Belonging through assessment Symposium

Thursday 21st October

Join us for a day of interactive discussion, reflection and practice sharing, exploring perspectives and possibilities of assessment to nurture belonging as a way to address issues of social justice.

This symposium will feature presenters from across the higher education sector including Dr Maha Bali (Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning & Teaching at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt) and Dr Jan McArthur (Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice at Lancaster University, UK).

Colleagues from University of the Arts London, Glasgow School of Art and Leeds Arts University will open up the space to consider humanising, compassionate policies and pedagogies of assessment.

Topics will include: 

  • authentic assessment for social good in the creative industries 
  • compassionate feedback 
  • pass/fail grading and the implications of these on policy design and enactment.

This event forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’, led by University of the Arts London, partnered with Glasgow School of Art and Leeds Arts University.

Please book your place here:

More information
For more information about the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project, take a look at this blog.
You can also get in touch with Vikki Hill, Project Lead, at:
International colleagues and non-QAA Members should contact Vikki directly.
This event will be recorded and shared on the project blog.

SpeakerTalkTimings BST Timings UTC
Vikki Hill
Project Lead, UAL
Dr. Jan McArthur
Lancaster University
 Break/ sharing space11.15-11.3010.15-10.30
Professor Sam Broadhead, LAU
Dr Neil Currant, UAL
Peter Hughes, LAU
Panel discussion on pass/fail assessment in arts higher education11.30 – 12.3010.30-11.30
 Lunch Break12.30-111.30-12
Dr Maha Bali American University in CairoKeynote1.-212-1
 Break/ sharing space2-2.151-1.15
Mo-Ling Chui, UAL
Michael Smith, UAL
Janine Francois, UAL

Belonging & Assessment Lightening Talks2.15-
Nina Spencer, LUA
Professor Sheila Gaffney   LAU
CALM assessment model3.15-3.30

Amina Akhmedova, UAL
Simbi Juwon-Sulaiman, UAL

Student panel  3.30-3.50

Vikki Hill
Project Lead, UAL
Close and Thank you  3.50-4


Launch Event – 10th June 2021

We were delighted to be joined by colleagues from across the UK and beyond to explore the project themes and the paradoxical questions that are raised when we speak about social justice and assessment, quality indicators and compassion. As a team, we designed this event to be an open exploration of the research and personal motivations that have brought each of us to this collaboration. The discussions that took place will inform our research development and we are grateful for the contributions from the participants. This post outlines key points from each speaker alongside their slides.

Vikki Hill, project Lead, introduced the session and gave an overview of the project team and aims. Her focus was on creating compassionate cultures.

Dr Emily Salines continued the discussion on how compassion can be an approach to address distress and disadvantage in assessment practices.

Liz Bunting spoke about how we think about belonging and how it’s nurtured and began to tease out tensions between assessment policies and practices and promoting a sense of belonging.

Professor Sam Broadhead

Professor Sam Broadhead, shared a story of a mature students at Leeds Arts University and her experiences of assessment and belonging in arts education.

Nina Spencer shared a video where she explored the student journey in coming to university, undergraduate and postgraduate experiences of assessment.

Peter Hughes presented his work on pass/fail assessment that challenges normative practices and proposes it as a compassionate form of assessment.

Allan Atlee

Allan Atlee spoke about the importance of trust in to create equitable learning environments and surfaced questions on the competing expectations of assessment.

Professor Vicky Gunn

Professor Vicky Gunn prompted us to consider the role of assessment criteria, what is valued and how staff make evaluative judgements within the creative disciplines.

QAA Conference 2021: Authentic Assessment in a post-COVID world

On 13th May 2021 Vikki Hill presented the QAA project Belonging through Assessment: Pipelines of Compassion as part of the QAA Conference breakout on Authentic Assessment in a post-COVID World with Dr Jan McArthur and William Hasty.

Launch Event

Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion
QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021
Launch Event

10 June 2.30-4pm

‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ proposes a key role for student belonging in arts’ assessments policies and pedagogies to help address issues of social justice.

Come and join us for our launch event where the team from UAL, Glasgow School of Art and Leeds Arts University will open up a discussion on exploring the wicked problems and paradoxes that exist for developing humanising, relational practices within managerialist culture.

If you have any questions, get in touch with Vikki Hill, Project Lead:

Book on Eventbrite here: .

A meeting invite will sent to you nearer the event.