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AUA Consulting | The story so far

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Dr Andrew West

Dr Andrew West, FAUA has a career in HE administration and management spanning thirty years.  Formerly University Secretary at the University of Sheffield he is Strategic Adviser to the AUA and Managing Consultant for AUA Consulting.  Andrew is a member of the Board of Governors of Leeds Beckett University, an Associate of Advance HE and a Fellow of the Halpin Partnership.

At AUA’s AGM in April 2019 the Chair of AUA reported on the AUA Consulting pilot, which we have been running since January 2019.  AUA Consulting enables HE organisations to harness AUA’s expertise to drive improvement in professional services practice and performance. Our key selling point as a consulting practice is being ‘of the sector for the sector’.  Our consultants are practitioners in HE administration and management and the financial surplus derived from AUA Consulting is reinvested to support AUA’s charitable objectives –connecting and developing HE professionals – and for the benefit of our members in support of the sector. 

Reviewing the AUA Consulting pilot year as we approach the end of 2019, we’re pleased with progress so far – a positive story which has been shared regularly with our Consulting Steering Group – made up of AUA trustees and members.

  A steady stream of enquiries over recent months demonstrates the level of interest in our consulting service, with a good number of projects now completed and several live enquiries at the point of writing.  AUA Consulting is about improving professional services practice and developing professional services performance and our activities span a range of

  • service/function related projects reflecting the breadth of HE administration and management including academic administration, academic services, student services 
  • professional development-related projects aligned to AUA’s well-established CPD mission, in particular our CPD Framework for HE Professional Services.

AUA Consultants draw on an impressive depth of professional expertise – typically our consultants have 20/30+ years of directly relevant HE experience.  And of course being part of AUA, our consultant team have the backing of the association’s almost 60 years of heritage in the sector.  Consultants are based in a variety of locations in the UK.  They work individually and as part of a team – as Managing Consultant I provide oversight and quality control, with the AUA Office delivering additional support.

Clients to date represent a spread of institutions and organisations in the sector, including University of Bath, Bucks New University, Middlesex University, University of Buckingham, University College of Estate Management, AMOSSHE – the student services organisation.  I’m delighted to say that client feedback is uniformly positive.  You can read about the areas where we can offer support, and you can look at several consulting case studies, on our recently refreshed website.

In January 2020 we are moving beyond the pilot year into full operation with the enthusiastic backing of the AUA Board of Trustees.  I encourage you to spread the word among your colleagues and in your own networks about this new sector service from your professional organisation. 

As AUA Consulting develops there are also opportunities for new consultants to join us and we would be pleased to hear from current/former HE professionals who might be interested. Get in touch to find our more.

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