AUA Conference 2019 | It’s a wrap!

We are back in the office after delivering the 2019 AUA Annual Conference, we are tired but we are thankful, as there were so many highlights! Over the two days there was a real buzz in the air and it was positive. New connections were made, best practice was shared and celebrated. Higher education may be evolving rapidly, and at times it can feel hard to keep up, but judging by the engagement and contribution of delegates at AUA2019, AUA members are working together and embracing the new challenges they face, finding the opportunities in change as they go.

Over the next week or so we shall be reporting back in more detail, but here is a round up of some of the top moments.


This may be a surprise, but the AGM was a highlight. We tired something different this year, creating this video as reminder of what has been happening in our professional community.

AUA Awards

We love the AUA Awards!  So many members make the AUA possible, at the last count over 290 members volunteer to help us deliver the benefits of membership.  The AUA Awards are a chance for us to say thank you and recognise the amazing contribution members make.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This year we were delighted to present two Lifetime Achievement Awards to two members who have made a significant contribution to the AUA, most notably in the development of AUA publications. Mary Curnock Cook, AUA Honorary President presented the first to John Hogan, Registrar and Secretary Newcastle University who has chaired the Perspectives Editorial Board since 2012, and the second to Giles Brown, who as editor of Newslink, led the relaunch in 2014 developing the content and style.

Member of the Year

It was also a night to celebrate the fantastic work of our networks and the individuals who advocate for the AUA in their institutions.  Michael Monaghan, Liverpool John Moores won Member of the Year for his creative use of the CPD Framework and involvement with the AUA CIVIC initiative.  Special mention was also given to Diane Lloyd, University of Salford, Ashleigh King, Newcastle University and Saad Qureshi who were all nominated.

Network of the Year

North Wales and North West Geographic Network were crowned Network of the Year, impressing the panel with two new initiatives, including an AUA Christmas single, designed to show how CPD can be fun and the AUA CIVIC initiative, which provides institutions spread across a large geographic area with a way to connect, develop, network and share good practice all through a novel use of google hangouts. The panel recognised how this should be a model initiative for all networks going forward. Newcastle University Advocates came a close second, impressing the panel with their successful member recruitment efforts and securing funding for the PgCert and the Annual Conference.

AUA Essay Prize

The last award of the night was made to Karen McFarlane who won the 2019 AUA Essay Prize for her piece entitled, ‘How can universities contribute to the common good?’.  Esther Bray was also congratulated for her case study from Brunel University into managing change successfully, which came second.  Read the essays…

AUA 2019 Delegate highlights


PgCert Graduation

It is always a highlight to see our members graduate from the AUA PgCert in University Administration, Management and Leadership, and this year was no different.  Congratulations to…

Ceri Allen, Cardiff University | Rebecca Chappell, Queen Mary University | Charlotte Cowley, University of Bristol | Joanne Duggan, Aston University | Amy Green, University of Kent | Susan Hall-Smith, The University of Manchester | Leah Holford, University of Bristol | Samima Hussain, University of Warwick | Maria Kyriacou, Keele University | Diane Lingard, University of Salford | Alyson Macdonald, University of Edinburgh | Jennifer Marsh, University of Worcester | Rita Peach, University of Worcester | Laura Roper, Bournemouth University | Nicola Twyman, William Booth College | Meg Brankowski, Coventry University | Lee Bryan, University of Derby | Imogen Katharine Caird, University of the Arts London | Adam Campbell, Ravensbourne University London | Anissa Cheema, University of Northampton | Sophie Elliott, University of Estate Management | Ann Enticknap, University of Cambridge | Nicola Hunt, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales | Elizabeth Leake, University of Hull | Nenna Opara, London School of Economics | Colin Reeves, University of Surrey | Jayne Reilly, De Montfort University | Layla Riches, Coventry University | David Skinley, Lancaster University | Jo Tatters, Falmouth University | Karl Waldron, Warwick University | Louise Woodland, Cranfield University.


Inspiring speakers

Dame Shirley Pearce being interviewed for the AUA live stream following her plenary address at the AUA Conference 2019

Dame Shirley Pearce being interviewed for the AUA live stream following her plenary address at the AUA Conference 2019

We are really proud of the programme we put together and very grateful for the plenary, keynote, question time panelists and workshop presenters who shared their perspective, knowledge and enthusiasm for higher education.

You can see what our members said about the sessions they attended on our twitter feed and watch our ‘Five minutes with…’ Dame Shirley Pearce, Patrick Hackett and Professor Sir Chris Husbands as we ask them the questions members asked through our Conference App.

Plus read our Trustee reviews of the plenary and keynote sessions they attended.  Amanda Oliver for Jess Moody, Vikki Goddard for Patrick Hackett and Sam Bayley for Marian Hilditch.  More coming soon.


Delegates share their AUA2019 Conference takeaways


Not forgetting….we made several exciting announcements

1. We announced the expansion of our consultancy offering to include a professional consultancy service for the sector to support the implementation of best practice university administration.  Find out about how we can help your organisation.

2. Working with our partners at JUAM there will be a Study Tour to Japan later this year.  The opportunity will open later this month.

3.  And finally the 2020 Conference will be at Nottingham University…we look forward to welcoming you!

Oh and the rumors you may have heard about the conga at the gala dinner, they’re all true!

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