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What’s the conference about?

We all agree that students learn best when they are strongly motivated. Most of us agree, too, that motivation is best stimulated in an environment which is open and flexible, which encourages innovation, which is, in a word, creative. And yet many of us find that such an environment is increasingly difficult to maintain. In an audit-driven culture, with its emphasis on targets, room for exploration constantly contracts. The demands of assessment (Sternberg’s ‘tyranny of testing’), increasing student numbers, the RAE and a growing administrative burden only exacerbate these problems.

The conference will focus on how these tensions affect higher education: its organisational cultures and its teaching and learning practices alike. Through sharing experience, it will discover practical methods of promoting creative learning in the face of increasingly stringent economic, legislative, and pedagogic constraints. And, more strategically, it will help us develop ways of influencing policy in this area.

For more details on the conference themes, see Call for Papers.

DVDs of the conference proceedings now available

We have released a set of 3 DVDs of the 2007 Creativity or Conformity Conference proceedings which include videos of the keynote speakers, papers for downloading and a picture gallery.

The set of 3 DVDs costs 10 plus p&p, payable to University of Wales Institute Cardiff. If you would like to buy one, please place your order with:

Angela Dutton, Cardiff School of Art & Design. or phone +44 (0)2920416628

Please give Angela your full name and address where you want the invoice and DVDs to be sent to.

Please note

This site has been restored from a backup made before the conference programme was finalised, and so may not represent all changes made in the final programme. Please alert us to any discrepancies you find.

Who’s the conference for?

Contributors and delegates are invited from every discipline and every area of responsibility in higher education. Educators, researchers, managers, institutional leaders, policy-makers, funders, practitioners, research students and consultants are all expected to take part. Although hosted by a school of art and design, the conference could not be more catholic. Speakers include specialists in education, psychology, biology, engineering, literature, health and sociology. But they also straddle traditional academic boundaries and are known for their inspirational and eclectic approaches to the issue of creativity.

What will be the outcomes of the conference?

  • All accepted abstracts and papers will be published on the conference website.
  • A selection of peer-reviewed conference papers will be published in a special issue of a leading HE journal.
  • Most importantly, the conference will see the establishment of a cross-disciplinary network, aimed at maintaining and extending the Cardiff initiative and working for the long-term promotion of creativity across the curriculum. This network will start as a delegate discussion forum, to be set up on this website in September 2006.

What will it cost?

The conference fees are as follows:

Full Rate Student Rate
1 Day £170 £100
2 Days £260 £175
3 Days £360 £250

Student rates are made available through the award of Higher Education Academy bursaries. The fee covers all sessions; bus between hotels and campus; tea, coffee and lunch on all three days; dinner on 8 January; and the evening social event and entertainment on 9 January. Accommodation and breakfasts are not included. Click here for accommodation options. Click here for full registration details.

Key Dates


  • 15 May: registration opens
  • 17 July: deadline for abstracts
  • 18 August: confirmation of acceptance of abstracts
  • 16 October: deadline for receipt of papers for presentation and publication at conference
  • 13 November: deadline for receipt of papers for tabling at conference
  • 17 November: deadline for registration and full payment
  • 8 December: no refunds or alterations can be made after this date


  • 8-10 January: conference