AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2023 Programme

We are excited to welcome you to the AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition. We have been working hard to ensure that our members experience includes a varied and extensive programme with something for everyone.

We are proud to showcase this year’s programme below.

The University of Warwick

Sunday, 2 July – Tuesday, 4 July

AUA Annual Conference Programme

‘Becoming a Higher Education Professional: Continual reinvention in a transforming sector.’ 

Navigation Menu

Keynote Sessions

AUA Chair, Vikki Goddard, will open the session with a warm welcome and provide you with key information for the day ahead. We will then hand over to our first keynote speaker, Professor Sasha Roseneil, with further exciting information on her session to be released shortly.

Our second keynote session will take place on Tuesday, 4 July with Professor Dilshad Sheikh. Based on real life experiences of being born in Nairobi, Kenya, brought up in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the UK and the only one of her siblings to go to university, Dilshad will share her personal account of the challenges and barriers she has faced to progress her career in higher education. Dilshad will also explore practical ways to break down barriers (EDI) and smash through glass ceilings.

Monday Keynote

Monday, 3 July 2023 from 10.00 – 11:15

We are excited to announce our Monday Keynote speaker, Professor Sasha Roseneil. We will be releasing more exciting information on this session, ‘Challenges, Changes and Community: Addressing inequality and driving social change in HE’ soon.

Professor Sasha Roseneil

University of Sussex

Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Sasha Roseneil is Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sussex. Prior to this she was UCL’s first Pro-Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences. Before that, Professor Roseneil was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Essex, and held leadership positions at Birkbeck, University of London and the University of Leeds.

Over more than 30 years as an academic, Professor Roseneil has developed an international reputation for her pioneering research on intimate relationships, citizenship, and social movements. Originally trained as a sociologist, and later as a group analyst and psychotherapist, she has played a leading role in establishing the interdisciplinary fields of Gender Studies and Psychosocial Studies.

She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is also a member of the Institute of Group Analysis and a Founding Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council.

Tuesday Keynote

Tuesday, 4 July 2023 from 10:00 – 10:45

Join Professor Dilshad Sheikh for ‘How to break down barriers and smash glass ceilings to progress your career in a constantly evolving sector’

Professor Dilshad Sheikh

Arden University

Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) / Dean of the Faculty of Business

I have over 20 years of experience in the Higher Education sector gained from multiple roles – these have ranged from teaching in the classroom right through to senior management positions.

I currently hold a dual strategic leadership position as Dean of the Faculty of Business at Arden University and I’m very proud to have been appointed as Arden’s first ever Dean, giving me the exciting opportunity to build a Faculty from scratch. I am also the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Arden University.

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, and the youngest of seven children, I have enjoyed a successful career in industry prior to making the jump into academia. Realising this was where I could enact genuine change, I moved across as a result of my desire to help students from widening participation backgrounds achieve their goals and support their communities. I was featured in the publication “We are the City” named as an inspirational woman, have made an appearance on BBC Radio 4 discussing digital technology in Higher Education and have also been a finalist for two consecutive years in the grand prix category of the Education Investor Awards shortlisted as Business Woman of the year (2022) and Business Woman to Watch (2021). Similarly, I was named in the Business Women in Education’s inaugural Women to Watch list in 2022.

I was the winner of the most prestigious CMI Volunteer of the Year Award 2022 having been the former regional chair for the West Midlands and Northwest. I am an inspirational speaker and have a keen interest in the equity, diversity and inclusivity of organisations and have delivered several keynote presentations both locally and nationally as well as published several articles advocating the benefits of diverse and inclusive management and leadership teams. I continue to engage with audiences across a variety of sectors with the ambition to encourage and inspire more females, especially from ethnic minority backgrounds, attaining senior leadership roles.

The session will be a personal account about the challenges and barriers I have faced in Higher Education to progress my professional career. It will be based on real life experiences having been brought up in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the UK and being born in Nairobi, Kenya. I was the only sibling from seven who had the opportunity to go to university. The presentation will also explore some practical hints and tips to break down barriers and smash through glass ceilings.

Spotlight: Professionals Working in the Third Space

Monday, 3 July 2023 from 14:00 – 15:00

Taking the format of a ‘Fireside Chat’, our expert guest speakers will shine a spotlight on members of staff working in the third space. This fireside chat aims to provide an informal yet structured conversation that is an informative and interesting alternative to traditional presentation or panel formats.

Third space is arguably not a commonly understood nor a consistently used term across the higher education sector, but third space describes actions that occur in between academic and professional areas. Our chat will explore roles in higher education that are considered less constrained and do not fit conventional academic/professional binary descriptors. Higher education is continually transforming, but perhaps, ideas about how universities are structured remain conservative. However, more and more third-space roles are being developed, such as learning developers; careers guidance specialists; counsellors; disability advisors; and widening participation staff.

Our chat will include members’ personal accounts of third space roles and integrated practice to reveal new stories and reflections of the power of working in third space roles. These accounts highlight the challenges, opportunities and benefits for those working in that space and encourage others to see what third space roles offer for career enhancement. Through discussion, the chat aims to address these accounts and determine how organisations like the AUA and Advance HE may work to best support professionals working in third-space roles. 

Alison Johns

Advance HE

Chief Executive

Alison is the chief executive Advance HE. She was appointed in autumn 2017, to lead the merger of three national agencies which created Advance HE in 2018.

Prior to that she was the chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE). With three decades experience in higher education she was held a variety of senior posts including head of policy for leadership, governance and management at the HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England, now the Office for Students, the HE regulator for England), where she led on a wide range of policy themes and established both the Leadership Foundation and the Equality Challenge Unit.

She is a past president and chair of the Association of University Administrators (AUA), advisor to the Association of Commonwealth Universities Human Resources Management Network and also sits on the British Council’s planning committee for Going Global, the major international higher education conference. She has and has held numerous Board positions and works widely in the area of effective governance and the advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion. Advance HE is the home of the Athena Swan Charter, a framework used to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. The framework has been adapted for use outside of Europe, with charter frameworks established in Australia (SAGE Athena Swan), the USA (SEA-Change), Canada (Dimensions), India (GATI, in partnership with the British Council) and Brazil (also in partnership with the British Council).

Alison has extensive international experience in higher education sitting on a variety of boards and advising governments and higher education institutions on higher education reform. She led the review of teaching and learning enhancement for the Australian government, which established the Office for Learning and Teaching to enhance teaching quality across the Australian higher education sector. Alison regularly takes part in conferences and events, both nationally and internationally, and has been an invited speaker in over 30 countries on four continents speaking on all aspects of university leadership, governance and management.

Dr Ella Popper


Head of Professional Development

Dr Ella Popper is the Head of Professional Development at the AUA and leads the strategic development of the AUA’s professional development portfolio. 

Ella is a Doctor of Education, and her research interests include the philosophy and theory of higher education, focusing specifically on culture and values. She has a keen interest in higher education policy, how it shapes higher education culture and the impact on the roles and relationships between professional and academic staff. 

Ella’s interest in the concept of the third-space stems from her career development. Prior to joining the AUA, Ella worked in higher education professional services as a learning developer and in further education as a Lecturer in Professional Practice. As a proud member of professional staff with academic credentials, she has worked ‘in-between’ academic and professional settings actively championing interprofessional working to enhance the student experience. 

Sunny Dhillon

Bishop Grosseteste University

Lecturer in Education Studies

Dr Sunny Dhillon is a lecturer in Education Studies at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK.

His academic qualifications are in Hispanic Studies and (Continental) Philosophy. His professional HE background is in Philosophy, Learning Development (LD) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP).

His third space roles in LD and EAP incorporated his Philosophical interests, and involved working alongside students and staff to demystify, challenge and change academic practices and conventions.
He has worked at five HEIs across England and Wales. Prior to working in HE, he worked in finance and for NGOs in both London and Nassau (The Bahamas)

Panel Debate

Tuesday, 4 July 2023 from 12:50 – 13:50

‘Vice Chancellors – academics do it better. Or do they?’

Join our Honorary President of the AUA, Keith Zimmerman, who will be chairing what promises to be a lively debate!

The inspiration for this debate comes from Professor Sloan’s article, “Give administrators a shot at the top job, says registrar turned v-c”, published in the Times Higher Education supplement in April 2022. If you fancy a bit of pre-reading, you can find Professor Sloan’s article here.

And this is only a small insight into what this exciting discussion has to offer. Watch this space as we announce further high-profile panellists in the run up to conference!

Panel Chair

Keith Zimmerman

King’s College London

Executive Director for Transformation of Education and Student Outcomes

Recently appointed as the new Executive Director for Transformation of Education and Student Outcomes at King’s College London, Keith Zimmerman is a board-level executive with 28 years’ experience in higher education.

Keith was previously the Chief Operating Officer at the University of Bath. During his career he has served as Group Chief Operating Officer for the Open University; Director of Student Administration and Services at the University of Oxford; Academic Registrar at the University of Exeter; and Managing Partner and Head of Research Leadership at academic and scientific recruiters Perrett Laver.
He has extensive stakeholder management skills developed through the advocacy and delivery of organisational change and large-scale transformation programmes in high-profile and politically-charged settings. 

Keith has also delivered a diverse range of customer and corporate services and led projects and programmes in large, complex, and highly regulated organisations. 


Ken Sloan

Harper Adams

Vice Chancellor

Professor Ken Sloan joined Harper Adams as Vice-Chancellor on 1 November 2021.  Professor Sloan has extensive international experience in leadership, governance, administrative and commercial activities.  The University will launch its next strategic plan in Spring 2023 outlining its ambitions to 2030. Given the specialist focus of Harper Adams, there has never been a more important period for its education, research and impact activities.  
Previously, Professor Sloan was at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, serving as the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Governance). As a member of the University Executive, Professor Sloan was responsible for providing University-wide leadership and strategic support for the creation and acceleration of major partnerships, government relations, precinct development, new revenue creation, commercialisation, innovation, entrepreneurship, strategic intelligence, group governance and institutional risk.

Professor Sloan has previously held roles as Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Warwick; as a Business Development Director, Universities and Higher Education, with SERCO; and as Special Advisor to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation, based at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He continues to serve as a panel chair for the Schwarzman Scholars annual selection process. 
Professor Sloan has chaired and served on the boards of a number of institutional subsidiary companies, boards and international fundraising and development trusts. He chaired the boards of Monash Investment Holdings (the University’s venture investment body) and Monash College, the Audit and Risk Committee of the IITB-Monash Academy and the Monash Technology Transformation Institute (Shenzhen) Executive Committee. He served on the boards of BioCurate Pty Ltd, Warwick University Enterprises (Australia), and as Chair of the Victorian Heart Institute Strategic Advisory Board. He served as sector representative on the Federal Austrade Agriculture 4.0 Steering Committee and previously as Chair of the Coventry Partnership, ethics adviser to Coventry City Council, Chair of Governors of Woodway Park School and Community College, governor of the WMG Academy for Young Engineers and a board director of the Midlands Arts Centre. He was chair or member of the University of Warwick’s fundraising trusts in Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong. 

Professor Sloan graduated with an MA (Hons) from the University of Glasgow, an MBA from the Warwick Business School, and is a member of CPA Australia. He is a Fellow of the Association of University Administrators (FAUA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA).  Professor Sloan is an Adjunct Professor of Practice in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University. 

Professor Stuart Croft

University of Warwick

Vice Chancellor and President

Stuart is Vice-Chancellor and President of University of Warwick. He is responsible for ensuring the delivery of excellence in education and research within the region, nationally and internationally. He leads a team of over 7,000 people supporting some 29,000 students with global research connections.

During his career Stuart has contributed to many publications focused on international security, which include a series of books including Culture, Crisis and America’s War on terror and Securitizing Islam, along with a further dozen books.

Stuart is currently Chair of Universities West Midlands, and has previous chaired the Midlands Innovation Board and the national Equality Challenge Unit.

In 2021 Stuart was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands.

Associate Professor Michelle Gander

Flinders University

Deputy Executive Dean and Dean (People & Resources)

Associate Professor Michelle Gander was appointed into her current academic management role in 2022. As Deputy Executive Dean and Dean (People & Resources) she uses her extensive management and leadership expertise to lead the strategic direction and academic workforce of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.
Previously, Michelle worked at The Open University for 16 years in a variety of roles, including as the Director of the University Secretary’s Office. She migrated to Australia in 2014 to undertake her PhD full time. On the completion of her scholarship, she gained a Director, College Operations job at Flinders University in Adelaide which she held for four years.  Michelle has 20 years of experience working as a professional staff and academic staff member.

Michelle’s research focusses on organisational careers, including the careers of university professional staff, and gender equity in senior management; she specialises in integrating sociological theory with career theory. She is a Chartered Fellow (CMgr FIML) and Non-Executive Director with the Institute of Managers and Leaders, a Fellow of ATEM, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Michelle is an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Higher Education Policy & Management.
Michelle has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from University of London, an MPhil in Environmental Science from Cranfield University, an MBA (Higher Education Management) from the Institute of Education, and a PhD in Management from Murdoch University.

AUA Annual Conference Strands

This year, we are introducing five brand-new conference strands, with each working session fitting into at least one of these strands. The working sessions will enable you to interact with other delegates to learn about focused topics and develop essential skills. Together, you can brainstorm and discuss content relating to the conference’s overarching theme and five conference strands:

+ Early career transformation in the professional services

+ Becoming a leader in the professional services

+ Reinventing senior leadership in the professional services

+ Transforming wellbeing in the professional services

+ Transforming approaches to equality, diversity, and inclusion in the professional services

You can find each working session and the conference strands that apply using the button below:

Monday Working Sessions

Working Session 1

Monday, 3 July from 12:00 – 13:00

Choose from one of the following working sessions:

Mark Hollingsworth, Deputy COO, City University of London | David Duell, Business Manager, Academic Registrar’s Office, University of Birmingham

This interactive session will outline the many benefits of a diverse workplace. We will challenge delegates to consider the barriers to inclusivity in most standard recruitment processes, and share practice and techniques to make hiring processes more accessible and inclusive, as well as generally improving the candidate experience.

The session will feature four stages: Advertising, Selection, Assessment, and Feedback.

This session is informed by lived experience and practice in staff recruitment from administrator to assistant director level at two UK HEIs, and will offer a platform for delegates to share their own experience and ideas, as well as to learn from success stories and real, practical tips which can be implemented and developed, with a view to improving the recruitment journey across the sector and making it a more authentic and inclusive experience for all concerned.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Identify and articulate what inclusive recruitment practice can look like, and understand its benefits for all candidates.

2. Take away a handout of practical tips and techniques which can be deployed to make recruitment processes more inclusive and to improve the candidate experience.

3. Reflect on their own recruitment experiences and institutional context, and make suggestions for change based on the ideas discussed in the session.

Bo Kelestyn, Associate Professor and Student Engagement Lead, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick | Jessica Humphries, Deputy Director of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy, University of Warwick | Jean Mutton, Service Designer, Associate: Kings College London

Design thinking and service design are closely aligned inter-disciplinary methodologies and ways of thinking where services and the learning and teaching experience is designed, or re-designed, around the experience of the end-user. A humancentric approach has been gaining ground in the higher education (HE) sector over the last few years as an innovative and effective means of enhancing the student experience through a holistic review of the student journey. Design practices, mindset and tools offer new possibilities for capturing feedback and solving innovation challenges in higher education. Engaging students as partners and co-creators of their experience lies at the very heart of the design ethos.

In this session, you will hear from three practitioners in the field on how they have applied design thinking and service design to inform approaches for student engagement and enhance the student journey. You will be guided through the fundamentals of the methodology with opportunity to reflect on how it can be used for student engagement and co-creation in your work and institution.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Delegates will have an understanding of what design thinking entails

2. Delegates will know how to employ a range of tools to support their approaches to innovative change

3. Delegates will have the know how to start using design thinking within their community

Charles Tenant, Head of Business Operations, Greenwich Business School, University of Greenwich | Raluca Marinciu, Head of Employer Engagement, University of Greenwich

Becoming a leader in HE means you need to align your teams’ priorities so that you can respond to a great number of factors that are both internal and external to the institution in which you operate. High-level institutional strategies and constant changes in the sector can mean it’s difficult to pinpoint what a professional services team’s objectives should be, and how these can then be implemented both within the team and communicated to key stakeholders.

This session will, using examples from the Greenwich Business School, provide to delegates; a set of tools and techniques to gather information, design overarching objectives that cut across both specialist and diverse services, and decide on priorities.

The session will feature examples of where the tools have been put into practice in the Greenwich Business School, with first-hand accounts from the presenters with interactive group breakouts for delegates to test the tools on theoretical examples.

The session will include a look at the gathering of information on external factors that impact a given team or service to distil the opportunities and threats to the team, how to gather internal information from key stakeholders to triangulate internal factors that allow us to understand the teams’ strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, the session will close with a discussion on how priority objectives may be implemented within the team or service.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Call on several strategy tools and frameworks when embarking on leading change and setting team-wide goals

2. Lead teams in refining their strategy and delivering great service

3. Focus teams towards clear and relevant team objectives and KPIs

Please note that this session is now fully booked.

Laura Stafford, Senior Project and Operations Manager, The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology

The Silent Mentor Approach is not a replacement for formal HR performance management processes, but a proactive approach, so that you don’t get to that point. This session will explore how applying subtle mentoring techniques, when managing your team will provide focus, build confidence, and identify areas of development.

Transitioning to line management can be exciting and daunting all at the same time. The reinvention from colleague to line manager, the doer to delegator, however you look at it, stepping up to line management is hard. You’re managing different personalities, priorities, and challenges all while ensuring that your team delivers.

This session will provide delegates with a practical approach that they can apply in their own context following the conference.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Describe the Silent Mentor Approach

2. Identify when the Silent Mentor Approach will be beneficial to managing performance

3. Will have a worked example of how they can apply the Silent Mentor Approach in their context

Alison Whaley, Director of Student Experience, Cranfield University

This workshop will open with a focus on the concept of co-creation using a student engagement plan to outline how co-creation can be applied.

After establishing a shared understanding, the focus will be on the role of the HE Professional. To co-create takes time, understanding of stakeholders and the ability to facilitate and engage which are all qualities/skills that HE Professionals can harness and help in taking forward these initiatives.

Outputs from the session will then lead to group work where an example initiative will be established and groups will talk through how this could benefit from co-creation. This discussion will be followed by an opportunity to share and discuss thoughts with other groups.

The session will close with a commitment to each other to consider co-creation in our day-to-day work and look for ways for this empower us in our roles and what we can offer.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Talk about co-creation and why it is different to approaches such as ‘collaboration’

2. Identify the benefits of co-creation and how to know how this might apply to certain initiatives better than others

3. Reflect on their own role and the approaches they take, and how co-creation could foster new opportunities for them – to raise their own profile, have a different conversation or start to lead on a new area

David Law, Academic Director: Global Partnerships, Keele University

China is one of the UK’s largest trading partners but data on trade generally excludes higher education. In interactive ways we will explore the experiences that delegates have had in Chinese student recruitment, partnership construction, and learner support.

China is very large, very ambitious, and ruled by the CCP which often shapes how we see Chinese HE. This session will build delegate knowledge on historical inheritance from previous centuries, plans to make Chinese HE a global “powerhouse” and policies for integration with other systems.

Chinese students constitute one-quarter of the UK’s international student population and knowing more about Chinese universities will assist colleagues who engage professionally, in whatever way, with China.

Following the session, delegates will be encouraged to reflect on their views.

By the end of the session, delegates will be:

1. Better prepared to be active speakers in debates about building partnerships in China.

2. Informed about the size and shape of Chinese higher education, including
tuition fees, student accommodation, academic workload, and assessment

3. Able to understand the ambitions of university partners in China

Oliver Cooper, Head of Administration, University of Warwick | Ruth Coomber, Centre Manager, Cardiff University

This session will include a treasure hunt across campus, showcasing the beautiful rural location alongside world-leading campus facilities, such as the Mead Gallery in the Arts Centre, the Sculpture Trail, the Conference Facilities, the Sports & Wellness Hub and academic departments.

Delegates will be invited to collect segments of multiple career histories hidden across campus and bring them to the session. Working together with delegates, Oliver and Ruth will stitch together the tapestries of delegate careers, then identify common themes and reflect on personal opportunities with a PDP.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand the variety of career paths available into senior management roles.

2. Understand how the AUA can contribute to professional development and help HE professionals achieve their career aspirations and professional development goals. Opportunities such as the PgCert, Study Tours, Mentoring, PgCert Delivery Partners, Trustees and AUA Networks will be integral to the career development opportunities showcased

3. Identity personal aspirations and professional development opportunities.

Pearl Slater, Head of Academic Governance and Quality, Bath Spa University | Dr Florence Southway-Ajulu, (DPhil, FHEA), Assistant Director: Quality and Standards, Canterbury Christ Church University

This workshop is for anyone thinking of progressing their HE career in a quality assurance or academic compliance function.

We explore the unique nature of the role of a Head of Quality, including the nuances of working relationships with senior leaders, the remit of quality assurance teams, and the skillset needed to navigate the continually changing world of HE regulation.

This session will also look at how the role has changed in recent years as the sector transforms and what this means for aspiring Heads.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand the remit and function of a Head of Quality, and the core internal working relationships that are central for success in the role

2. Reflect upon their own skillset in comparison to that required for a Head of Quality

3. Understand how a Head of Quality role continually evolves in response to changing HE regulatory approaches

Hulya Oztel, Course Leader, PG Certificate, Diploma and MSc Higher Education Administration Management and Leadership, Nottingham Trent University | Sarah Pryor, Research Services Manager, Cardiff University | Kelli Wolfe, Deputy Academic Registrar, University of Roehampton

This session will showcase the findings and recommendations of two AUA award-winning research dissertations conducted on the PgCert in Diploma and MSc Higher Education Administration Management.

Sarah Pryor explores how hybrid working impacts the management of menopause symptoms in Higher Education (HE) and Professional Services (PS) employees whilst Kelli Wolfe explores the impact of High-Performance Working Practices on employee burnout experience in UK Higher Education.

This session will dive into research surrounding poor workplace control and environment correlated in relation to menopause experiences and what HE employers can do to showcase their commitment to developing a positive menopause culture.

Delegates will also learn how emerging evidence demonstrates work intensity is on the rise in the UK leading to higher rates of burnout. Drawing on the Job Demands – Resources model, Kelli’s research contributes to the understanding of the factors contributing to burnout in the UK Higher Education context.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Gain new insights into the role of hybrid working in menopause symptom management for HE professional services employees

2. Gain insight into the mitigating effects of high performance working practices on professional services staff burnout in HE

3. Reflect on the personal development implications of conducting a Masters Degree in HE Administration Management and Leadership

Taidhgh O’Regan, Product Director, University of Nottingham | Karl Royle, Agile Coach, University of Nottingham

This session will explore the basic premise of Agility by using interactive, participatory exercises to allow leaders to consider their role and positioning towards implementing self organisation.

Using the 12 Agile principles and 4 Agile values delegates will assess where their current leadership practice aligns, and their mindset and attitude to leadership. Delegates will also experience the power of self-organisation through a series of Agile games that point towards the cultural requirements for Agile adoption.

Finally, the session will look at the notion of Agile leadership and the behaviours that need to be amplified to make sure that your service organisation can create better value sooner, with less risk and make students and staff happier while doing that.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand the qualities and behaviours of agile leadership

2. Analyse their own practice against Agile principles and values

3. Experience the triangle of self-organisation through participation and practice

4. Understand how the 12 Agile principles and 4 agile values can be applied to their current contexts

Working Session 2

Monday, 3 July 2023 from 15:45 – 16:45

Choose from one of the following working sessions:

Natalia Crisanti, Student Engagement and Communications Officer, University of Kent

This is a participatory workshop which will help delegates understand how to put compassion and clarity at the heart of all messaging, and work together to find accessible and inclusive ways to deliver information.

The session will explore what compassion means, and how can we use it in our institutions to attract and retain students, and improve our working relationships using the University of Kent’s Compassionate Communications project. This project unearths communications that need improvement from exams, to intermittence and withdrawal, from finance to accommodation, to staff meetings and emails – where we started, what we’ve achieved and how we’ve gone about it using practical examples with consideration for compassionate communications.

By the end of this session, delegates will:

1. Be able to use practical guidance to construct messaging that is clear and empathic, and builds trust – even when the message you’re delivering isn’t positive

2. Know more about making communications accessible to a wide audience

3. Feel more confident about using digital media without creating barriers

Transforming wellbeing in the professional services: Bio, psycho, social, or all of the above? – Chris Buckland, Senior Academic Policy Manager, University of Glasgow

Although it is a model more well associated with chronic pain, colleagues may be wise to understand a variety of wellbeing factors, including the psychological, biological, and sociological, and their complex interactions if they wish to begin transforming wellbeing in the professional services. Once we have understood these motivating factors, we can better begin to delve into our professional services colleagues’ motivations in the workplace and how this can be aligned to develop our interactions around areas such as career development and internal mobility, as well as broader issues relating to our need for definition and clarity of roles and functions.

By the end of this session, delegates will be able to:

1. Identify different biological, psychological, and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding wellbeing in the workplace

2. Consider the impact of these different motivating factors on areas such as the need for definition and clarity of roles and function

3. Identify the importance of line managers working together with their teams to identify how to factor these factors into both their
career development, as well as their wellbeing

Any Other Business? How university committees support peer learning and critical reflection in ’deliberate professionals’ – Ruth Tennant-Alderman, Head of Quality Assurance, The University of Law

This session will explore collaborative, peer learning and how academic governance work supports the underpinning socio-cultural theories of collaborative and peer learning. It will also explore the specific role within committee work, and how these positions within academic governance structures support and promote critical and creative reflection of professional practice, change, transformation and contextualisation of social factors into professional practice and policy, and understanding of subject matter experts’ work through lived experience

By the end of this session, delegates will be able to:

1. Identify opportunities for peer learning within academic governance structures at their own institutions

2. Reflect on the structures in place to support academic governance work, the skills needed to support this work and the opportunities for wider subject matter work where this may not be immediately available within their current roles

3. Understand the role committee members and committee work has on policy, leadership and change – within roles, providers and the wider sector

Helping more students register to vote provided by Purpose Union Bess Mayhew, Director, Purpose Union | Lydia Richmond, Senior Associate, Purpose Union

This session is a short presentation on best practice for student voter registration. In this session, delegates will learn how university teams can go about the process of implementing registration opt-ins during student enrolment. The session will cover the necessary steps and outline where further resources and templates are available.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Make the case internally to team leaders to set up opt-in voter registration via the enrolment process.

2. Carry out from start to finish the process of implementing voter registration on enrolment forms, including accessing template data sharing agreements, making changes to the student records system and writing copy for online forms.

3. Access additional material and resources and be confident in sharing them among colleagues.

Kaye Fuller, Senior Lean Practitioner, University of Nottingham | Katie Pollard, Lean Practitioner, University of Nottingham

The Japanese term Gemba, meaning “going to where the work is done,” is a valuable tool that can be applied in all areas of the University Sector. This workshop is designed for delegates from all levels and areas of responsibility to gain a comprehensive understanding of the tool and its practical applications.

The workshop will encourage delegates to share their experiences and engage in meaningful discussions about the impact of Gemba on their professional development and role modelling.

With its practical approach and emphasis on participant engagement, this workshop promises to be an invaluable experience for anyone looking to broaden their skill set and develop their practice.

By the end of this session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand what Gemba is including where, when and how to actively look to understand more about what really happen

2. Apply Gemba to their own areas utilising a broader range of indicators to identify possible opportunities to continuously develop and strive to deliver excellent service

3. Describe how Gemba will enable continuous learning and development in their role as a HE professional

Natalie Snodgrass, Director, Quiet Space Coaching | Thea Gibbs, UCL, Director of Operations, Faculty of Laws | Nikki Muckle, Director of Strategic Initiatives, University of Warwick

This session presents a case study of three mid-career university professional services staff whose career paths converged for three years before diverging again. Natalie, Nikki and Thea’s careers illustrate the wide range of opportunities and career options in the sector, covering all aspects of research, teaching, student services and corporate governance. The three were brought together as colleagues when the University of Warwick established its Strategy and Change Team in 2012, and remained connected due to the shared experience of an intense period of working together and finding their feet in a new team.

Grounded in career theory and coaching practice, this session offers up examples of three very different routes through higher education professional service careers, and the lessons learnt along the way. Presenters will share their reflections and address commonly experienced career conundrums such as how to move from operational to more strategic, generalist to specialist or central to departmental roles (and vice versa), and how to get past career blockages when you feel ‘stuck’.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand the diverse and varied routes for university professional services staff to develop their careers, and appreciate the opportunities available within the sector

2. Develop an awareness of steps an individual can take to create opportunities to develop their skills and experience, and confidence to explore new options and navigate change to meet own career goals

3. Reflect on own career pathway in the light of the case studies presented, and develop greater self-awareness about personal and professional motivations, and be inspired to greater confidence in career decision-making

Jon Milner-Matthews, Credit-to-Cash Transformation Lead, Imperial College London

Projects are a significant and ever-growing aspect of all HEIs operations but, as is seen in all industries, they frequently fail to deliver the desired benefits within expected costs and timescales. This session presents novel research into what constitutes success and failure in projects and the changes needed to create an environment in which success is possible.

The work presented in this session seeks to broaden and change the way in which project success is measured and judged so that more projects will be able to meet their stated objectives. The session aims to change the way not only those involved in working and running projects monitor them and understand how they work, but also those in charge of commissioning and approving them, think about how projects fit into the structure and governance of the organisation.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Describe and use a series of novel project success factors to monitor the health of projects in flight and take early corrective action to reduce the risk of project failure

2. Understand the organisational and governance changes required to facilitate project success and use this understanding to avoid or highlight the more common governance risks to projects

3. Understand the nature of risk on projects and understand how even apparently beneficial changes can have negative impacts on the likelihood of project success making them better able to assess if changes should be permitted to projects, and what steps need to be taken in the event of changes to mitigate the increased likelihood of failure

How can I support my organisation to be more equal, diverse and inclusive? – Nav Ahmed, Principal Lecturer (Quality and Enhancement), Arden University

Within this interactive session, delegates with a particular interest in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion will share ideas and experiences to learn from each other about successful initiatives taking place across the sector.

Delegates will be invited to identify what they consider to be the biggest challenges to EDI within HE professional services, why these issues persist and what further support they feel they need to achieve positive change.

The session will conclude with a reflective plenary activity, with each delegate making a personal “pledge” committing to specific actions they will take following the session and how they will share these within their wider teams.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Identify current and future challenges relating to equality, diversity and inclusion in HE professional services

2. Explore possible strategies to improve equality, diversity and inclusion at both an individual and organisational level

3. Evaluate the impact of successful strategies which have been implemented within their organisations and recommend future improvements

Total wellness for the HE Professional. An approach using workplace dancing – Boyejo Olajumoke, Deputy Registrar, Legal & Head, Lagos State University

This session will look at some of the challenges facing the higher education personnel in two Universities in Africa.

Why workplace dancing? Dancing therapy has been proven to aid wellness in several ways including; stress relief, improving physical health, emotional therapy, boosting memory and eliminating social anxiety.

The introduction of workplace dancing reinvents new initiatives in higher education to further aid the wellbeing of the Higher Education Professional. 

By the end of the session, delegates will be:

1. Mentally reinvigorated   and will leave the session with a sense of community found in dancing

2. Able to appreciate dance as a powerful form of human expression and communication

3. Able to embrace new initiatives for staff wellbeing and increased productivity in their various institutions

Chiara Singh, Institute Development Associate, University of Bristol | Samima Hussain, Research Innovation Office Manager, De Montfort University

This wild card workshop takes an innovative approach inspired by the Café Scientifique movement that began in the UK in the 1990s and Deliberative Citizens’ Debates developed in 2004.

The session will revolve around three key themes demonstrated by three respective activities based on three different tables, led by an expert facilitator for each theme, with delegates participating in group work across each theme.

The session will conclude with an interactive digital poll and delegates will be provided with detailed but brief evaluation forms to complete as part of the self-reflective process to conclude the workshop.

By the end of this session, delegates will be able to:

1. Transform attitudes as a consequence of exchanging a variety of HE professionals’ perspectives and knowledge regarding key themes such as equity, diversity and inclusion, using informal, multi-directional, experiential learning. By participating in each of the core activities, participants will be encouraged to challenge pre-conceived and notions in a safe safe and thus, transform their thinking about a particular issue or experience.

2. Expand their professional networks having shared unique interactive experiences with HE professionals at different career stages, from different organisations, and cultures, learning about each other and opening the doors to foster future inter-organisational collaboration and cooperation

3. Identify and articulate their own personal approaches to self-directed learning including any areas for improvement and how this interacts with group learning

Lesley O’Keeffe, Registrar, ARC/Brunel University London | Julie Kelly, Academic Registrar University of Hertfordshire

The session will explore the roles and responsibilities of being an Academic Registrar or similar role in UK higher education, through two personal experiences.

Delegates will gain insight into the potential routes to becoming an Academic Registrar and the skills required to carry out the role successfully in an ever evolving sector, with opportunities for reflection and group discussion throughout the presentation.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Consider what their next steps might be in developing their career towards becoming an Academic Registrar

2. Understand the skills and attributes required to become an Academic Registrar

3. Explain the role of an Academic Registrar and its place in an institution

Sue Attewell, Head of EdTech, JISC

Generative AI such as ChatGPT is prevalent in the news today, often displayed as a disruptor of assessment and teaching, however, the potential is much greater.

This session will cover the opportunities and risks with AI tools as well as exploring how these tools work, and things to be aware of.

Delegates will also gain insight into how students are currently using AI tools and how to be aware of this usage when developing policy and guidance.
Delegates will have a chance to explore JISC demo’s, with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand the potential of AI for education and things to be aware of

2. Explore these tools confidently

3. Find further information and plan their responses to this emerging technology

Dr. Tinus van Zyl, Senior Director: Central Academic Administration, University of Johannesburg (South Africa) | Jeremy Welch, Head of Technology Developments: Student Administration, University of Oxford | Kevin Bassett, Managing Director, Advanced Secure Technologies, Georgina Lee, Director, Advanced Secure Technologies

The University of Oxford and the University of Johannesburg increased the security and controls around the issuing of Degree Documents and the verification of credentials in the last few years. Through their respective projects, they are leading the Digital Transformation of Degree Documents and reducing the risks associated with the misrepresentation of qualifications. This workshop will showcase each institution’s unique experience and showcase the solutions supporting the strategy and facilitating Digital Transformation.

During the session we will run a practical certificate fraud session, where delegates will be challenged to fraudulently attack a sample secure certificate. This will expand knowledge of certificate fraud, allow you to better identify these types of attacks and the techniques to be employed to protect valued documents, such as certificates and transcripts.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Identify the risks and areas of improvement in their own Degree Documentation business process

2. Understand key technology trends associated with the Digital Transformation of Degree Documents and Verification

3. Strategise and implement systems such as a digital certificate portal, blockchain-based certificates, online verification of Degree Documents, and digital badges for graduates and continuing learning

Tuesday Working Session

Working Session 3

Tuesday, 4 July 2023 from 11:05 – 12:05

Choose from one of the following working sessions:

Menopause at Work – Maureen Montague, Executive Officer, University of Greenwich Business School | Ratnesvary Alahakone, Senior Lecturer Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour, University of Greenwich Business School | Anna Radley, Organisation Development & Engagement Manager, University of Greenwich Business School

This presentation is suitable for all – Menopause can affect all women. Culturally and traditionally, it’s been a taboo subject. It also affects men as colleagues, managers, family and friends.

In this session, delegates will hear about how Menopause awareness is raised at Greenwich through regular awareness training for staff and line managers, with these initiatives of best practise being embedded to support menopausal women. Delegates will hear how the University of Greenwich are working on a research study to see what impact they are making across the sector.

By the end of the session:

1. Women will feel empowered to feel confident to start talking about it

2. Men will be more aware of the Peri-Menopause, Menopause and what is happening to their staff, colleagues, family, friends

3. Delegates will get Menopause awareness and break down the taboo through workplace conversations

Ethical compliance and consideration in the HE sector provided by Worktribe – Jon Hackney, Business Development Officer, Worktribe

This session is provided by Worktribe which is the leading intuitive cloud-based platform offering a powerful suite of tools for seamless, end-to-end research management. Worktribe’s out of the box solutions is the ultimate platform for managing the research lifecycle with over 248,000 academic and administrator users across more than 50 higher education institutions.

In this session, delegates will have the opportunity to explore and share the ethical compliance and due diligence areas of consideration in the HE sector. With increasing complexity in the local, national and international environments, these demands touch all areas of the institution.

So, how far do we understand these demands? What are the blockers that we find in our areas, and what can we do to overcome them? How can we make sure we are delivering, whilst at the same time controlling bureaucracy and workload? How important is communication, training and sharing across the institution? What impact does University Leadership and culture have on this work? How can relationship building be used to enable us and our teams to do more than tick boxes?

Come along to this session to identify key themes relevant to your role and combat these questions.

By the end of the session, delegates will:

1. Understand the key elements of ethical compliance and consideration that should be considered in the University setting

2. Have considered the needs in delegates own roles and departments, and how far these are successfully monitored, documented and risk assessed

3. Leave the session with 2 early step actions to take back to share with colleagues in order to improve understanding, communication and/or processes

The benefit of risk action panels in managing student cases Matthew Dunstan, Complaints and Conduct Manager, Cardiff Metropolitan University | Bethan Banks, Senior Registry Officer [Complaints and Appeals], Cardiff Metropolitan University | Gwen Jones, Senior Registry Officer [Complaints and Appeals], Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff Metropolitan has received an award from the Regional Safeguarding Board for its ‘Excellent Contribution to Safeguarding’, principally for the Complaints and Conduct Team’s management of student cases, and the development of Risk Action Panels (RAP’s).

The interactive workshop will outline the RAP policy and procedure as a mechanism for considering complaints about student conduct, and its framework for bringing relevant decision makers together to consider risk and actions associated with a student case.

There will be a particular focus on the leadership of the process by members of the Complaints and Conduct Team to ensure fairness and the correct use of university powers, with an additional focus on the importance of staff wellbeing/welfare.

The importance of continuous improvement in University Governing Bodies: A Review Framework – Alyssa White, President, Association of Australian University Secretaries (AAUS) | David Pacey, Chief Governance Officer, University of Sydney

The University of Sydney has embedded a Governance Review Framework for the University’s Senate.

One of the key functions of Senate is to regularly review its own performance in light of its functions and obligations. This Framework captures the elements of individual and whole-body reviews over a ten year forecast to ensure they are conducted in the appropriate sequence.

Those reviews are:
a) External Senate Reviews
b) Senate Meeting Evaluations
c) Annual Senate Fellows Self-Evaluations
d) Annual Compliance Report against the Voluntary Code of Best Practice for the Governance of Australian Universities
e) Internal and External Governance Reviews

The session will provide an insight into how this Framework is delivered in Australia’s oldest and leading University.

By the end of the session, delegates will be:

1. Provided with a case study highlighting issues identified and steps put in place as a consequence of the reviews undertaken

2. Provided tools for other institutions to consider utilising as a means of highlighting areas for focus and improvement

3. Able to share their experiences in undertaking both self and external assessment

Vikki Goddard, Consultant, Vikki Goddard Consulting Ltd

The session will consider the current position in the HE sector in relation to diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion has become more of a focus for HEIs over recent years, yet still remains a very challenging issue for many. The session will explore why this might be, using examples of strategies and experiences of presenter and attendee.

The session will also explore how we might make Diversity and Inclusion more embedded and holistic, whilst recognising the differentials and intersectionality. It will also consider what Professional Services should be doing to embed diversity and inclusion in our own practices and work environments.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Undertake different approaches to delivering diversity and inclusion

2. Take back their learning to their own work environment and make a positive change in their own organisation

3. Feel more confident that they can engage with diversity and inclusion initiatives

Giles Polglase, Faculty Registrar, Canterbury Christ Church University | Louise Berry, Faculty Manager, Canterbury Christ Church University | Sylwia Jedrzerjak, Faculty Process Improvement Coordinator, Canterbury Christ Church University

This workshop explores how Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) created an innovative professional development framework and career progression structure for Faculty based Professional Services staff.

The professional development framework embeds the AUA behaviours as integral to the positive performance conversation, CCCU’s appraisal process.

In this session, we will explore how CCCU developed the framework, to support recruitment, retention and career progression and to take active measures to support staff development.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand how the AUA behaviours can be embedded in a University appraisal system

2. Understand how the AUA behaviours can act as a mechanism for reward and recognition

3. By the end of the session delegates will be able to understand how working proactively and creatively with Human Resources and Organisational Development can lead to transformative change for Professional Services staff

David Gilani, Head of Student Engagement and Advocacy, Middlesex University

The aim of this session is to dive into the connections between staff and student belonging in a higher education context. It will provide delegates with up-to-date awareness on these topics from academic research as well as practical strategies for fostering a sense of belonging in their own institution that considers both students and staff.

The session will recap recent research and progress made in understanding student belonging and review the connections between student and staff belonging; summarising academic research and recent findings from an NSS analysis carried out at Middlesex University which will be shared with delegates to utilise at their own institutions.

Delegates will leave with a deeper understanding of the link between staff and student belonging and practical strategies for fostering a community-wide sense of belonging in their own institution.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Understand the current state of research in the field of student belonging in higher education and its recent progress

2. Understand the connections between student and staff belonging

3. Develop strategies to foster a sense of belonging among staff and students in their own institution

Ed Moloney, Chief Executive Officer, University of Salford Students’ Union | Neil Barrett, Deputy Director of Strategy, University of Salford

The concept of a ‘second brain’ rose to prominence during the pandemic and has culminated in Tiago Forte’s bestselling book of the same name, released in 2022. Here two HE professionals describe how they have implemented two very different approaches to the Second Brain methodology to their work and home lives, and what benefits it’s brought them in adapting and changing to the new, challenging post-pandemic world.

During the session participants will be able to start to build their own second brains, should they wish to. The session will also touch on more advanced techniques, including how Second Brains can be used by leaders to empower colleagues, demonstrate authentic leadership, and set an experimentation culture within their team.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Explain the benefits of the Second Brain methodology, and how it can be applied in a Higher Education setting

2. Describe how this tool can be used by leaders to generate and capture new insights and ideas, and also empower colleagues.

3. Start their own Second Brain

Rita Suzanne Belleci, Director, Center for Restorative Practices, Amherst College 
Navigating an increasingly polarized world today is no easy task. More and more we find humans are less inclined to engage across divides and more inclined to stay siloed in their one way of thinking and being. This lack of willingness to engage has contributed to a lack of learned and practiced curiosity, empathy and compassion for others who think, feel and act differently than us. Thus, the insular cycle perpetuates. 

To assist in developing and maintaining these bridge-building skills, bringing folks together to engage with aspects of their social identities can lead to deeper conversations around social inclusion, multipartiality, conflict prevention and the adoption of a more fluid lens with which to see each other and make room for differences. 
This hands-on workshop models how to facilitate a workshop back at home, for building curiosity, empathy and compassion across differences through the use of a social identity wheel. Following an experiential framework, the session invites delegates to engage as participants and then reflect along with the presenter on how this tool can be used within their own diverse contexts. 
By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Foster an understanding around our own identities, both seen and unseen and increase awareness to the fluidity of our identities and the identities of others 

2. Recognize conflicting and cross-cutting identities in ourselves and others  and receive a tool to practice radical empathy, compassion and conflict prevention among our peers 

3. Engage in open sharing that invites deep listening and cultivate a curiosity for how to integrate a restorative practice, like social identity wheels, into our community/work contexts

Sophie Hayman, Regional Executive Officer, The Association of Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) | Tony Brown, Regional Executive Officer, The Association of Tertiary Education Management (ATEM)

If we were to share our experiences of working in the university sector what would be the two most common themes – how busy we are and how many meetings we attend?

Traditionally universities have a meeting culture, it is part of our DNA. In today’s busy workplace this culture has become anathema; we are all looking for ways to reduce the time we spend in meetings. But what if we reinvented the meeting as a place where we could emotionally connect with people, listen with empathy and an open mind; a place where we could develop our emotional intelligence, our leadership superpower The facilitators will share their experience of reinventing the meeting to build connection, as part of a leadership development program for middle managers working in the tertiary education sector.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Recognise the value of emotional intelligence as a leadership skill

2. Describe the benefits of using ‘yarning circles’ in a meeting context to build connections and develop emotional intelligence.

3. Facilitate meetings using the ‘yarning circle’ technique.

Joanne Tallentire, Associate, AUA Consulting | Sara Corcoran, Associate, AUA Consulting

This session will explore Joanne and Sara’s career stories, reflecting on key moments of progression and reinvention in their careers as higher education managers, which have involved senior roles in different institutions and, most recently, culminated with a move into consultancy. In these brief case studies, they will highlight the key experiences, skills and learning gained, together with some of the career questions and personal considerations they reflected on along the way. The session also offers delegates the opportunity to reflect on their current position and to discuss some of these questions in pairs or small groups with opportunities for delegates to share key learning points from their reflection and discussion.

By the end of the session, delegates will be able to:

1. Reflect on their own career and the ways in which they have been developing as managers and/or leaders in higher education

2. Understand whether consultancy might be a future option for their own career

3. Apply models/tools to support career planning

Emma Rower, Operations Manager, University of Sheffield | Russell Metcalfe, Department Manager, University of Sheffield | Lindsey Crowson, Research Administration, University of Sheffield

Drawing on personal experience, the speakers will share their own journeys and practical steps taken to enhance their careers in higher education as well as their experience in developing others by capitalising on opportunities that have arisen through change management.
Using a gap analysis model, delegates will reflect on their own careers and experiences and discuss how potential approaches might work for them, with the opportunity to present your discussion to the group. Delegates will take away 3 ‘max impact’ action points to utilise in both their own and members of their teams’ career progression.

By the end of the session, delegates will be:

1. Able to reflect on their own career to date and consider gaps in their skill set

2. Take away 3 ‘max impact’ actions to enhance their own careers 

3. Have a wider appreciation of team development and progression and how this can be used to enhance their own career

Got a question?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.