A tale of two countries | AUA Blog

A tale of two countries: Sharing knowledge and experiences with HEIs in the USA is a working session at the AUA Autumn Conference 2019. Here our session speakers talk about the journey that lead to this point. 

We were part of the 2019 AUA Study Tour of the United States. Over the course of two weeks, we visited fifteen universities, professional bodies, and lobby groups across five states. Most of us knew very little about Higher Education in the United States so this was an immersive introduction to the system.

In many ways it is very similar to the UK and is experiencing many of the same problems and issues. Everyone we met was very generous with their time. They were keen and enthusiastic to tell us about the particular challenges faced by their institutions and their approaches to tackling them.

We like to think our hosts learned just as much from us as we learned from them although when asked a question by our US colleagues, we invariably came up with twelve different answers! This proved just what an excellent opportunity the tour was to share knowledge with colleagues from other UK institutions. We have built relationships which will be of use to us far into the future. Working together on the various reports and presentations since we’ve returned has been another chance to learn from each other. In addition, it has also made us think more about our own roles. Sharing our experiences with colleagues back in our own institutions has given new impetus to our work and careers.

Sharon Barnes
Head of Academic Planning
Department of Management
London School of Economics & Political Science

Clare McWilliams
Academic Quality and Governance Coordinator
Student, Academic and Corporate Services
University of Stirling

Sophia Harding
Collaborative Academic Partnerships Manager
Collaborative Academic Partnerships
Staffordshire University

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