Aspiring Academic Registrars

Hilton London Euston

Friday 20 April 2018

9 : 15AM to 4 : 00PM


Friday, 20 April 2018 | 9:15 to 16:00 | London | Member: £350+VAT | Non member: £425+VAT

The details

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 the session, you will have an understanding of :

  • the role of Academic Registrar
  • how to manage experts when you’re not an expert
  • how to manage key relationships in complex organisations
  • what recruitment consultants and senior management teams are looking for
Who will be speaking?

Wendy Appleby, Registrar, UCL

Cathy Lambert, Director of Planning & Academic Administration, Canterbury Christ Church University 

Cathy Lambert joined the Senior Management Team at Canterbury Christ Church University as the Director of Planning & Academic Administration in January 2017 where she is the strategic lead for all aspects of planning and academic administration. She was previously Director of Student & Academic Services at Edinburgh Napier University where she led student facing services from initial enquiry through to graduation and beyond.

In her role, Cathy is responsible for aligning core functions to the University’s strategic ambitions including:

  • strategic and statutory planning
  • management information and reporting
  • academic administration
  • student record systems
  • student-related processes such as assessment and examinations, graduations and timetabling.

As well as delivering core administrative services to students and staff, Cathy is currently leading key University strategic change projects including:

  • a major restructuring programme to align Faculty administration and Registry services
  • a review of academic administrative processes
  • student attendance monitoring
  • smartcards

Cathy is an active member of the Academic Registrars Council and serves on the national ARC Executive as the professional development lead.

Emma Potts, Academic Registrar, University of Oxford 

Emma Potts is Academic Registrar at the University of Oxford, having previously been in a number of other roles, including Director of Student Administration and Services since arriving at Oxford in September 2006.  Prior to that, she developed her career in University administration at University College London, specialising in examination administration, student systems development and process review.

Emma is responsible for providing leadership and coordination across Oxford in the development of student-related services and operations and for managing the Academic Administration Division (AAD). She has overall responsibility for the following areas: AAD Administration and Communications, Careers Service, Language Centre, Oxford Learning Institute, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, Graduate Admissions, Education Policy Support, Sport, Student Affairs (including Fees and Funding), Student Registry, Student Systems and Student Welfare and Support Services  She also oversees the management of the Examination Schools building, a Grade II listed building on the High Street, which provides space for teaching activities during term-time, houses the majority of University examinations during Trinity term and functions as a conference venue largely outside these times.

Emma holds a MusB degree from the University of Manchester, is Chair of the Academic Registrars’ Council and is the University member representative for SUMS Consulting.

Sharon Harrison-Barker, Academic Registrar, University of Hertfordshire

Sharon Harrison-Barker is the Academic Registrar at the University of Hertfordshire.  She has worked in the Higher and Further Education sector for 25 years. She graduated with an MBA in Higher Education Management from the University of London.  Hertfordshire has 25,000 students, with 10 Schools of Study.  The Academic Registry at Hertfordshire is a large multi-functional department with 180 staff.  Sharon’s current remit includes; Admissions and Student Records, Academic Quality, Degree Apprenticeships, Student Finance, Residential Allocations, International Student Support, Student System Development, Student Data Management Information,  Collaborative Partnerships, Exams and Graduation Ceremonies.  She also has an overview of the administration within the University’s School structure.


Jim Irving, Academic Registrar, York St John University 

Jim has been Academic Registrar at York St John University since April 2017, with responsibility for student and academic administrative services provided through Registry and the School Administration Unit. These services include academic quality support, enrolment, student records management, research student support, timetabling, graduation, data quality management, student system development, academic governance, and programme administration. Before his current role, Jim was Deputy Academic Registrar and Director of Student Services at the University of York for four years.  Whilst there, he was responsible for a portfolio of services that included student records management, enrolment, visa compliance, examinations and assessment, graduation, research student support, data management, international student support, student advice, student financial support, and student systems development. Throughout his time at both universities in York, Jim has led a series of projects relating to the development of digital student services, ongoing process review and enhancement, and values-led organisational development.

Before moving to York, Jim was Faculty Education Manager for the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the University of Southampton, where he’d also previously held roles leading timetabling and curriculum data management. Prior to this, Jim held administrative roles at Imperial College London, and the University of Portsmouth.

Jim was educated at the universities of Portsmouth and Southampton obtaining, respectively, a degree in English Literature and an MA in Film. Originally from Kent, Jim spent over a decade living and working on the south coast, before relocating to Yorkshire in 2013.

Kerry Shepherd, Search Consultant, Minerva Search 

I am an experienced search consultant. Between 2004 and 2013, I worked my way up from a researcher to a consultant in the Education and Social Enterprise practice at Heidrick and Struggles. In 2013, I co-founded Minerva, a boutique headhunting firm. We focus primarily on the HE sector but also serve clients in the broader Education, Global Development, and Arts and Charity sectors. I specialise in leading searches to fill senior academic and non-academic leadership positions for a wide range of HE institutions.   We also look for senior professionals for non-executive roles in the sector.

What professional behaviours will I develop?