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About the Festival 

St Mary's Festival of Learning and Teaching is our flagship annual learning and teaching event. The Festival brings together colleagues from St Mary's, our collaborative partners and other universities to explore our teaching practices around key themes in higher education. 

2022 Festival Theme: Inclusive Curricula and Learning Environments

The theme of the 2022 Festival is Inclusive Curricula and Learning Environments. Inclusiveness has arguably never been more important to our students and society; however, higher education students from underrepresented groups often feel less at home at university and fare significantly worse on student experience and outcome indicators such as mental health and wellbeing, retention and degree outcomes.  

St Mary’s, as a small university with an inclusive ethos in one of the most diverse cities in the world, is well placed to lead inclusion in higher education. The Festival provides a forum to explore the many dimensions of inclusive learning and teaching, and share the diverse ways in which we foster inclusion in our classrooms, our curricula and the wider student experience.  

Please see the Call for Papers for more information about the theme and ways to get involved. 

Festival format 

In 2022 the Festival will be held on-campus for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Please join us for this opportunity to reconnect with our teaching and learning community.  

Sessions will be available online for those unable to attend in person; and there will also be opportunities to explore St Mary’s new Hyflex (synchronous on-campus and online) learning facilities. 



Programme 2022


L&T Abstracts 2022

Call for Papers

All staff and students at St Mary’s, our collaborative partners and the wider HE sector are warmly invited to submit one or more Festival session proposals. The Festival seeks to model its focus on inclusive learning environments, and particularly welcomes proposals from first-time Festival contributors: please contact if you would like to discuss your ideas informally prior to submission. 

Proposals are invited to explore aspects of our Festival theme of Inclusive Curricula and Learning Environments including, but not limited to: 

  • Inclusive curricula:  how do we embrace diverse perspectives in our course content and learning resources?  
  • Inclusive assessment: what are the implications for equality, diversity and inclusion of our choice of assessment tasks, assignment topics and marking criteria? 
  • Inclusive learning environments: curating welcoming and effective learning spaces in the classroom and online for all of our students; making effective use of diverse learning tools and environments to support and include all students.
  • Inclusive student experience: promoting parity in the co-curriculum (learning support, wellbeing, student societies…) and nurturing an inclusive campus community. 

Proposals may address issues pertaining to a particular underrepresented group – for example (but not limited to) protected characteristics or those identified by the Office for Students as underrepresented in higher education – explore intersectionality considerations and/or focus on broader approaches to inclusion such as fostering a sense of belonging and community. 

To propose a session please provide a brief outline (200 words) via the call for papers form no later than Tuesday 3 May 2022. Late submissions will not be considered. 

Proposal formats 

We welcome submissions in the following formats: 

  • Lightning talks (5 mins): Lightning talks are strictly timed to be 5 minutes by the Session Chair. They are an ideal way to explore a well-defined issue or topic relating to the Festival theme.  
  • Facilitated session (30 mins, interactive): Facilitated sessions may take the form of a presentation (15 mins followed by 15 mins discussion), mini-workshop or other interactive approach of your choice.  

Please note in order to include as diverse a selection of sessions as possible, we are not scheduling longer sessions as part of the 2022 Festival programme. If you would like to offer a longer workshop (for example), please contact to discuss opportunities for your session to be included in our portfolio of CPD events or a future Festival: from 2023 we will host two one-day events (in winter and summer) each year, to provide more opportunities for staff to share practice. 

To propose a session please provide a brief outline (200 words) via the call for papers form no later than 5pm on Tuesday 3 May 2022. Late submissions will not be considered. 

Proposal assessment criteria and process 

Festival proposals will be reviewed by the steering committee – please contact if you would like to be involved in reviewing proposals and shaping the Festival programme – according to the following criteria:  

  • Relevance to the Festival theme 
  • Reference to a knowledge / evidence base 
  • Significance of contribution to learning and teaching practices across the University 
  • Proposed approach to engaging the audience and creativity of delivery 

You will be notified of the outcome of your submission no later than Friday 6th May 2022.   

Ratha Perumal has been announced as the keynote speaker for the 2022 Festival.

Ratha is a senior lecturer at the School of Education & Communities, University of East London, where she teaches part-time on the BA Education Studies, PGCE with EAL and MA Education programmes. 

 Her doctoral study - which examines factors contributing to the formation of the degree-awarding gap affecting racially minoritised students in HE - is funded by the ESRC and supervised at the School of Education, Communication & Society, King’s College London. 

 Ratha’s contributions to race-equity work at UEL and KCL include:

  • Co-Chair, Race Equality Group, School of Education, Communication & Society, KCL
  • Member, King’s Academy Advisory Board, KCL
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow, BA Social Sciences, KCL
  • Contributions to the work of the Office for Institutional Equity, UEL

 In addition to her ongoing scholarly work on the BME degree-awarding gap, Ratha also researches effective pedagogies for multilingual (EAL) learners.  Ratha is multilingual and communicates in English as an Additional Language.

Below is a selection of Ratha’s recent dissemination activity & publications: 

Academic Professional Development Team 

Past events