The annual conference 2016 was held on 13 th -15 th April in Derby bringing together 111 staff members and 49 students. Conference theme was ‘Learning and Practicing Respect and Solidarity for All’, with four sub-theme areas: Innovative methods for learning, teaching and curriculum development: Developing core values for present and future; Sensitivity towards diversity: Reducing social and health inequality in practice; Embedding core values: Evaluating student professional behaviour in practice; and Becoming an inspiring coach: Skill capacity building for academic staff in respect and solidarity.
There were altogether 44 submitted abstracts in the categories of Research Studies, Practice Development & Innovative Projects or Workshops. In total there were 14 oral presentations and 4 workshops in 8 parallel sessions and 9 presented posters in the conference. From the next figure you can see the final composition of presentations in each category.
General impression and satisfaction of the conference
Altogether 51 staff participants responded to the conference feedback questionnaire. The evaluation has been summarized below. When considering the general impressions on the conference, the responses were very positive. The quality of conference organization, the opportunity to make contacts for future collaborations in the field of work and the relevance of the conference for the work in education was highly valued. The intention to attend the next year’s conference and the worth of investment were also highly rated.
Globally, participants were very satisfied or satisfied with the general features and arrangements of the conference as shown in the next figure.
Experienced relevancy of conference program
Most of the responded participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall program (96,1%) and found that different types of sessions were balanced (94,1%). When considering the relevancy of content of the keynote presentations into practice, participants were very positive on their evaluations. However, the rate of non-responses was also expressive. The distribution of responses can be seen in the next figure.
Implications for future conferences
The University of Derby deserves compliments for hosting and organizing this high quality conference. The feedback received from the staff showed an overall satisfaction with the quality of the conference, organization, program and hospitality. Participants experienced that it was worth coming to this conference. Particularly, the conference succeeded in highlighting the core values of solidarity and respect in education and practices of health and social care.
The Strategic Management day has become an essential part of the conference and this year it was found useful, interesting and empowering. Some participants have suggested some topics for future conferences such as leadership, multi-disciplinarity, globalization and global citizenship. As strategic managers of their home institutions, deans are seen as promoters of internationalization of the European social and health care education.
Participants named workshops, oral presentations and keynotes interesting and important. The evaluation of methodologies was also very positive for the diversity of approaches used during the conference. This year’s evaluation showed again the importance of the annual conference as an event that provides opportunities for networking, meeting project partners and finding new collaborations for educational projects and research. Year after year this seems to be one of the most valuable aspects of the conference.
Célia Soares & Liisa Koskinen