Introduction to HE

Whatever your area or specialism or time served in the sector, this event is what you need to start or move on with your HE career.


Introduction to HE is one of our core events.  We believe it is an essential piece of kit for all HE professionals, so if you’re new HE and looking to understand the sector you are now working in, or a time served HE professional aspiring to move forward in your career, read on… 

This event will provide you with a thorough overview of the UK higher education sector including a brief look back at the historical development of the sector before looking at more recent changes and current influences.  There is a strong emphasis on understanding 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.


Who is it 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 this event?  Why not take a look at our CPD Tools for HE Professionals event, which we normally run the following day.  You can attend both for a discounted rate.

What to expect


HE: The First 1000 Years (or so)

  • A look into the historical development of higher education throughout the United Kingdom from the 11th Century to the present day including a review of how higher education evolved differently across the United Kingdom leading to the distinctive forms of higher education that make up the sector today.  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)

HE: The Sector Today and Tomorrow

  • 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. The size, scale and scope of higher education, including the benefits to graduates and the sector’s contribution to society generally.  A look at the current issues, and the forces shaping the agenda of governing bodies and to finish some (informed!) speculation about the issues that the higher education sector will be grappling with in the medium term – and that form the context for the work undertaken by professional higher education administrators

An Introduction to HE Finances

  • Context: a look at the position and role of HEIs in the UK economy, recognising the significant part higher education plays in the overall economy
  • 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
  • Operating HEIs: covering effective use of resources and considering whether or to what extent a University should be business-like
  • Financial management: a brief explanation of tools, jargon and the financial cycle to help you understand finance in your institution and the sector
  • Current issues and changing financial strategy in the sector

The Place and Space of Administration in the Sector

  • Locating administrative functions in the broader context of Higher Education activity; starting to define who ‘we’ are
  • An exploration of professionalism and the professional identity of administrative 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
  • Unpacking, as a participant, your own professional position in the context of personal development; an opportunity for self- and peer- reflection

“The presentation style was wonderfully dynamic, quite possibly the best course session I have ever experienced.” (June 2016)

Your facilitators


The speakers for this event are not only experienced HE professionals they are enthusiastic advocates of the opportunities a career in higher education offers.  This event provides the context to the sector you work in which is an essential piece of kit for all HE professionals.

Dr Matthew Andrews, University Secretary and Registrar, University of Gloucestershire
Dr Kenton Lewis MBE, Director and Principal Consultant, Kenton Lewis Associates
Joanne Payne, Head of Professional Services Finance, University of Southampton,AUA Trustee


What AUA Behaviours will I develop?

Following participation from this event, you will be awarded 5 CPD hours.

Knowledge and skills