3rd AUA South Regional Symposium held at Bournemouth University

The AUA South region held its 3rd Regional Symposium on 14th November 2018 at Bournemouth University, with a focus on the AUA professional behaviour of delivering excellent service.

The event was opened by Susanne Clarke, Head of Service Excellence at Bournemouth University who spoke passionately about Bournemouth University’s “fusion” program and how kindness was a value at the heart of the University’s organisational change agenda.

Laura Roper and Sam Waldron (Bournemouth University) then broke the ice for the 44 delegates with an enjoyable session, using Ubuntu, a Swahili word meaning to “I am, because we are”, to network with colleagues representing 11 universities and higher education colleges in the South region.

Dr Lois Farquharson, Deputy Dean for Education & Professional Practice in The Business School, then developed the theme of how Bournemouth University (BU) uses its ‘Fusion’ framework to develop communities of practice which are both inclusive and impactful in the dynamic HE environment. Lois noted that successful communities grow stronger when people regularly and persistently do a variety of things together that give them opportunities to connect with others.

After a short break, Giles Polglase (Canterbury Christ Church University), Regional Coordinator for the AUA in the South then introduced an action-planning workshop around the theme of how professional service staff can actively participate in the development of positive teaching-excellence and student outcomes metrics within their institutions. The participants engaged in a vigorous dialogue on TEF and fed back with some innovative proposals for change.

A networking lunch was followed by Susanne Clarke, Laura Roper & Sam Waldron speaking on how empathy was core to embedding organizational and cultural change. Finally, Dr Camilla Devis-Rozental, author of the book: Developing socio-emotional intelligence in higher education scholars, spoke on the humanization of higher education. The session allowed participants to reflect on their own experience and to think of ways in which they can implement some of these principles within their own practice.

The AUA Regional team would like to thank Bournemouth University for their kind and generous welcome and for allowing us to deliver an outstanding event. The 4th AUA Regional Symposium: Embracing Change is currently being planned for delivery in Spring 2019. Any AUA member wishing to present or run a workshop, on the theme, embracing change, should contact the AUA South Regional team by emailing Giles Polglase (giles.polglase@canterbury.ac.uk) and Nichola Sowerby (nichola.sowerby@port.ac.uk).

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