Introduction to Higher Education

This online webinar will take place via Zoom.

AUA Member £45+VAT | Non-member £95+VAT

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

09.30 to 13.00

About this Event

We’ve adapted our popular Introduction to Higher Education event to be delivered as a webinar.

Keeping up with the changes in higher education is almost a full-time job, but engaging with the wider context and understanding the bigger picture is important if you are going to maximise the contribution you make to your organisation. This introduction to UK higher education provides you with an overview of the sector. A brief look back at the historical developments lays the foundation on which to explore the more recent changes and the current influences and their impact. We will outline how political, economic, social and academic considerations impact higher education, and you will be encouraged to reflect on how your own role and institution contributes to, and is influenced by, these external factors.

Join the conversation using our hashtag #Intro2HE.

Ideal for

This event is essential for all HE professionals. As a new entrant to the sector you will gain a thorough introduction to HE and as a current HE professionals you will deepen your knowledge allowing you to move your career forward.

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

Details in brief

Location: Online via Zoom

Date: 30/11/2021

Start time: 09:30

End time: 13:00

Fees: Member £45+VAT | Non-member £95+VAT



Matthew Andrews

University of Gloucestershire

University Secretary and Registrar

Matthew is University Secretary and Registrar at the University of Gloucestershire. Prior to that he was Academic Registrar and Director of Academic and Student Affairs at Oxford Brookes University. He started his career at Durham University where he held various posts including Director of the Graduate School and Director of Undergraduate Recruitment, and was a personal tutor at Hatfield College. Matthew holds degrees in Philosophy and Theology, Seventeenth Century Philosophy, and Social Research. In addition, he obtained his doctorate from Oxford University after researching higher education in the nineteenth century. Matthew is a long-standing member and Fellow of the AUA, having supported the work of the Association in numerous guises including as Chair for 2012-14. He is a member of the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA) and sits on a number of national HE groups, including the UCAS Council. His interest in contemporary higher education policy and practice includes serving as a member of the editorial board for three professional journals in the UK, USA, and Australia.

Kenton Lewis

Kenton Lewis Associates

Director and Principal Consultant

Kenton is an educational sociologist and an experienced manager, trainer and executive coach; his coaching client list includes middle and senior managers from across Higher Education. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Kenton worked for 18 years in higher education administration, management, leadership and governance. He has been a Trustee at the AUA, is a founding member and Trustee of The Bride Group (an independent, charitable social mobility policy association), and is a Lay Observer for the Ministry of Justice (PECS). Kenton holds Fellowship of the AUA, CMI and RSA, and is a Principal Fellow of the HEA. He has won multiple national and international awards for innovation in higher education, including the Lord Mayor of London Dragon Award, two e-Learning Age Awards, and the Guardian Public Service Award. He was recognised in the 2014 New Year Honours with an MBE for services to higher education.

Vikki Goddard

University of Manchester

Director of Operations (Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health) and AUA Trustee

Vikki Goddard is the Director of Faculty Operations (Biology, Medicine and Health) at the University of Manchester. She is responsible for the contribution of Professional Services to achieving the Faculty’s strategy, and for advising and supporting the Dean and Executive. Before taking on this role she was the Director of Operations for the Faculty of Humanities. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer at the University of Salford. As Head of the University’s Administration she was responsible for ensuring that the Professional Services provide an excellent support for all the University’s activities and play a key role in achieving objectives.


The higher education sector is not now nor has it ever been homogenous. Understanding this context puts the current sector into a sharper focus. The session therefore starts with a look into the historical development of higher education throughout the United Kingdom from the 11th Century to the present day.

Further information about how key developments in the sector, such as external examining and the classification system, arose and how these developments informed and continue to inform debates within the sector (whether or not the historical antecedents to current discussions are recognised).

Commentary on the current political view of the higher education sector and thoughts on the future.

Understanding what is meant by ‘higher educational sector’: the structure and organisation of the contemporary sector, including the role of providers of higher education, professional bodies, statutory organisations, and government. Current issues affecting the sector, and the forces shaping the agenda of governing bodies.

The changing financial environment: an overview of from where HEIs get their funds, and a review of funding and the impact of changes over recent years. Current issues and changing financial strategy in the sector.

Locating professional services functions in the broader context of Higher Education activity; starting to define who ‘we’ are.

An exploration of professionalism and the professional identity of professional services and managerial staff; addressing questions of what our professional identity is, could be and/or should be, as well as the extent to which our professional identity is fixed.

This final session will be interactive, with delegates debating and comparing. Instructions for the balloon debate will be sent to you closer to the event.

Full agenda with timings.

[back to top]

Got a question?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.