2017 Autumn conference

City Hall, Cardiff

Thursday 23 November 2017

9 : 30AM to 5 : 00PM


Autumn conference

This event is tailored for HE professionals who want to build their knowledge and develop their personal skillset to sustain and empower themselves and others through the transition triggered by Brexit. You will acquire tools to help you develop your own resilience to major change and learn a variety of strategies to help you lead and support others through the shifting landscape of HE.

With an outstanding array of speakers from across the sector, addressing topics such as “Brexit, universities and their future sustainability”“Building personal resilience” and “Leading change together”, this training and development day will not only discuss how Brexit is shaping the HE landscape, but explore how the major changes we will encounter can be approached and addressed on an institutional and individual level.

The details

Thursday, 23 November | 09:30 to 17:00 | City Hall, Cardiff | Members: £230+VAT | Non members: £295+VAT

Who is it for?

If you are a professional working in HE who wants to build your knowledge and develop your personal toolkit to sustain and empower yourself and others through Brexit then this is the event for you.

What will I learn?

– You’ll find out about different perspectives and updates from across the sector and nations on how Brexit landscape is shaping their approaches

– You’ll acquire tools to help you develop your own resilience to major change

– You’ll  find tools and learn about other strategies to help you lead and support others through the changing landscape



Opening plenary: Professor Steven West

This session will cover the role of universities post-Brexit; what universities have delivered to date, what they still need to achieve and some of the challenges and opportunities ahead. The session will also feature how this might be delivered and the role of the professional administrator during this.


Working session one

Critical changes in HE in Wales and how to engage with them | Gemma Long

This session will develop participants’ understanding of the context in which they’re working and how to engage with sector level processes. You will learn how to identify the challenges and opportunities ahead and how to capitalise on them, which will help you develop your competencies in finding solutions, embracing change, engaging with the wider context, and working together.


Brexit, universities and their future stability | Hugh Jones

In this session we will look at the different focuses of universities in the UK, and think through how Brexit will affect them. There’ll be the opportunity for questions and discussion. You will leave with a better understanding of how your university works, how Brexit may affect it and what you can do to ensure that however hard or soft Brexit might turn out to be, you are prepared!


Building personal resilience: an introduction | Jan Shine and John Ryan

Personal resilience is one of the key attributes that will help us embrace the uncertainty ahead and sustain professional services excellence. This session will explore definitions of the term ‘resilience’ and some myths that surround it. It will explore some of the capabilities associated with personal resilience, and offer an introduction to some of the strategies that may be used to develop our capacity to be more resilient.


International travel will blow your mind | Heather Moyes

The 2017 AUA Study Tour visited both Switzerland and Germany. Over the course of a whistle-stop tour that took in six cities in five days, the group investigated the following key factors; the impact of Big Data on planning in universities; the development of student learning experience; approaches to supporting doctoral students and research capabilities; regional convergence and divergence in national higher education systems; Brexit and the future of international cooperation in higher education.

In this session, we will aim to not only share our findings, but also look in the mirror and analyse the state of the UK HE sector today and how it compares to its European counterparts.


Plenary two | Dr Joanna Newman


Working session two

How can we embed equitable practice and promote values for success in post Brexit higher education? |

Annette Hay, Gus Johns, Rosella Brennan

This session will discuss some key challenges for Professional Service staff in HE in the post Brexit environment including, how Brexit may influence departments and staff at an individual level, how Brexit may impact on the experience of international students and staff, what practical actions can be taken to address the changes that are coming, and how to promote the positive changes as a result of Brexit.


Leading Change Together | Nick Allen

The Leading Change Together project, funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, gathered the views of senior leaders, academics and member of the professional services across the UK. Despite great variety and variability in how the UK HE sector is responding to ongoing major changes, some key aspects of change management and leadership are evident. This session will outline the key findings from the survey, interviews and focus groups with the aim to share what the project team has learnt about leadership, change and working between stakeholders in higher education with a view to support the sector in delineating and implementing good practice.


Workplace health matters | James Craig

What impact is Brexit having on you and your workplace? Whether your role is directly affected by Brexit, or not, there are likely to be stresses and strains. This will be a workshop session will discuss a number of these stresses and how we can address them, with considerable opportunity for sharing experiences and best practice in small groups within a safe, confidential environment.


What does Brexit mean for students? | Mike Day




Who will be speaking?


Professor Steve West,  Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England

Plenary speaker

Professor Steve West took up the post of Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England Bristol in 2008. He is currently a non executive director for the Higher Education Funding Council for England, from July 2017 to April 2018 he will also sit on the Office for Students (OfS) Shadow Board.  When HEFCE is replaced by the OfS in April 2018, he will continue to serve as a non executive director for the OfS.



Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General, ACU

Plenary speaker

Dr Joanna Newman is Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU. Joanna is also a senior research fellow in the History Faculty at King’s and an honorary research fellow at the University of Southampton and has taught history at University College London and the University of Warwick. In 2014, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her work promoting British higher education internationally.



Jan Shine, People Development Consultant 

Jan Shine is a Fellow of the AUA and is an experienced people developer, manager, coach and HR specialist. Her wealth of experience in HE has been gained through a successful professional services career and in the last 10 years as an HE consultant. Jan contributed to the development of the AUA’s Professional Behaviours Framework, and has been the lead consultant supporting its implementation across the sector. Jan is also a member of the Mark of Excellence team as both adviser and assessor.



John Ryan, Mark of Excellence Programme Lead and Former Trustee

John Ryan worked in higher education management and administration for 36 years, holding a variety of positions at four institutions – Wolverhampton, Birmingham, BCU and Worcester. John is a Fellow and past chair of the AUA, and remains active in the Association. He is currently vice chair of the Board of Studies for its NTU validated PgCert in Higher Education Leadership and Management, and Programme Lead for the Association’s Mark of Excellence in the application of the AUA CPD Framework. John maintains a connection with the sector through his work with the AUA, and as a key associate of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE).



Hugh Jones, Senior Consultant

Hugh Jones is a management consultant; www.hughjonesconsulting.co.uk, supporting universities and other organisations within the higher education sector. He has spent his career in university administration and management, in universities in London and Wales, and is a Fellow of the AUA. He works with a wide variety of universities on organisational design, service reviews, governance and quality assurance issues. Some people say that his blog – Sweeping Leaves – is occasionally interesting.



Gemma Long, Quality Specialist and Lead for Wales

Gemma Long currently works a dual role as QAA’s Lead for Wales and an international quality specialist. Responsible for the development, management and oversight of QAA’s activities in Wales, she has developed QAA’s latest review method, Quality Enhancement Review, in consultation with the Welsh sector. Her international portfolio includes the development of oversight of QAA’s International Quality Review and other overseas commercial contracts.



Annette Hay, Senior Research Delivery Support Partner

Annette Hay is the Senior Research Delivery Support Partner for Trusts and Foundations at Coventry University. As well as providing strategic support and advice for research project delivery Annette supports the universities drive for excellent and impactful research by building strategic and meaningful relationships on a local and global scale. Annette has facilitated international working by participating in a number of inward and outward visits, events and activities with colleagues from a growing number of countries, including USA, Thailand, Ghana and South Africa. Annette is keen to promote all forms of diversity, equality and inclusion and has a particular interest in Race Equality in Higher Education.



Professor Gus John, Visiting Professor

Gus John is Visiting Professor at Coventry University (attached to the Vice Chancellor’s Office). He has worked with governments in West, South and North Africa, helping to develop strategies for meeting the Millennium Development Goals, with specific emphasis on education (especially improving access to education for girls) and youth development. He chaired the Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Working Group as part of the Legal Education and Training Review, which was published in 2013. He is Patron of the Communities Empowerment Network, a charity that provides advocacy and representation for excluded students and their families. He is an adviser to the Methodist Church and the Church of England on Equality and Human Rights.



James Craig, Writer and Speaker 

In 2016, James took early retirement from the University of Leeds after nearly 28 years in a variety of roles: departmental administration; project management; financial and management accounts; conference organisations; and staff development facilitator. AUA Staff Development Committee in the 1990s; Branch Coordinator; first Yorkshire Regional Coordinator. James enjoys giving talks and writing on such topics as Emotional Intelligence (Good Practice Guide no 40). He has a very keen interest in mental health and the workings of the brain, linked to a keen awareness of organisational development. In retirement, apart from writing, he is a keen cycling campaigner, volunteer with various organisations including the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, and enjoys composing classical music.



Nick Allen, Executive Officer

Nick is Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor at The University of Northampton. In this role, Nick works with the Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer to support strategic planning and risk management processes. He is also supporting the University’s planned new Waterside Campus development which will open in 2018. He was most recently part of an LFHE funded project team, Leading Change Together, exploring leadership and change in higher education.  Nick is a Joint Association of University Administrators (AUA) Regional Coordinator for the Midlands, a graduate of the AUA PgCert, an active PgCert mentor and is a former Chair of the PgCert Board of Study and a former AUA Trustee.


What Professional Behaviours will I develop?

This event will incorporate all of the AUA Professional Behaviours

Sponsors and exhibitors

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