20th September 2022Centre News 10th Anniversary Year

Celebrating the first decade of it’s work the Jubilee Centre brought together more than 120 experts from a range of disciplines for its 10th anniversary conference at Oriel College, Oxford, between the 8th and 10th of September 2022.  ‘Integrating Research on Character and Virtues: 10 Years of Impact’ took stock of the impact that the Centre’s work has had while also exploring the merits and demerits of cross-disciplinarity in the character-and-virtue research field(s). Among the big questions that emerged here are: How amenable are the different research traditions of philosophy and social science to crossover work? How easy is it to integrate the foci on what a virtue ‘is’ (philosophy) and how it is ‘experienced’ (psychology) with how it can be ‘cultivated in educational settings’ (education)? Have academics and practitioners been able to communicate effectively, and how can such communication be enhanced? The ten years since the Jubilee Centre was founded have witnessed an enormous surge of interest in character-and-virtue research across a number of different academic disciplines, with inroads also made into various fields of practice. This renewed interest has been stimulated by generous grants from the John Templeton and Kern Family Foundations, and the Presidents of both organisations, Heather Templeton Dill and Jim Rahn, joined and spoke after the dinners as part of this conference. Alongside 40 seminar papers, keynote lectures were offer by Professor James Arthur (University of Birmingham, UK), David Goodhart (Policy Exchange, UK), and Professor Dan Lapsley (University of Notre Dame, USA) and an expert panel was convened to discuss the legacy and impact of the centre since 2012.
  • Fr. James Burns – President, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
  • Lord James O’Shaughnessy – Senior Research Fellow, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
  • Dr. Beth Purvis –  Senior Program Director, Character Kern Family Foundation
  • Professor Concepción Naval – Dean, School of Education and and Psychology, University of Navarra
  • Professor Blaine Fowers – Professor of Psychology, University of Miami
  • Ben Perks – Head of Campaigns & Advocacy, UNICEF
Further details, the programme, those papers given, and comments shared by delegates after its conclusion can be found here and here.

Character Strengths for the Working World is an essential event for PSHE Leads, Careers Leads, and Character Education Leads within UK educational institutions. Join us on Thursday, 13th July 2023, from 9am to 5pm at the beautiful Botanical Gardens, Birmingham.


This one-day conference, organised byThe Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, aims to provide insights, knowledge, and networking opportunities for professionals committed to enhancing character development and employability skills in their students.


Our speakers will share their expertise and perspectives on educational policy and best practices for empowering students to excel in the working world through harnessing their character strengths. The event will include keynote speeches, policy and practitioner panels, interactive sessions, and opportunities to connect with a wide range of professionals and experts in the field.


Our line-up of distinguished speakers includes:

• Rt. Hon. Baroness Nicky Morgan (former Secretary of State for Education)

• Bec Tigue (Character Lead at the University of Birmingham School)

• David Harkin (CEO at 8 Billion Ideas)

• Adrian McLean (Character Ambassador and Multi-academy Trust Lead at Severn Academies)

• The Careers and Enterprise Company


Food and refreshments:

Morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon tea, and a drinks reception will be provided as part of registration for you to enjoy.


Free resources:

There will be multiple free resources available for you to take away at this event. We will be launching a new workbook, based on research funded by the Society for Educational Studies, for use by careers guidance professionals and character educators to help students consider who they are, the character traits they aspire towards, and to align their career choices with this. We will also have multiple other free resources that educators can use within their practice based on over a decade of research at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues.


Attendance is free, but spaces are limited. It is essential to reserve your place in advance to avoid disappointment. Don't miss out on this opportunity to elevate your institution's approach to character education and student employability. Register now to secure your spot at Character Strengths for the Working World.


Register here.