Engaging with the Wider Context

The behaviour ‘engaging with the wider context’ is all about how understanding the bigger picture can help you to better contribute to your role and your organisation. Becoming an AUA member is the first step to developing this behaviour, as it enables you to join a nationwide network of peers from many different institutions and roles. However, the ways the AUA can help you to develop this behaviour do not stop here, so whether you are looking to learn about a different career path, or you are interested in how HEIs function across the world, we are here to help.

Our international study tours are a longstanding AUA member offer and one we’re very proud of. Each year our International Higher Education Network organises a study tour to another country and the AUA provides financial support to subsidise each tour, to make it a possibility for members. The study tours offer you a unique opportunity to gain an insight into global higher education, benefitting your professional practice and your institution. Although we are unable to plan a study tour for this year, two took place in 2019, you can read the report from the latest study tour trip to find out what the group learnt about HE in Japan along with the report from a trip to the USA .

The AUA Career Stories are another great resource we offer our members to help you engage with the wider context. This resource is particularly helpful if you’re interested in learning about others’ career paths and how they have reached positions that you may aspire to. Similarly, if you would like to share your own career own career trajectory and the different roles you have held, then perhaps you might like to consider writing a Career Story yourself. It’s a good way to give back to the community and to reflect on your own development and successes.

Of course, engaging with the wider context does not just mean looking to practices overseas or to learning about different career paths; it also refers to looking at your current role and situation from a different perspective. A student on our current PgCert cohort has written a thoughtful blog on how her studies have helped her to take a more global view of the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on her work, considering not only her own perspective and how her role has been impacted but also having empathy for students and the additional stresses that this situation has created for them.

While no means exhaustive, hopefully this brief overview of several of the resources offered by the AUA which link to the ‘engaging with the wider context’ behaviour will have sparked your interest and inspired you to further explore the activities and resources we have available. From regional network events to our member forums there are plenty of other resources to discover that will help you take in the bigger picture and start contributing to your role and organisation in even better ways.

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