Event Exeter shows that it can take on the major players in event management by hosting the 14th biennial conference of the prestigious European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI).
1,600 international education experts from 40 different countries came together at the University of Exeter for a five day conference (30 August to 3 September) to explore the very latest research in education and cognitive psychology. Professor Mary James and Professor Andrew Pollard who are currentyl re-writing the UK national curriculum, and Professor Stanislas Dehaene, a cognitive neuroscientist from the College of France, were just some of the experts speaking at this important conference entitled Education for a Global Networked Society. This theme was complemented by the University's high spec technology as it further enhanced the vent with a parallel virtual online conference ecouraging participation right across the worlwide web, web streaming, plasma screens providing daily updates, and regular tweeted info.
Professor Debra Myhill, deputy editor of top education journal Research Papers in Education which launched a special issue on TRLP principles at the conference, and also Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter regarded the event as a huge achievement: “...hosting the EARLI conference at Exeter recognised the Graduate School of Education’s reputation as internationally excellent in research and teacher education.”
Facilities at the conference were superb and included the newly created open air Piazza performance and social area outside the Great Hall, while the world class Business School, could not fail to impress with its cutting edge teaching, research, and meeting spaces including two Harvard style lecture theatres. Many delegates also took advantage of university accommodation offering high standard ensuite rooms including Holland Hall which boasts a stunning glass-fronted dining hall with panoramic views across the Exe estuary.
Nichola Vickers, Conference Coordinator, commented: “People think Exeter is in a remote location, but actually we have fantastic transport links to rail networks, Exeter International Airport, and the M5. We are in one of the most stunning locations in the UK, and that combination of a superbly adaptable venue in a beautiful location with first class facilities from outstanding catering to state of the art buildings and technology is very hard to beat.”
An additional aim of the conference was to encourage delegates to get involved in life in the South West. Accordingly, the catering team of professional chefs showcased the best regional food and drink through diverse dining experiences ranging from a Presidential champagne reception in the Chapter House of Exeter Cathedral to the final Gala dinner in the superb surroundings of the Great Hall. An enjoyable programme of locally inspired leisure events was also provided by the Event Exeter team, and these included Farmers’ Markets, cider tasting, and various excursions such as a tour of Streatham Campus’ 350 acres of landscaped parkland, recently awarded Green Flag status, a rooftop tour of Exeter Cathedral, and a River Exe Cruise.
Kate Concah, Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator at Event Exeter, said the events team had been very pleased by the positive feedback from both delegates and the University. “We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and the response here indicates that is exactly what we have achieved.”
One delegate, Paul Conway, a researcher at University College, Cork praised the ”... seemingly seamless organisation of the conference.” He said, “The event was very well attended and the keynote speeches were excellent, while some of the symposiums were very provocative and thought challenging...and of course there’s the venue itself. It’s beautiful – a gorgeous campus.”
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