2 days / 40 speakers
Be inspired

26 – 27 June 2019


We will continue to update our programme of workshops, lectures and events. Keep an eye on this page, and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook to be the first to know.

New Speakers Announced


We’d like to take this opportunity to update you on our excellent list of speakers for this year’s Festival of Higher Education.

Already we have announced that Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector will attend as a speaker, alongside Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI and Shakira Martin, President of the NUS.

With just 124 days to go until the University of Buckingham’s third Festival of Higher Education, we want to keep you updated on who will be involved in the panels and discussions on the biggest issues facing the HE sector.We are delighted to announce that the following speakers will be attending the Festival:


Lord David Willetts, Executive Chair of Resolution Foundation

The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts is the Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation. He served as the Member of Parliament for Havant (1992-2015), as Minister for Universities and Science (2010-2014) and previously worked at HM Treasury and the No. 10 Policy Unit.

Lord Willetts is a visiting Professor at King’s College London, a board member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a Board member of Surrey Satellites and of the Biotech Growth Trust, Chair of the British Science Association, a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He is a member of the Board of the Crick Institute and a Trustee of the Science Museum. He is an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford.

Lord Willetts has written widely on economic and social policy. His book ‘The Pinch’ about fairness between the generations was published in 2010. His latest book “A University Education” is published by Oxford University Press.


Claire Fox, Academy of Ideas Director

Claire Fox is the director of the Academy of Ideas, which she established to create a public space where ideas can be contested without constraint. She convenes the yearly Battle of Ideas festivaland initiated the Debating Matters Competition for sixth-formers. She also co-founded our residential summer school The Academy, with the aim to demonstrate ‘university as it should be’.

She is a panelist on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze and is regularly invited to comment on developments in culture, education, media and free speech issues on TV and radio programmes in the UK such as Newsnight and Any Questions? Claire is a columnist for TES (Times Educational Supplement) and MJ (Municipal Journal). She is author of a recent book on free speech, I Find That Offensive (Biteback, 2016), and No Strings Attached! Why arts funding should say no to instrumentalism (Arts&Business, 2007).

Claire is a fellow of Wellington College, an executive board member of the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), UCL and is involved at a board level in the international debate network, Time To Talk.


Ant Bagshaw, Deputy CEO of Wonkhe

Ant writes for Wonkhe’s blogs and briefings and works with the organisation’s partners and supporters. Before joining Wonkhe, Ant worked with the senior management teams at LSE at the University of Kent. He has been a QAA reviewers and worked on student engagement at NUS.


Dr Nicola Rollock, Reader in Equity & Education, Goldsmiths University

Dr Nicola Rollock is an award-winning academic, consultant and public speaker specialising in racial justice in education and the workplace. She is published in a number of international books and journals and is lead author of The Colour of Class: the educational strategies of the Black middle classes which won second prize in the prestigious Society for Educational Studies’ Annual Book Awards.

Nicola is a trustee of the British Educational Research Association, a member of the Wellcome Trust’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group and, a Patron of the Equality Challenge Unit’s Race Equality Charter which aims to improve the experiences and progression of students and faculty of colour. Nicola was recognised, in 2015, as a Woman of Achievement by the Women of the Year Council and was winner of the 2016 PRECIOUS Award for Outstanding Woman in Professional Services for contributions to race equality.

Previously Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education at the University of Birmingham, Nicola has recently taken up a new role as Reader in Equity and Education at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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