Professional Development

The AUA is the professional association for HE administrators and offers a variety of ways to enhance and advance your career: for example by means of professional qualifications, the annual conference, a range of short courses, networking and international exchange opportunities.

Regular Professional Development Bulletins are sent out by email, updating members on the range of courses and conferences available in this country and overseas.

Serving on Committees

The work of the AUA nationally is steered by a number of working committees, including a Professional Development Committee and a Conference Committee. Serving on an AUA national committee is an excellent networking opportunity which also brings with it the opportunity to influence developments within the profession at a national level. Andrew West at Sheffield University can provide further information on what is involved.

Postgraduate Certificate

aua2.jpgThe first cohort to complete the AUA's postgraduate certificate celebrated their graduation in April 2004 at the Keele conference.

Please contact aua@sheffield.ac.uk if you would like to be put in touch with other AUA members studying the award.

Photo of Tracy Hilton at AUA graduationI was very apprehensive upon starting the PG Cert as I don’t have an undergraduate degree, however, I was persuaded to do so by my line manager and I am certainly glad she encouraged me to take the challenge. The course, via its assignments, reflective exercises and portfolio helped me achieve more than I could have previously imagined.

Here follows a brief account of my personal experiences.

The away days provided an introduction to the course and guidance was given on critical thinking and reflective practices. These sessions are also a good opportunity to meet other participants and chances to network. After the away days, you are expected to manage your own study and workload. This ‘independent study’ requires motivation and dedication, maintaining momentum when life gets busy can be demanding.

The assignments are on a wide variety of topics, covering all aspects of HE policy and practice. Whilst they were challenging, they really helped me learn and understand the environment I was working in, forcing me to expand my horizons and look beyond my departmental bubble. As the assignments are only 3000 words, clarity of thought and succinct writing skills are a must.

I personally enjoyed writing the reflective assignments and the portfolio. These exercises helped me focus on my strengths and weaknesses, enabling me to examine and reflect upon my achievements and boosting my confidence.

To help you along your journey you will be allocated a mentor from a different institution. The purpose of the mentor is to question your work and help you see things from a different perspective. Personally I found my mentor to be invaluable! She really helped me to push myself by being so supportive and has since become a good friend.

Since embarking on the PG Cert I received a promotion and felt a confident sense of pride in my work. Whilst the course is not easy, you will learn a great deal, not only about the sector, but also about yourself.

Tracy Hilton

Becoming a mentor on the PG Certificate

Mentors act as a "critical friend" to support those who are registered for the AUA Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership. Becoming a mentor is a good way of getting involved in the professional development work of the AUA in a very practical way, by helping support a fellow member in their own development. Andrew West at Sheffield University can provide an insight into the work of a mentor. (Details of how to apply).