AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2020

Collaborating for success

6 to 7 April 2020
East Midlands Conference Centre (EMCC), The University of Nottingham

AUA Annual Conference 2020 | Collaborating for Success

Under the theme of ‘Collaborating for Success’, next year’s Annual Conference and Exhibition will showcase the importance of developing and nurturing sustainable working relationships.  Working with both internal and external stakeholders effectively is key to success; whether that is success in terms of your personal career development, project success, the performance of your team or department and your institution’s achievement overall.

Stakeholders can be numerous and are often complex, which can make managing their needs and requirements, alongside your own, challenging.  Effectively working together in the context of rapid change, reduced budgets and a growing move to look outside higher education for good practice, heightens the need to understand how best to collaborate for the success of all stakeholders.


Book your #AUA2020 place now!


Highlights from #AUA2019

Sunday networking event

Start your AUA Conference off in style…

We’re delighted to announce that the Sunday networking event for #AUA2020 is going to be at Mooch Student Union bar located at the University of Nottingham campus.

Following feedback, this year we’ve made the Sunday networking event as affordable as possible, but without skimping on the content.  We start with a wine reception, followed by a short walk around Nottingham’s beautiful Highfields Lake (weather dependent), then we are welcomed back to Mooch for a pizza buffet and the traditional AUA Quiz, hosted by University of Nottingham.

Check out this year’s Menu for Sunday Social 2020.


AUA Members | £17.50+VAT (£21 inc vat)
Non Members | £25+VAT (£30 inc vat)


Book your Sunday networking event place



Plenary Speaker

Professor Shearer West
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Nottingham

The ‘Two Cultures’ of Academia and Professional Services

C.P. Snow’s influential Rede lecture of 1959, ‘The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution’ argued that the cultural divisions between humanities and science were preventing universities from effectively tackling the world’s problems. In this talk, I borrow from Snow’s precept but want to use his framework to describe what I see as the cultural divisions that have developed between academic and professional services staff. I would like to look at the history of why these divisions have occurred, the impact they have had on university success and effectiveness, and attempts to overcome the problems they have caused.

About Professor Shearer West

Professor Shearer West is Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham. She has held a number of significant leadership roles in universities and higher education, including Head of the School of Historical Studies at the University of Birmingham, Head of the Humanities Division at Oxford University and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield. She also spent four years as Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council where she chaired the Research Directors Group for Research Councils UK.




Rachel Sandison
Vice-Principal, External Relations
University of Glasgow

People, Place & Purpose: The Glasgow Partnership Story

Partnership has never been more important, or more required within the sector, as universities seek to engage with stakeholders to support institutional aims and ambitions against a backdrop of constant change and evolving business need.

 This session will showcase the impact of the University of Glasgow’s strategic plan ‘Inspiring People, Changing the World 2015-2020’ and the successful initiatives that have delivered enhanced collaboration and engagement at both a civic and global level with partners that include local and national government, international universities, city-wide audiences, and our own community of students, staff and alumni.

Opportunities for working together will undoubtedly continue to increase within the sector – why does this matter and how can we all benefit?

About Rachel Sandison

Rachel Sandison is Vice Principal, External Relations at the University of Glasgow. Rachel’s responsibilities include strategic leadership for domestic and international student recruitment; marketing, brand and reputation; undergraduate and postgraduate admissions; international affairs and partnership development; fundraising & alumni relations; and widening participation.

 Rachel is a chartered marketer and a CASE Global Trustee and Chairs the annual CASE Marketing Institute. She is a member of the Universities Marketing Forum, Universities Scotland International Committee and sits on a number of sector advisory boards. She is the University of Glasgow’s senior leader for the Universitas 21 network and The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities.

Anne-Marie Canning MBE
Director of Social Mobility and Student Success Independent Chair of the Bradford Opportunity Area
King’s College London | Department for Education

Old ways won’t open new doors: why should universities major in social mobility?

Social mobility is high on the political agenda. Universities have the power to be agents of social mobility and this session builds the case for taking serious and strategic steps to use that power to create a better world around us. My keynote will offer an overview of key social mobility policies and developments in the world of education. We will explore innovative programmes and activities delivered by King’s College London in support of their aim to be the top university for social mobility by the time of their 200th birthday in 2029. Participants will come away challenged, informed and inspired to take action on the social justice issues that face the UK today.

About Anne-Marie Canning MBE

Anne-Marie Canning MBE is the Director of Social Mobility and Student Success at King’s College London. In this role she provides leadership and strategic direction for full lifecycle widening participation across the institution. In 2018 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to higher education.

Anne-Marie is also the independent chair of the Department for Education led Bradford Opportunity Area. She is a member of the Universities UK Ministerial Social Mobility Advisory Group and has served as the elected Chair of the Russell Group Widening Participation Association.

Anne-Marie has previously worked at University College Oxford and holds a University of Oxford Teaching Award. She studied at the University of York and served a sabbatical term as the president of the students’ union. Anne-Marie is a trustee of the Bridge Group, a policy association researching and promoting socio-economic diversity and equality.

Zamzam Ibrahim
NUS National President







Conference Packages

Standard prices, including VAT (4 November to 15 March)

Full package
Member £504 | Non members £672

Monday/Tuesday delegate
Member £342 | Non members £456

Gala dinner
Member £112.50 | Non members £150

If you are an international delegate that requires a UK visa to attend you can request a confirmation letter for your Annual Conference booking, by completing this form. We can not provide letters of invitations and will issue confirmation letters for bookings that we have received full payment. 


Book your #AUA2020 place now!




We’ve partnered with Nottingham Conferences to secure a variety of accommodation options on campus to suit your budget and preference.  Accommodation is not included in your conference packages and please book early to avoid disappointment.

Rutland Hall – Halls of Residence

Located a short 5 minute walk away from the actual conference venue, these cheap and cheerful en-suite rooms are charged at £65 (inc vat) per night which includes breakfast served from 7.00 to 8.30am. Available to book on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 April 2020 should you require a one or two night stay.

To book please input code AUA2020 then select the date(s) you require using the link to Nottingham Conferences.

The Orchard Hotel

This 4 star hotel is located opposite the conference venue, with rooms charged at £99 (inc vat) per night which includes breakfast.

To book please contact the Orchard Hotel Reservations team on 0115 876 0900 pressing 1 for reservations and quoting the conference name: AUA 2020 Conference and Exhibition 2020.

Please note that all bookings are made directly with either The University of Nottingham or the De Vere and are bound by their term and conditions.
AUA cannot accept responsibility for any room bookings so please contact The University of Nottingham or the De Vere directly should you have any queries.



Our 2020 exhibitors, sponsors and opportunities

The AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition is the largest conference of its kind. Its history, size and reputation for offering a varied programme, which includes a large exhibition, attracts c700 HE professionals each year.

There are a number of exhibitor and sponsorship options available to suit your budget and business aim. Whether your organisation is
currently working in HE or looking to enter the HE sector, the Conference can help you to:

  • Develop client relationships
  • Increase sector presence
  • Encourage brand awareness
  • Showcase your services to HE professionals

Find out about our 2020 opportunities.

Please contact Chloe Duxbury to discuss any of our sponsorship opportunities.

Book your exhibition package 



We would like to thank all of our sponsors and exhibitors for their fantastic support at the AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2020. We very much look forward to welcoming you all in Nottingham for #AUA2020.

You can find a full list of our Sponsors and Exhibitors  using this link.