Highlights and Takeaways from the 2024 NEAS Management Conference

The 2024 NEAS Management Conference left a lasting impression on all attendees! With an innovative new format, the conference dedicated one day to intensive professional development and another to engaging, forward-thinking discussions on the industry’s future. Attendees gained invaluable insights on staying ahead of the curve and leading in educational excellence. 

Collaborating for Professional Growth 

The insightful sessions at the Academic Manager Workshop on Thursday featured ELT professionals who shared their expertise on management trends, professional practices, technological advancements, and global developments. This inclusive approach was beneficial for everyone, from new leaders to seasoned managers, fostering a vibrant exchange of best practices, ideas, and perspectives. 

Reflecting on the wealth of knowledge sourced from our membership and partners is incredibly rewarding. 

Forward Thinking: Innovation and ELT Excellence 

This year’s keynote speakers were nothing short of exceptional – engaging, thought-provoking, and future-focused! 

In his opening plenary, Louka Perry invited us to rethink how we teach and learn by shifting paradigms. He prompted us to consider the importance of the environment – emotional, physical, and social – in which we absorb new information. He asked us to reflect on the purpose of our learning, questioning whether our focus should be on acquiring knowledge or on the learning process itself. Finally, he encouraged us to consider the role of new technology and how we can use it to enrich our human experience. 

Eddie Woo was simply a force of nature! Echoing Louka’s considerations, he emphasised the importance of how we learn, over the specific information we acquire. He identified collaboration, connection, and complexity as key components of lasting professional learning and encouraged us to integrate these elements into the design of our training. 

Ailsa Lamont delivered a compelling presentation on the pressing issue of climate change. She highlighted how this issue impacts us as ELT professionals: our students care deeply about it. She provided practical examples of how we can contribute to sustainability through simple practices and empowering our students with the vocabulary to engage in these important conversations. 

Finally, it was time for a reality check regarding technology. Bosco Anthony burst our bubble by highlighting the advanced technology already in existence. He discussed the use of virtual reality for work placements in healthcare, flying cars, and AI-integrated glasses. Bosco explained that the question is not whether we should use AI, but how to make the most of the time it saves us. 

Through engaging discussions and thought-provoking presentations, the conference underscored NEAS’ commitment to driving excellence and shaping the future of ELT. 

The Role of NEAS: Past, Present and Future

In the afternoon, we connected with the wider ELT community, engaging in conversations about homestay, education agents, and wellbeing and mental health. We explored the potential of hosted accommodation amid the housing crisis, the challenges of recruiting international students, and the importance of providing safe environments for students and employees. 

Our CEO, Adam Kilburn, concluded the day with a presentation on NEAS’ role, renewing our commitment to: 

  • Quality: Our core business, guiding our professional development offerings. 
  • Our Members: Serving the diverse communities within ELT. 
  • Thought Leadership: Leading the sector with innovative ideas. 
  • Giving Back: Supporting members, partners, and the broader community. 

The conference culminated in an Awards ceremony celebrating 59 new endorsements across various categories: 

  • Quality Provider Award – New Member 
  • Quality Product / Service Award 
  • Premium Product Award 
  • Online Delivery Award 
  • Quality Education Agent Award 
  • 25 Years of Quality Commitment Award 
  • NEAS Master Practitioner Award 

The event ended on a high note with a cocktail hour, offering ample opportunities for networking and connection. 

Thank you for your support! 

On behalf of the NEAS team, Quality Assessors, Board, and Advisory Council, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all members who attended the conference and to the sponsors who made it possible. We are proud to serve the ELT community, fostering opportunities for knowledge sharing and mutual learning.

May 2024