University Tips Blog
Image of a teacher searching for CPD opportunities
A headshot image of the author, Lauren McWilliams

by Lauren McWilliams

Higher Education Adviser at the University of East Anglia

posted on 5 Feb '21

A school and college guide to CPD opportunities through universities

As a teacher or adviser, to provide effective information and guidance, you must be equipped with accurate and in-depth information on a plethora of ever-changing subjects relating to higher education. This could be challenging with the ongoing COVID-19 related restrictions.

Luckily, help is at hand. Universities offer a number of ways to help you stay up to date – from podcasts and webinars to residential and virtual conferences, there’s something to suit everyone. I will provide an overview of some of these here.

Teacher and adviser conferences

Teacher and adviser conferences are hosted by universities and other higher education institutions nationwide, and are often free to attend and CPD accredited. They are usually one or two days, with the latter including accommodation and a networking dinner – giving you the chance to meet other professionals to share challenges and best practices.

The format and content will vary, but you can generally expect a mix of internal and external speakers, workshops and Q&As. Most offer break-out sessions, enabling you to tailor your programme to maximise personal development in an area of your choice.

Lots of universities moved their conferences online due to the current challenges, with great success, so this is something that we could see more of going forward.


Some universities offer podcasts designed specifically for teachers and advisers. They are a great way to top up your knowledge throughout the year, listening to episodes at a time and place that is convenient for you.

Podcasts often feature higher education advisers, academics, admissions tutors, current or past students and external speakers. You can subscribe to podcasts for free, meaning that you’ll get new episodes automatically as soon as they are available.

Interactive webinars

As you would expect, webinars are now more popular than ever. They have evolved in recent years so instead of sitting passively or typing in online chat forums, a number of universities now run interactive sessions that offer the next best thing to being in the same room as the speaker (you may have even arranged for some of these sessions for your classroom of students). Register in advance and you’ll be sent a link to log-in and join the session. The number of participants is often limited which means you’ll be able to ask questions and discuss key points.

Keeping you up-to-date

These opportunities offer you the chance to stay informed about the latest developments in higher education from industry experts, giving you the tools and skills needed to foster the talents and aspirations of your students. University school liaison and outreach teams understand how important it is to deliver the best careers guidance this year and we are here to support you to achieve that.

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