AUA Consulting Logo

Improving professional services practice and developing professional services performance

AUA Consulting is about improving professional services practice and developing professional services performance. It is a consulting practice that is ‘of the sector for the sector’ – our Consultants are practitioners in higher education administration and management. For clients this means we combine the benefits of an external perspective with sector specific expertise. Any financial surplus derived from AUA Consulting is reinvested to support the AUA’s charitable objectives – connecting and developing HE professionals – for the benefit of our members in support of the sector.

Our services | how we can help you

  • Strategic development of student and academic administration including Registry/Faculty/School/Department structures, professional services organisational models, service standards and monitoring
  • Development advice, support and reviews of academic quality processes and academic regulations
  • Reviewing your baseline compliance obligations/options/opportunities
  • Improving your practice in equality, diversity and inclusion, including equality impact assessment 
  • Strategic advice and operational reviews of student recruitment and admissions, including working with international agents
  • Developing your international strategy
  • Corporate and academic governance reviews and guidance
  • Best practice in committees management and administration
  • Risk management and reviews/advice in compliance areas like data protection

  • Strategic advice and reviews of student services operations/functions, including services benchmarking and international best practice
  • Reviews of student affairs administration eg student complaints and academic appeals
  • Evaluating your student employability offer
  • Developing service standards in academic administration/student services, including service monitoring and evaluation best practice
  • Using the AUA CPD Framework to embed positive behavioural attributes that drive high performing staff, building up to the AUA Mark of Excellence
  • Tailored CPD for your professional services staff – function specific and/or focussed on professional skills and behaviours.  Skills-related topics include ‘Delivering excellent service’, ‘Guiding your team through change’.  Contact AUA Consulting to discuss our bespoke CPD design service to meet the needs of you and your team.

Case studies | recent projects

Case study


University of Gloucestershire

Review of arrangements supporting academic
quality and enhancements

Read more

We worked with the University of Gloucestershire to review the impact and effectiveness of changes made to its academic governance, structures and quality-related processes arising from an institutional change project: Rethinking Enhancement.

Key features included:

  • Working closely with the University on a robust review design.
  • Extensive stakeholder consultation, including individual and group meetings on campus.
  • Practical recommendations for improvement.
  • A comprehensive written report suited to the University’s executive/committee structure.

“Meetings with the consultant were very professional, open and well-structured. 

“A really great report.  Exactly what we needed”

Case study


AMOSSHE

Professionalising Student Services
A feasibility study

Read more

We worked with AMOSSHE – the Student Services Organisation to deliver a feasibility study aligned to AMOSSHE’s exploration of a competence framework to support Student Services professionals.  The work is set in the context of a rapidly changing landscape in UK HE and the agenda around the student experience growing in complexity and expectation.

Key features included:

  • Input from AUA consultants with a depth of expertise in HE student affairs and in professional development practice.
  • A client-centred approach including speedy delivery of the end-of-project report in line with the requirements of the AMOSSHE Executive.
  • A combination of desk research and in-depth stakeholder consultation to ensure relevance and applicability.
  • A clear set of practical recommendations to assist AMOSSHE in considering the issues further and planning next steps.

“Thank you very much for the work on this.  The AUA team has been extremely helpful every step of the way, especially with the understanding of such a tight timescale for delivery.”

Case study


University College of Estate Management

Supporting Equality Impact
Assessment

Read more

We worked with the University College of Estate Management to develop their expertise and experience in the area of Equality Impact Assessment.  Drivers included regulatory expectations alongside fostering good educational/academic practice.

Key features included:

  • Input from an AUA consultant with a depth of expertise in HE equality and diversity issues.
  • Hands-on training to build confidence with direct relevance to the institution’s mission and practice.
  • A client-centred approach including close liaison with the institution throughout.
  • Practical ‘pick-up-and-use’ resources and templates to facilitate effective implementation.

“It was great to have the consultant’s expertise. The training was really well received and colleagues are now enthusiastic to get started. We will definitely be using AUA Consulting again an will recommend to others.”

Case study


Middlesex University

Introducing streamlining and workflow into course approval procedures

Read more

We worked with Middlesex University to develop a workflow solution for its course/programme approval and closure processes, incorporating streamlining and process enhancement, aligned to the University’s revised governance approval mechanisms.

Key features included:

  • A client-centred approach including close liaison with the University throughout, and direct consultant input on campus.
  • A flexible project timeline to suit the University’s requirements within the pattern of the academic cycle.
  • An interim options report to support institutional decision-making. 

“Thank you again for all your work on this project – the forms and process look in good shape.  It’s been a pleasure to work with you – we could never have carved out the time to produce what you have.”

Case study


Buckinghamshire New University

Development of a development framework for Professional Services Employees

Read more

We worked with Buckinghamshire New University on a development framework for its Professional Services Employees (PSEs), setting out skills and behaviours to underpin recruitment and selection, performance management, and succession planning and talent management processes.

Key features included:

  • Expert consulting input, drawing on AUA’s strong track record in professional development.
  • Considerable stakeholder engagement, including a series of focus groups on campus with colleagues across the institution.
  • A flexible project timeline to suit the University’s requirements, including an interim report to support executive decision-making.
  • Practical ‘pick-up-and-use’ resources to facilitate effective implementation.

“What really worked well was the consultants flexibility and ability to with with us in understanding our requirements. Also the quick turnaround of work when required.

AUA Consultants | meet the team

AUA Consultants are embedded in practice with broad experience of the realities of working in higher education. They work individually and as part of a team – our Managing Consultant provides oversight and quality control with the AUA Office providing additional support. Being part of the AUA, our Consultants have the backing of the Association’s almost 60 year heritage.

Dr Andrew West
Dr Andrew West
Managing Consultant
View profile

Andrew is former University Secretary at the University of Sheffield. His career in Higher Education spans nearly 30 years, including 11 years leading student-related services encompassing student recruitment and admissions, academic services and learning and teaching support, registry and student administration, careers and employability, and a broad range of student support and well being services.

A former Chair of AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation, Andrew has provided advice and consultancy at a wide range of institutions in England, Wales and Scotland, across all mission groups. He is a Fellow of the Halpin Partnership.

Jim Benson
Lead Consultant
View profile

Jim has extensive experience in the HE sector, having worked in higher education for almost 30 years, and most recently holding the position of Secretary to Council and University Secretary at Brunel University from 2007-2018. Jim has a specialist interest in corporate and academic governance, strategic development, academic regulations and quality reviews, student and academic administration reviews, reviews of quality processes and regulations, and offering advice on statutory returns and stakeholder engagement.

Jacquelyn Bownes
Jacquelyn Bownes
Lead Consultant
View profile

With over 20 years’ leadership development experience, Jacquelyn has held a number of executive positions heading up learning and development functions. For the last 10 years she has worked as an organisation development consultant working with a diverse range of organisations from the NHS to manufacturing companies and including the HE sector. Jacquelyn is one of the original consultants  supporting the AUA roll out the behavioural framework across higher education.  She is a fully accredited Executive Coach Supervisor, graduate member of the CIPD and qualified Myers Briggs and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner.

Kate Dodd
Lead Consultant
View profile

Kate has extensive experience of managing and developing multifunctional teams in three leading research-intensive universities; and rich experience of governance in a variety of capacities gained over a 30 year career in higher education. Kate is experienced in project work, service reviews and evaluations, staff development through coaching and training, and drafting or revising policy and procedure.

David Law AUA Consultant
David Law
Lead Consultant
View profile

During a career that has combined academic roles and administration/management, David has worked at five universities in the UK and spent a research sabbatical at Harvard. His particular area of expertise is strategic planning, particularly in international operations and partnerships. He was Academic Registrar at the Universities of Warwick and Hull and a PVC at Edge Hill University. Following (what was meant to be) retirement, David directed the Confucius Institute at Edge Hill for two years. He is also heavily involved in the AUA and is currently Principal Editor of Perspectives the AUA journal.

Alison Levey AUA Consultant
Alison Levey
Lead Consultant
View profile

Alison has worked as a senior manager in HE for nearly 20 years and has considerable experience in change management and strategic development, covering both pre- and post-1992 sectors. She has specialist expertise in line-managing across multi-site campuses and working with non-standard student populations such as part-time, mature adult learners and bespoke commissioned programmes for both public and private sectors.

Anne Miller AUA Consultant
Anne Miller
Lead Consultant
View profile

Anne has 35 years’ experience of working in UK HE at operational and strategic level. She was Registrar and Secretary to Council at the University of Buckingham between 2011-2018 and has expertise in corporate and academic governance and legal and regulatory compliance. Anne had institutional responsibility for a wide range of quality and standards initiatives, including leading on four QAA Institutional Reviews, the NSS and TEF and was responsible for a number of student-facing professional services. She is a former member of AHUA and currently sits on the Executive of the Quality:Strategy:Network (QSN). She is also an expert on the delivery of the two-year degree. Anne’s wide-ranging and cross-functional expertise means she is well placed to undertake consultancy.

Steph O'Halloran AUA Consultant
Steph O’Halloran
Lead Consultant
View profile

Steph is an experienced learning and development professional. During her 20 years at the OU, Steph led a number of key institutional development projects including the design and implementation of a new Leadership Competency Framework and associated 360 degree feedback questionnaire, and the redesign and delivery of the in-house ILM Team Leader Programme. In addition to project work, Steph designed and delivered development activities to achieve strategic priorities. Steph is a qualified coach, ILM Accredited Action Learning Set Facilitator, CIPD qualified with a Masters in HR.

Pete Quinn AUA Consultant
Pete Quinn
Lead Consultant
View profile

Pete had over 15 years’ experience of working in HE before becoming a Consultant in 2016. Pete works primarily across the education sector along with tech companies, sports and arts organisations as well as SMEs. His specific focus is on equality, diversity and inclusion challenges including mental health and well-being, diverse talent and inclusive teaching, learning and assessment. Pete’s focus is on devising realistic strategic and operational approaches in ever-evolving and challenging circumstances. He does this with people throughout organisations whether this be Senior management, faculty, professional support or student support practitioners.

Jan Shine AUA Consultant
Jan Shine
Lead Consultant
View profile

Jan is an experienced  trainer, manager, coach and HR specialist with a background in higher education. Jan’s higher education career spanned 25 years and equipped her with broad experience in higher education administration and management, HR and staff development.  Since 2007 Jan has run her own business, Paullus People Development, and works throughout the UK providing a range of bespoke workshops and programmes, coaching and organisational development consultancy.  Jan is a qualified coach, holds a PgDip in management and is a Fellow of the AUA, a licensed Springboard trainer, an Associate with Programmes for Life and works with Adoption Services for Adults as a trainer and intermediary.

Dawn Turpin AUA Consultant
Dawn Turpin
Lead Consultant
View profile

Dawn has 20 years’ experience in leadership and management positions within the higher education sector with expertise in corporate and academic governance, executive and non-executive recruitment, risk management, strategic programme management and information rights. Alongside her consultancy work, Dawn is a lay representative for Health Education England and a clerk for a primary academy trust school in Northampton.

Interested in becoming an AUA Consultant?

Email consulting@aua.ac.uk or call Kathy Murray, Director of Operations on +44 (0)161 275 2063.

Six strategic questions about the Student Experience in 2019 | AUA Blog

Dr Andrew West AUA Consulting Managing Consultant shares 6 strategic questions about the student experience which universities are grappling with in 2019 and offers some reflections about how institutions, teams and individuals might respond to these challenges

Student mental health as a policy issue | AUA Blog

Dr Andrew West AUA Managing Consultant shares his view of the importance of a strategic approach in student services

“Transformation” in higher education | AUA Blog

Dr Andrew West shares the themes of transformation change he has experienced in recent engagements as a consultant in higher education

Counting chickens before the horse bolts | AUA Blog

Kate Dodd, AUA Lead Consultant explains how strategic use of management information to monitor how effectively your university is improving graduate employment outcomes

Contact us | how can we help you?

If you’d like to find out how AUA Consulting can help your organisation or are interested in becoming a consultant for the AUA, email  consulting@aua.ac.uk, or if you would like to have a conversation, call +44 (0)161 275 2063.