Looking back at UNSW's Education Festival 2022


Published 12 December 2022

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UNSW’s education community came together again for a week of events highlighting cross-faculty connection and collaboration 

As face-to-face teaching ramped up this year, so did our learnings. After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2021, the UNSW Education Festival returned in 2022, bringing the community together to share cross-disciplinary practices and to celebrate teaching achievements and education at UNSW.

With more on-campus events possible this year, the Festival gave colleagues plenty of opportunities to come together in person, whilst also facilitating the 'new hybrid norm'. The week-long series of activities invited our diverse education community to inspire, challenge and celebrate education and educators at UNSW, with sessions stretching across all faculties, as well as some new additions, such as a range of educational technology activations and an engaging gallery session for academic and student presenters.

Festival highlights in numbers

The 2022 Festival saw over 580 people register and nearly 2,300 event tickets booked – an average of 4 events booked per person, which demonstrates the growing institution-wide appetite for education events.

The 10 main events included one fully online, two fully on campus and seven hybrid. Each faculty-hosted event was shaped around a theme chosen by the host and boasted a wealth of exciting short talks and keynotes, along with insightful student panel discussions, workshops and other activities. Over the whole week, this resulted in a whopping total of 84 sessions involving over 160 presenters.

Among this line-up were also six educational technology activations on the Kensington campus. This exciting addition to the Festival saw colleagues interested in Educational Technology, Hybrid Learning & Teaching and Media & Immersive technologies for education join in on demonstrations, drop-in sessions and open-door activations.

“The Education Festival provided an opportunity to showcase our innovations – the new ‘Hybrid Learning’ solutions and Media recording studios – to colleagues from Science and other UNSW faculties. Over 30 academics had hands-on experience using the EdTech. As a result, we were able to inspire and generate interest in using the studios,” says Steven Parker, Education Technology Manager, Dean’s Unit at Faculty of Science.

Graham Hannah, from the PVCESE Immersive Team, reflected on their open doors: “We had some enthusiastic staff come through to try out various VR experiences, some for the first time. New VR & Simulation projects came to life through the conversations that we’re excited about for 2023.”

And while on numbers, a mention must be made of the 108 delicious donuts that were thoroughly enjoyed by the presenters and visitors at the Gallery: informal posters and discussions session on Wednesday afternoon. 

“Fantastic range of talks, gallery session was a more interactive poster format session, awesome to have face to face events to be able to connect with colleagues again in between session times”, said one of the recipients in the feedback survey. 

The final festival event featured a fantastic keynote “24 ways to address student cheating” from Prof. Phillip (Phill) Dawson from Deakin University (see note about recordings below this article). It then all culminated with a ceremony celebrating 37 colleagues recognised this year with awards and fellowships for their outstanding contributions to teaching and education at UNSW. 

Cross-faculty collaboration 

All of this would not have been achieved without the friendly cross-institutional collaboration of teams from each Faculty, UNSW Canberra and the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience Portfolio.  

Following the successful teamwork that brought the inaugural festival in 2021, the leads joined forces again in discussing and planning the 2022 events.    

Special thanks to the cross-institutional festival organising team, especially the leads from each unit: 

  • Dijana Townsend (UNSW Canberra)  

  • Dean Utian (Arts, Design & Architecture)  

  • Will Armour (Engineering)  

  • Linda Ferrington (Medicine & Health)  

  • Rebecca LeBard (Science)  

  • Tam Nguyen, Gary Chawla (Business)  

  • Cameron Murray, Helen Gibbon (Law & Justice) 

  • Alex Bannigan, Dorota Wierzbica, Remi Hatsumi, Laura Nierengarten and Elise Ives (PVCESE) 

No matter how the participants joined, be it online or on campus, the sharing and the takeaways are invaluable. And those who managed to enjoy the events in person were especially excited to interact with each other in real life. Here is hoping there will be more opportunities for this in the years to come! 

“UNSW’s Education Festival showcases the breadth of educational innovation and expertise across all disciplines at UNSW”, says Professor Louise Lutze-Mann, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience.  
“It celebrates a connected community who care about education, and provides a forum to inspire, challenge and share educational excellence.” 


More information: 

  • Festival registrants can now access the session recordings via the Education Festival 2022 Teams Hub  

(Email engage.pvcese@unsw.edu.au if you had not registered but would like to gain access)  


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