2017 Transformation


Friday 24 November 2017

9 : 00AM to 4 : 00PM


2017 Transformation

Friday, 24 November 2017 | 9:00 to 16:00 | Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh

Member: £100 +VAT | Non member: £200 +VAT


The details

The first one-day network conference delivered by the Departmental Administrators Network will welcome colleagues from across the UK who work in Faculty, School and Departmental Administration.  The day will provide a varied programme designed to allow you to engage with, and reflect on, current issues in higher education and how they impact on professional services staff.

The conference will focus on the AUA’s 2017 Conference theme of ‘Transformation’ as a mechanism for exploring current issues in the sector and will aim to enable delegates to better understand their role within the wider institution and HE sector as a whole and to empower colleagues working in this area to bring about transformative change within their own area of responsibility.

The day will also provide excellent opportunities for networking and sharing best practice in pleasant, historic surrounds in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.

Who is it for?

The conference is aimed at anyone currently working in a professional services role in a Faculty, School or Departmental context in the UK higher education sector or to anyone aspiring to move into a role in this area.

Event sessions

Mr. John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills

John will speak on higher education policy in Scotland, with the full details of the session to follow.

Professor Katherine Hawley

Building Trust and Setting Boundaries

We’d all like to work with people we trust, and for others to regard us as trustworthy.  But too much trust can be overwhelming, and misplaced trust can be dangerous.

Professor Katherine Hawley will explore the role of trust and distrust in workplace relationships, showing how trustworthiness sometimes means saying ‘no’.


Professor Brad Mackay

Beyond Brexit: Post-EU Scenarios for UK and Scottish Higher Education

Professor Brad Mackay will explore some of the critical uncertainties posed by Brexit and how they might shape the international competitiveness of the sector in the future.


Professor Sally Mapstone

Lighting the Beacons – the Importance of Being Visibly Inclusive

At its best, education is a transformative experience that opens up new opportunities, intellectually, culturally, physically, and professionally.

Professor Sally Mapstone will speak about the importance of being visibly inclusive, and about what St Andrews is doing to embed fair access, equality of opportunity, and excellence for all students, whatever their backgrounds.


Dr Veena O’Halloran

Strathclyde’s Distinctive Approach to Enhancing Students’ Experience

The University of Strathclyde is committed to providing access to people from the widest possible range of backgrounds. Our approach is both distinctive and successful, and encompasses all aspects of under-representation, with the aim of removing obstacles and encouraging achievement by making HE attainable for all sections of society: care experienced and young carers, estranged students, asylum seekers and refugees, adult returners, mature students, FE entrants, those from other under-represented groups.

In her presentation Dr O’Halloran will share with the network a range of initiatives at the University of Strathclyde, designed to enhance the experience of under-represented groups and demonstrate the University’s core values.

What Professional Behaviours will I develop?








Who will be speaking?

John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

John is a member of the SNP Scottish Government and was the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth from 2007-2014. In November 2014 John Swinney was appointed as Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and the Economy.

After the Scottish Parliament election on 5th May 2016 John Swinney was re-appointed as the Deputy First Minister and is now the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.


Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of St Andrews

Sally Mapstone became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews in September 2016. Her academic career before that was spent at the University of Oxford, where she read English Language and Literature and where she gained her doctorate on Older Scots literature.

She most recently served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education (2011-2016), and was also Professor of Older Scots Literature in the Faculty of English Language and Literature. She was a Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel and Equality at Oxford, and maintains a strong interest in equality issues.


Professor Katherine Hawley FRSE, Professor of Philosophy, University of St Andrews

Katherine Hawley is Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. She is the author of How Things Persist (OUP 2001), and Trust: a Very Short Introduction (OUP 2012), as well as articles on various topics in metaphysics, on knowledge-how, testimony, and (dis)trust.

She was Henry Sidgwick Research Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, before taking up a lectureship at St Andrews in 1999.  She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2016.


Professor Brad Mackay, Professor of Strategy and incoming Vice Principal for International Strategy and External Relations, University of St Andrews

Brad MacKay is Professor of Strategy in the University of St Andrews School of Management. Formerly, he held a Chair in Strategic Management at the University of Edinburgh Business School, where he was also Director of Engagement (Associate Dean) on the Executive (2014-2016), Head of the Strategy and International Business Group (2011-2014), and Director of the MBA programmes (2009-2011). He also held an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Senior Fellowship in the Future of the UK and Scotland program (2013-2014). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).