Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Professor Mona Siddiqui, OBE

Professor Siddiqui - will speak on the value and limits of empathy: re-thinking interdisciplinary and inclusive education,

Mona Siddiqui, OBE is an internationally renowned academic, cultural commentator and broadcaster on BBC Radio, based at the University of Edinburgh. She is a scholar of Islamic law and ethics and Christian Muslim relations and currently the Jane and Aatos Erkko Professor at the Helsinki Collegium. Her books include Christians, Muslims and Jesus (Yale UP 2013) and Hospitality in Islam (Yale UP 2015). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In April 2019, she received the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation. She is an honorary member and first speaker of the Royal Scottish Academy and in October 2021 she was elected Vice-President International at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

Professor Susan van Schalkwyk

Professor Schalkwyk - will speak on curriculum reinvigoration through transformative learning and co-design.

Susan van Schalkwyk, M Phil, PhD., is Professor in Health Professions Education and Director of the Centre for Health Professions Education in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Apart from her involvement in postgraduate studies, two main strands of work relate to doctoral education, specifically doctoral writing, and curriculum renewal informed by transformative learning theory. Susan is a B-rated researcher with the South African National Research Foundation and a Fellow of the international Association of Medical Educationalists (AMEE). She serves on the editorial boards of several health professions education journals and has authored or co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Professor Ruth Taylor

Professor Taylor - will speak on the Enhancement Themes.

I am Vice-Principal Education with responsibility for leading the effective delivery of the University’s strategic objectives for Education. I am particularly proud of our National Student Survey results in 2022 in which we are ranked 4th out of 122 UK universities - a reflection of the focus of our university on the student experience.

I am the chair of the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and lead the University's work on our Antiracism Strategy, the Race Equality Charter, and on Decolonising the Curriculum. I am deputy chair of the QAA Scotland Enhancement Theme (Resilient Learning Communities), and deputy chair of a QAA Scotland project on the Anti-Racist Curriculum.

My research interests have included student retention, the first-year student experience, social capital in the context of the student experience, compassion in healthcare practice, and student leadership in healthcare practice. These interests inform my approach to leadership and to working with students with a focus on compassion and partnership working.


Heather Innes

President at the Highlands and Islands Students' Association and New Student Theme Leader

Heather is the current President at the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association and this is her first term in the role of Enhancement Themes Student Lead and SHEEC member after sitting on the Student-Led Project Steering Group last year. She has 7 years’ experience in the student movement, having been involved with HISA, NUS Scotland and a number of other organisations. During this time, Heather has worked with and represented students right across the tertiary spectrum, from access courses through to PhD. Heather is passionate about continuing the develop the tertiary education sector. In particular, Heather is a champion for accessible learning, and the rights of people to learn in whatever method is most accessible to them.