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The Festival of Creative Learning is a year-long festival exploring creative learning and innovation at the University of Edinburgh (UoE). It is supported by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD). Both staff and students are invited to apply to run events with the Festival.

The Festival is run by two members of staff at the Institute for Academic Development. We provide holistic support to enhance the wider impact of the Festival of Creative Learning.


Festival of Creative Learning Update: AY 2019/2020 

Partly in light of University-wide financial pressures in AY 2019/2020, we have decided to pause the Festival of Creative Learning curated week that otherwise would have taken place in February 2020. One advantage this gives us is the opportunity to experiment with new approaches, a method that is central to the ethos of the Festival of Creative Learning, and in this case will allow us to focus more of our resources on the Festival of Creative Learning Pop-up programme. While the overall budget will be reduced for annual Festival activities, we will have more resource available for Pop-ups which offer staff and students increased flexibility, as they can take place any time during the academic year (including during the third week of February, aka Flexible Learning Week). For more details and to apply to run a Festival of Creative Learning Pop-up in AY 2019/2020, please explore our Pop-up page here


'The Festival aims to provide space for staff and students at the University of Edinburgh to play, to experiment, to innovate, to collaborate and, occassionally, to fail. A space where the emphasis is not on how many seats we fill, how many tickets we sell, how many answers we get right, but rather on truly exploring and pushing boundaries, communicating in radically new ways and leaping into the dark to find out what new ideas await us there. Our goals are to help staff and students create innovative, experimental and collaborative ways of teaching and learning in a safe space, to give people the training and support they need to design and run events, and to celebrate the work of all our event organisers and the discoveries we make together along the way. By its very nature and commitment to openness and diversity, the programme covers an enormous range of disciplines and activities. Rather than running each of the events ourselves (we have a small but efficient staff of two), we seek proposals from staff and students, distribute funding, provide a networking platform and communications umbrella for the events and aim to empower our staff and students to get the most out of what we provide. We hope that the Festival is a learning experience not just in terms of the research being conducted but also in events design and management, imparting vital skills to organisers that they can make use of in future employment, study and enterprise. We want to celebrate the idea that we learn better when we are enjoying ourselves, when we are treated with care and respect, and when we are encouraged to use our imaginations and to play.' Jennifer Williams, Festival Coordinator


Festival Case Study

AY2018/19 Festival Impact Report (coming soon)

Festival of Creative Learning in IAD Insights Magazine (page 12)


Festival Aims and Values

At the Festival of Creative Learning, we aim to: 

  • Recognise, celebrate and inspire creative learning at the UoE  
  • Help participants to gain new skills and broaden mindsets 
  • Support the UoE community in developing creative learning practices by providing a platform for experimentation and exploration  
  • Enhance the UoE experience in line with strategic learning and teaching priorities 
  • Develop a pipeline of innovation at UoE through encouragement, training and self-directed learning opportunities 
  • Explore the definitions of innovation and creativity and how they can be further embedded into the learning experience   
  • Cultivate the effective design and delivery of innovative and creative events  
  • Foster meaningful and interesting collaborations and learning communities  
  • Use our resources and knowledge to enhance our local and global community  

 and we value

  • Openness – nurturing an open mindset and curiosity about learning 
  • Collaboration – creating meaningful connections  
  • Creativity – taking risks and implementing original ideas 
  • Mindfulness – celebrating thoughtful and holistic ways of working 
  • Experimentation – building and prototyping ideas in a supportive environment 


The Team

Theodora Sakellaridou

Projects & Engagement Administrator
Institute for Academic Development
Creative Things I Love include community engagement, theatre, photography, yoga, visiting new places and exploring different cultures.

Jennifer Williams

Projects & Engagement Coordinator
Institute for Academic Development

Creative Things I Love include learning, poetry, yoga, being vegan and mindfulness.