Aspiring Academic Registrars

Radisson Blu, Edinburgh

AUA Member £350+VAT | Non-member £425+VAT

9.15 to 16.00

Thursday, 8 June 2023

About this Event

This one day workshop is an opportunity to gain insights into the role of Academic Registrar from those in the role, and an opportunity to explore some current key challenges and expectations. You will learn more about how to manage experts and specialists outside your own knowledge base; about the day to day realities of the role, and gain insight into the key relationships within complex organisations. An external recruitment consultant will share hints and tips on the most successful approaches to secure this type of role.

Who is it for?

This event is relevant to Deputy Academic Registrars who may be looking to progress in the next two years, or senior administrators considering moving into an Academic Registrar role in the future. You will find it relevant if you work in either a central or Faculty/School HE role.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this session, delegates will be able to:

1. Have an understanding of the role of Academic Registrar

2. How to manage experts when you’re not an expert

3. How to manage key relationships in complex organisations

4. What recruitment consultants and senior management teams are looking for

Interested in becoming an AUA Member? Find out more and how to join here.

Details in brief

Location: Radisson Blu, Edinburgh

Date: 8 June 2023

Time: 9:15 to 16.00

Fees: Member £350+VAT | Non-member £425+VAT

If you wish to pay by invoice you will need provide a valid PO number within 14 days of receiving your booking confirmation email. If you fail to provide a valid PO number, your booking will be cancelled and you may be required to rebook at a non discounted rate.  You can send your valid PO number along with your invoice number to


Lesley O’Keefe

Registrar and Professional Development Lead

Brunel University London Professional Development Lead for ARC

About Lesley

Lesley O’Keeffe is Registrar at Brunel University London, and Professional Development Lead for the Academic Registrars Council (ARC).

Lesley studied for her BSc(Hons) in Mathematics at Loughborough University. She later completed the AUA PGCertificate in University Administration, before returning to Loughborough to complete her PGDiploma in Management and Leadership in 2013.

Lesley’s early career was at Swansea University where she managed the student accommodation. Firstly, the on-campus accommodation, and then progressing to be responsible for all university managed accommodation across four sites.

Lesley joined Brunel in 2008 where she was appointed to open a 1600 bed residences complex. Four years later she took the opportunity to move internally to join the Student Services team. From this point, Lesley has secured new roles and worked her way from being Student Services Manager, to Deputy Head Student Services, to Head of Student Services, to Assistant Director Student Services and then to Deputy Director Academic and Student Services.

Lesley started her current role in June 2020 as Registrar. Her role gives her responsibility for Student Services, Academic Services, Business Support, Library Services, Academic Skills team and the Apprenticeship hub. Additionally, she is Secretary to Senate and Designated Safeguarding Lead for the University.

Lesley is a keen to support other colleagues throughout their careers. She mentors’ colleagues, and has done so for a number of years, and joined ARC as Professional Development Lead in September 2022.

Chris Hulse

Director of Registry and Academic Affairs

University of Nottingham
Conference Coordinator for ARC

About Chris

Chris is Director of Registry and Academic Affairs at the University of Nottingham. Registry and Academic Affairs are responsible for all aspects of the student journey from registration to graduation, including module enrolment; visas and immigration; timetabling; assessments; partnerships, placements, and mobility; postgraduate research support; complaints and conduct; curriculum management; student fees and funding.  Registry and Academic Affairs provide student facing services via six Student Service Centres and online. 

Chris joined the University in 2009 and was previously School Manager in two Schools (Medicine and Health Sciences).  Before joining the University Chris worked in the NHS supporting the Chief Executive and Board of Directors of an NHS Trust in the West Midlands in a governance role.  Earlier in his career Chris worked in a variety of roles in Students’ Unions in Winchester, Derby and Leicester.

Julie Kelly

University of Hertfordshire

Academic Registrar
Chair Admissions Practitioner Group for ARC

Julie Kelly is Academic Registrar at the University of Hertfordshire and Chair of the Academic Registrars Council Practitioner Group.

Julie holds a professional degree in Banking which she obtained while working in the City in 1992. She later completed an MBA in 2012 while working for the Open University.   

Julie’s early career was in Financial Services, but moved across to HE after being made redundant, starting with a fixed term resource planning role at the Open University.  She stayed at the OU for 6 years undertaking a number of roles, including management of the large Financial Support Office where she was responsible for dispersing the OU’s student financial support fund.  

Julie joined Hertfordshire in 2013 where she was appointed to be the Head of the Student Centre, a “one stop shop” for student enquiries which also had responsibility for student finance, admission, registration and international student support.  Within a year she moved the team to a new building where the team joined the remaining student facing services (i.e. wellbeing, careers, student union) to open a new Student Hub. 

Julie was appointed as Academic Registrar in February 2020 and was responsible for a major restructure in June of the same year where all school-based school administration joined the Registry team.  The role has responsibility for the Student Information Service, 4 x Student Hubs across campus, Student Administration, Academic Quality, Exams, Graduation, Collaborative Partnerships, Doctoral College, Student Information & Planning.

Julie is an avid networker and passionate about helping colleagues to advance their careers.  She joined ARC as the Admissions Practitioner Chair in 2021.

Emma Wilkins

Executive Search Consultant

Dixon Water

Emma works within the Higher Education team at Dixon Water as an Executive Search Consultant. She joined them in early 2020 after spending almost 25 years in the university sector.

Having worked at a number of universities across her career, including Winchester, Warwick and York St John, Emma is a Human Resources professional by background.

She has worked at Executive Board level and latterly in her career in higher education led Student Services, Facilities and Front of House services as well as HR. 

Given her career, Emma brings a wealth of experience and breadth of knowledge of the higher education sector to her role as an Executive Search Consultant.  

In her time at Dixon Walter, she has led a number of successful recruitment campaigns for senior Registry and Academic Services positions.

What to expect from
Aspiring Academic Registrars:

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