The 2024 SRHE International Research Conference will take place on Monday 2nd December (online) and 4th – 6th December (in-person at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, UK).

The closing date for submissions is 15th May 2024 (23:59 GMT+1). Submission guidelines are below, and for guidance on using the submission system (Oxford Abstract) please click here:

2024 Submission Guidance

Call for Papers

Our Call for Papers invites higher education researchers, practitioners, and postgraduate students to reflect on the theme: Higher Education: A Place for Activism and Resistance?

Higher education has always had a role in engaging with society’s ‘wicked issues’, with academics consciously engaging with or being drawn into politically-charged discussions about a wide variety of issues including climate change, human rights, migration, nationalism, conflict and war-torn societies, medical ethics, resource scarcity, or economic issues (both global and country-specific).  The borderland between activism and dialogue is, however, a contested one and gives rise to a number of concerns.

The rise of post-truthism and the erosion of longstanding epistemic structures, for example, are potentially shifting the role that higher education plays in society, particularly with growing pressure on academics to have research ‘impact’ at a time of public contestation of expertise.  Universities are being pressed to play ever-increasing roles in addressing societal concerns, but are also challenged by the line between social critique, dissent and insubordination.  And while universities are being ‘opened up’, and efforts made to decolonise curricula, this has surfaced issues surrounding academic freedom and freedom of speech on university campuses, including the erosion of secure conditions for academic autonomy. At the same time, we have entered a period where various forms of activism and resistance have become mainstreamed internationally and across the political and social spectrum; movements in which many staff and students in higher education have been involved, either individually or collectively.

This year’s conference seeks to explore the ways in which staff and students are, and have historically been, involved in various forms of activism and ask questions about the future roles that higher education – and the people in it – might take.

The SRHE conference aims to advance the understanding of higher education, support and disseminate research and practice, and provide a platform for the perspectives and knowledge offered by systematic research and scholarship. With an international membership which spans a broad range of the humanities and social sciences, the SRHE community includes researchers, students, policymakers, educational developers, professional services staff, and others with an interest in higher education. The SRHE conference acts as a space for broad-ranging knowledge exchange, exploration of productive pathways for collaboration, and dissemination of ideas in a variety of formats, across a range of research domains. In line with this, conference submissions that do not directly address the conference theme are also eligible for inclusion, and will be considered in full by staff and reviewers.

Abstract Submission

The Oxford Abstracts submission portal is now open.

Please read all the information below before submitting an abstract:

  • You must submit your abstract before the deadline; any requests for late submissions will not be considered.
  • You must submit an abstract AND a paper.
  • The abstract word limit is 150 words, and the paper word limit is 750 words.
  • Please do not submit the same paper more than once or in more than one format.
  • Co-authored papers are welcomed. Ensure you use the relevant tick-box on the submission form to indicate whether a co-author intends to co-present the paper or is a non-presenting co-author. A co-authored paper/abstract should be submitted by only one of the authors.
  • Only the individual submitting the paper will receive notification regarding accepted papers.
  • Speakers are asked to indicate their mode of presentation (online or in-person) at the point of submission. If online presentation is selected, the presentation will be scheduled for the online conference on Monday 2nd Dec 2024. If in-person presentation is chosen, the paper will be timetabled for the in-person conference which will take place from 4th to 6th Dec 2024 at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, UK.
  • Speakers are, like all delegates, welcome to attend the online day, the in-person days, or both. Please note that attending both formats will require two bookings.
  • We are unable to accommodate timing requests. If a paper is submitted and accepted for the online conference, the submission will be scheduled on Monday 2nd Dec 2024. If a paper is submitted and accepted for the in-person conference, this will be timetabled any day between Wednesday 4th and Friday 6th Dec 2024.
  • Make sure to proofread your submission; you can edit your submission details at any time prior to the closing date for submissions.
  • Please do not use ALL CAPITALS in the title of your paper. Use sentence capitalisation or capitalise only the first letters of words in the title.
  • Ensure that you have completed your submission form by 15 May 2024, any incomplete forms or late submissions will not be considered.

Papers are invited for presentation under one of 10 broad research domains. This aids the organisation of a thematically coherent programme. Although many papers have the potential to fall under a number of domains, we ask that authors indicate their first preference. The research domains are:

  • Academic practice, Work, Careers, and Cultures (AP)
  • Digital University and New Learning Technologies (DU)
  • Employability, Enterprise, and Graduate Careers (EE)
  • Higher Education Policy (HEP)
  • International Contexts and Perspectives (ICP)
  • Learning, Teaching, and Assessment (LTA)
  • Management, Leadership, Governance, and Quality (MLGQ)
  • Postgraduate Scholarship and Practice (PGSP)
  • Student Access and Experience (SAE)
  • Technical, Professional and Vocational Higher Education (TPV)

All submissions are subject to rigorous peer review and the selection of papers for presentation is based solely on quality. There is no strict requirement for submissions to directly address the conference theme. Empirical and scholarly research from a wide range of perspectives is welcome.

All submissions will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Originality of the question(s) addressed
  • Effective use and clear explanation of research methodology
  • Clarity of the research aims and objectives and outcomes
  • The extent to which the work is rooted in the relevant literature
  • Significance of the research and the (potential) contribution to what is known about the area researched
  • The quality of the any data presented, and the reliability and significance of the conclusions

The quality of the argument/evidence presented, whether derived from empirical work or scholarly analysis of literature/evidence

Presentation Formats

You are invited to contribute to the conference in a variety of ways; the same paper must not be submitted in more than one of these formats:

  • Research Paper
  • Symposium
  • Poster

Research papers may be:

  • Papers which are advanced or complete, and where research findings/analysis can be fully reported.
  • Work in progress empirical/data-based studies. The work can be newly underway, and presenters may focus on theory, methodology, and conceptual framework rather than reporting on preliminary/final findings and analysis.

Authors are required to submit:

  • A 150-word abstract which will be made available online via the conference website.
  • A maximum 750-word paper which will be available to download via the conference website. The submission form has a separate field for references and figures, which are not included in the word limit.
  • Individual Papers will be grouped into coherent sessions of up to three papers in a 90-minute slot. These sessions will have the discussion at the end of each presentation. Individual presenters will be allocated 20 minutes for their paper followed by 10 minutes for Q&A; this will be led by an assigned chair.

Symposia provide the opportunity to present 3-4 related research papers on a single theme (please note that a symposium submission with less than 3 or more than 4 papers will not be accepted). Each symposium will be programmed into a 90-minute slots. An individual proposing a symposium (the symposium convenor) will be responsible for:

  • Providing the title and description of the session
  • Ensuring the symposium has an overall clear focus and each paper therein is clearly related to the overall focus/theme of the symposium but also offer distinct perspectives.
  • Inviting colleagues to contribute their papers.
  • Communicating with the symposium contributing presenters and approving their papers before these are submitted.
  • Ensuring that that symposium include a minimum of 3 papers and no more than 4 papers.

A Symposium proposal submission must include:

  • A 400-word rationale for the symposium
  • The names of the symposium chair
  • If applicable, the name(s) of the discussant(s)
  • The names and details of all contributing presenters

Once the Symposium proposal has been submitted, invited contributors will receive an e-mail from Oxford Abstracts prompting them to submit an abstract and attach it to your symposium.

To Contribute a Paper to a Symposium

Only those invited by a Symposium Convenor can submit a contribution to a symposium. You will receive an e-mail from Oxford Abstracts prompting you to submit your paper and abstract once your Symposium Convenor has completed their symposium proposal.

Your paper will be individually reviewed for its own contribution and how it relates to the symposium rationale. A symposium will not be accepted unless all papers are rated to a high standard during peer review.

Contributing authors are required to submit:

  • A 150-word abstract which will be available online via the conference website.
  • A maximum 750-word paper which will be available to download via the conference website. The submission form has a separate field for references and figures, which are not included in the word limit.

Please note that poster submissions will only be available for presentation at the in-person conference. All accepted posters will be entered into the SRHE annual poster competition.

Poster authors are required to submit:

  • A 150-word abstract which will be available online via the conference website.
  • A maximum 400-word outline (excluding references and figures) of the poster’s research question, key ideas, methodology/techniques, and where applicable, preliminary, or final results/conclusions.
  • You are not required to submit your finalised poster at this stage. If accepted, you will receive guidelines on producing your physical poster in advance of the conference.

Conference practices which prioritise inclusivity and accessibility are important to us at SRHE. As always, our submission form will include an open question by which delegates are welcome to outline any measures we could take to support your full participation in the conference.

Existing measures we take to enhance the inclusivity of our conference include:

  • Our submission platform is Oxford Abstracts. Should you have any issues using the system, please contact the team for assistance:
  • As this year’s event includes an in-person element, we will aim to facilitate advance peer review of submitted papers where the author(s) may require a visa to travel. You can indicate if this applies to you in the submission form.
  • We will schedule guidance sessions for both presenters and session chairs later in the year, ahead of the conference.
  • Suggested best practice on presenting online can be found on our SRHE blog: please click here to view.
  • Suggested best practice on chairing conference sessions can be found on our SRHE blog: please click here to view.
  • Written guidance notes will be available to all peer reviewers, moderators, and session chairs.
  • Those joining us online will receive an e-mail reminder in advance of the event with all details required to participate.

We also take measures to ensure other aspects of the conference promote accessibility and inclusivity, including the scheduling, the choice and management of the physical space for the in-person element, and our communications – and we are always open to hearing directly from conference delegates about other enhancements and adjustments to be mindful of.

Conference Registration

The Conference will comprise 1 virtual conference day (2nd Dec 2024, online via Zoom) followed by a travel day, and then 3 in-person conference days (4th – 6th Dec 2024, at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham).

SRHE members can attend the online day free-of-charge and will be able to access a discounted rate for the in-person element. For more about SRHE membership and its benefits, click here.

Delegates are welcome to attend online, in person, or both – please note that attending both formats will require two bookings:

Online conference registration:

Online registration fees
SRHE member (including student members)* free
Non-member £160
Student non-member £80

*To book your free place as an SRHE member, please ensure you are logged into your SRHE member account at the time of registration.

In-person conference registration:

The in-person conference registration includes:

  • All conference sessions over the 3 days, including poster exhibition
  • Wed 4th December: lunch, refreshments, evening drinks reception and evening buffet dinner
  • Thurs 5th December: lunch, refreshments and evening buffet dinner
  • Fri 6th December: refreshments and lunch

Please note that conference registration does not include accommodation. This must be booked separately by delegates. Information about accommodation associated with the conference centre can be found on the conference page of the website.

In-person conference registration fees*



Early booking

(by 23rd September)

Standard booking

(24th September onwards)

SRHE member  £450 £510
Non-member  £570 £630
SRHE student member**  £350 £410

* Please note: There are NO day rates; full registration fees apply regardless of time spent at the conference.

** A limited number of subsidised places are available to SRHE student members

Registration for the 2024 SRHE conference is now open.

To register for the online day of the 2024 SRHE International Research Conference which takes place on Monday 2 December 2024, click here.

To register for in-person days of the 2024 SRHE International Research Conference, which takes place Wednesday 4th – Friday 6th December 2024 at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, UK. click here.

Contact Us

If you have any queries, please use our live chat (available at the bottom right-hand corner of any page on our website), or alternatively e-mail:

  • Dr Rihana Suliman, SRHE Manager: Conferences and Events:
  • If your query relates to conference sponsorship or other forms of engagement, please include Mariam Ismail, SRHE Engagement and Development Manager, in your correspondence: