AUA Conference 2022 | It’s a wrap!

We are back! We delivered our first in-person annual conference since the 2019 AUA Annual Conference. We are thankful to be with you all again; there were so many highlights! Over the two days, there was a real buzz in the air. New connections were made, and best practice was shared and celebrated. Higher education continues to evolve, and at times it can feel hard to keep up, but judging by the engagement and contribution of delegates at AUA2022, AUA members are working together and embracing the new challenges they face, finding the opportunities in change as they go.

Over the next few weeks, we shall report back in detail, but here is a round-up of some top moments.

The Networking Buzz!

This may be no surprise, but being with our community was the highlight of the conference. From registration to Gala Dinner, the networking that happened was clear for all to see. Can you spot yourself networking in the images below?

3 people networking people networking woman smiling

AUA Awards

We love the AUA Awards!  So many members make the AUA possible, at the last count over 290 members volunteer to help us deliver the benefits of membership.  The AUA Awards are a chance for us to say thank you and recognise the amazing contribution members make.

Member of the Year

the 2022 Member of the Year was Mita Mondal, University of Kent. The panel noted that she has undertaken her role as South regional network coordinator with collaboration and positivity in mind. There was evidence of her commitment to her profession, her own development and inspiring others. Mita has embraced online delivery to keep engagement high, and been proactive in promoting the benefits of membership.

Lucy Johnson, University of Warwick

Network of the Year

Student Experience and Engagement were crowned as this year’s Network of the Year! The panel described the network as active, engaging and innovative, promoting professional development and the AUA as a whole. This has included tailored events, such as their regular coffee break sessions. They have also produced varied communications to benefit its members, such as an interview series with network members and articles highlighting relevant events.

Governance themed network
Newcastle University Branch Advocates Team

Lifetime Achievement Award

This year we were delighted to present our Lifetime Achievement Award to Hugh Jones. Hugh Jones has work tirelessly for more than 20 years supporting, developing and leading colleagues in the UK higher education sector. Through his numerous institutional roles across England and Wales, he has brought his unifying approach to countless endeavours. Those who have worked with him are familiar with Hugh’s cheerful, generous spirit and his wealth of knowledge about our sector. Hugh has worked with a wide range of institutions including University of London, City University London, Goldsmith’s, St. George and Cardiff. He has helped shaped the AUA and what it is today by dedicating endless amounts of time and effort, whilst also supporting the development of rising sector stars as course leader for the AUA’s PgCert in HE Administration, Management and Leadership. His commitment to the HE sector is exceptional and is worthy of special recognition.

AUA Award winner

AUA Executive Director, Colin Ferguson presents an award to Mita Mondal


PgCert Graduation

PgCert Awards

Our 2022 PgCert Graduates, with Jane Reid and High Jones from the AUA

It is always a highlight to see our members graduate from the AUA PgCert in Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership, and this year was no different.  Congratulations to…

Charlotte Bonner-Evans, Cardiff University | Amanda Brawley, Glasgow Caledonian University | Emma Chatten, The University of Sheffield | Helen Cherry, Oxford Brookes University | Jessica Chilton, University of Nottingham| Rubi Diaz, Cardiff University | David Markham, University of Sheffield| Gillian McArthur, University of Strathclyde| David Meech Mazumdar, London School of Economics and Political Science | Sol Miah, University of Cambridge| Lisa Mitchell, Robert Gordon University | Louise Ann Mounteney, Nottingham Trent University| Sheela Patel, St Mary’s University | James Andrew Pegg, Leeds Trinity University | Karen Robb, Newcastle University | Sean Rowlatt, London South Bank University | Judith Simpson, University of Leeds | Helen Smith, University of Suffolk | Tracey Dawn Stenson Jukes, University of Bath| Jolie Swain, Birmingham City University | Louise Jayne Tomenson, University of Leeds | Neil Richard Turner, University of Bradford| Jan Vicary, University of Liverpool | Victoria Williams, Cardiff University | Laura Yetton, University of Warwick.


Inspiring speakers

James Newby's plenary

James Newby, NMITE, delivering the opening plenary

We are really proud of the programme we put together and very grateful for the plenary, keynote, panellists and workshop presenters who shared their perspectives, knowledge and enthusiasm for higher education.

You can see what our members said about the sessions they attended on our Twitter feed and watch our session tasters here:


Not forgetting….we made some exciting announcements

1. Our Executive Director, Colin Ferguson, announced that he and the AUA team are leading a strategy review. There will be opportunities for members to contribute to the development of the refreshed AUA strategy

2.  And finally, the 2022 Autumn Conference will be held online on 17 November. This year’s focus is: Putting professional staff at the heart of digital excellence in HE. The call for proposals is live on our website…we look forward to receiving your submissions!

Oh, and the rumours you may have heard about the conga at the Gala Dinner are true!

Delegates doing the conga

The infamous Gala Dinner Conga!

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