13.00: Lunch 

14.00: Session 3: Global Equitable Access & Success in HE: Way Forward
Chaired by Dr Graeme Atherton, National Education Opportunities Network (NEON)

Group Discussion:
How can global co-operation meet these challenges? What does a global research agenda in this area look like? – convened by WAHED & the University of Edinburgh

15.00: Break

15.20: Session 4: Global Equitable Access & Success in HE – Closing Panel

Courtney Brown, Vice President Strategic Impact, Lumina Foundation (by skype)
Professor John Brewer, Chief Executive, NCUK
Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General, International Association of Universities (TBC)
Professor Danny O’Donoghue, University of Durham & Coimbra Group


15.00: Close

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