Top names to speak at education festival

Vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Sir Anthony Seldon
Vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Sir Anthony Seldon

The University of Buckingham is preparing to host what it hopes will become the UK’s biggest higher education festival, with a prestigious line-up of speakers.

And vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon says the event will put the uni on the map and raise the town’s profile too.

Universities minister Jo Johnson, shadow higher education minister Gordon Marsden, UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook and Sir Anthony himself are among the speakers at the two-day festival on September 8 and 9, which will look at all aspects of higher education.

The theme of the festival is: Universities of the Future: How to Prepare Now.

Topics will include the new Higher Education Bill and the future of HE, the impact of technology on the HE landscape, social mobility and the significance of rankings.

Other speakers include: Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute; philosopher Roger Scruton; Samina Khan, head of admissions at the University of Oxford; Toby Young, co-founder of the West London Free School; author, journalist and broadcaster Ed Smith; and Phil Baty, editor of the World University Rankings, Times Higher Education.

There will also be panel sessions at the festival, which takes place at the university campus and the parish church. A session on links between schools and universities will be chaired by Buckingham town and county councillor Warren Whyte.

Sir Anthony Seldon said: ‘“I am thrilled to be launching the inaugural University of Buckingham Festival of Higher Education.

“I launched a schools festival when I was head of Wellington College and it has now become the main schools festival for the sector, with more than 1,000 people attending.

“You won’t get a better line-up of top names from the HE sector at a festival.

“We dearly hope that local people with an interest in higher education won’t miss this great opportunity.

“The festival will not only put the university on the map but Buckingham town will become synonymous with the UK’s pre-eminent HE festival.”