Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
Following the drought of 2012, the community of Gumbi in rural Malawi decided they needed to diversify to protect their families from further famine and create a brighter future for their children. They decided that education was the key. Today, thanks to the support of the Gumbi Education Fund, Book Aid International and others, Gumbi has a small library, three villagers are qualified teachers, and three more are going to university. John Vidal, who covered the famine in the Guardian,and Patrick Kamzitu from Gumbi, will tell this inspiring story. They are joined by broadcaster and historian Bettany Hughes, a long-term supporter of the Gumbi Education Fund and Emma Taylor, Book Aid International’s Head of Communications.
Westover’s memoir Educated is fast achieving the status of a contemporary classic. She grew up in a remote corner of the American West preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government she didn’t exist. As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At 16 Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from the Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.
What constitutes a good education? Why are less advantaged children still faring so much worse than more affluent pupils? And what we can do to achieve a fairer system? Diane Reay, author of Miseducation, grew up in a working class, coal mining community before becoming an inner city, primary school teacher for 20 years. She is now emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge and visiting Professor of Sociology at the LSE. In his Natural Born Learners the Teach for All pioneer Alex Beard leads us from the crowded corridors of a London comprehensive to the high-tech halls of Silicon Valley, through the exam factories of South Korea and the inclusive classrooms of Finland to reveal that today we stand on the cusp of a learning revolution. Margaret White has distilled a lifetime of teaching experience into A Good Education – a study that keeps the individual child at the heart of the discussion, focusing on every pupil’s worth, identity, interactions and development. Chaired by Dylan Moore, Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow / Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol – Gwyl y Gelli for 2018.
Universities have long been hailed as one of the UK’s most successful attributes. But in a time of mounting negativity from politicians and the media, fuelled by rising anger over tuition fees and perceived value for money, as well as recent attacks on free speech, what is the future for our higher education system and that of our young people? David Green is Vice Chancellor and CEO of the University of Worcester, Jade Haley is President of the Students' Union and Diana Beech is Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI). Chaired by Jonathan Godfrey.
Growing up in a violent household is one of the most traumatic experiences a child can go through. It can leave a lifetime of problems affecting education, relationships and everyday activities. Survivors and experts talk about how they used their experiences for positive change and how society can help lead transformation for the future. Frances Howie, Director of Public Health at Worcestershire County Council, is in the chair.
From schools to universities to industry, the voices calling for more creativity in UK classrooms are getting louder. Research is conclusive that creative activities have outsize impacts on well-being, self-esteem and other cognitive abilities. In a new book, Natural Born Learners, Alex Beard examines the frontline of 21st century schools from Silicon Valley and learning with robots to his own experience in an inner-city London school. He offers suggestions of a different way forward. Black Mountains College is a project to create a new kind of liberal arts university and teacher training college in Powys to meet the challenges of future generations and a warming planet. It proposes a radically different kind of undergraduate experience – its director, Ben Rawlence, will explain. They are joined by Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education in the Welsh Government. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Ada, Countess of Lovelace, daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron and his highly educated wife, Anne Isabella, is sometimes called the world’s first computer programmer and has become an icon for women in technology. But how did a young woman in the 19th century, without access to formal school or university education, acquire the knowledge and expertise to become a pioneer of computer science? Ursula Martin is a professor at the University of Oxford whose research interests span mathematics, computer science and the humanities.
Research shows that mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are more common in the LGBT+ community owing to a variety of factors and issues. Come and join our Strong Young Minds Champions as they discuss and debate how best to support young people struggling with their sexuality, gender and identity and those wanting to ‘come out’. How this affects their mental health and relationships with family and friends and where they can go for the best advice, support and resources. Find out what parents can do to support their young people and how professionals and teachers can provide a safe space for discussion.
Drawing on his experience as UK Minister for Universities and Science from 2010 to 2014, Willetts offers a powerful account of the value of higher education and the case for more expansion. He discusses access for disadvantaged students, tuition fees, the potential for business and universities to work together in promoting innovation, and envisions how globalisation and technological progress may change the university significantly. He talks to Owen Sheers, Professor in Creativity at Swansea University.
Two of the most creative innovators in Britain discuss the impacts and opportunities of new technologies. Mulgan, CEO of NESTA, is the author of Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence can Change our World, which posits that this “bigger mind” – human and machine capabilities working together – has the potential to solve the great challenges of our time. Seldon is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and the author of The Fourth Education Revolution: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Face of Learning.