Amanda Oliver, AUA Chair

Director of College Operations

Brunel University

This month I’m delighted to announce AUA is launching a new 1-1 Coaching service, complementing our many other activities designed to support development for HE professionals. 

We have assembled an impressive team of qualified coaches with extensive experience of supporting personal, professional and career development.  As you would expect, alongside their coaching expertise, AUA’s team of coaches bring a depth of HE sector understanding and experience.  

How can coaching help?

Through coaching individuals are supported to improve their performance and develop skills to overcome obstacles, achieve goals and deliver excellent outcomes. Coaching is non- directive, using questioning and listening techniques. It aims to unlock an individual’s full potential, helping them to find their own solutions and develop their confidence.

Coaching can be valuable in many situations, bringing a range of benefits to maximize personal and professional potential. Coaching partnerships typically focus on personal/leadership and career development, including exploring points of career transition, positioning yourself for future opportunities, support for CVs, applications and interview preparation, raising self-awareness to guide life and career choices, learning to better utilise your skills and experiences, and developing a healthy life balance, among other developmental topics. 

As we launch the new coaching service, we want to highlight some of the benefits in the words of existing AUA members and drawing on their own personal experience: 

I can honestly say that my experience of 1-1 coaching was the most effective development activity I have ever undertaken over a 30 year career in higher education.  I particularly appreciated the dedicated focus specifically on me and my development needs: a truly tailored approach with a powerful impact on my professional practice.

Andrew West, former University Secretary, University of Sheffield

For me, the powerful thing about coaching is that it gave me the space to cut out life’s distractions and to focus on myself. It challenged me to be honest with myself which enabled me to think about what I wanted to achieve. It helped me to make key decisions with confidence which has had a positive impact on in my career and life-work balance.

Kathy Murray, Director of Operations, AUA

My experience of being coached transformed my ability to undertake my role.  Challenging, sometimes uncomfortable but always immensely helpful, my coach enabled me to reflect on my style and working methods to support me to succeed in a high-pressure environment.  The opportunity to work with someone one-to-one in this way is an amazing privilege and one I would encourage everyone to take part in.

Vikki Goddard, Director of Operations (Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health), The University of Manchester

Coaching with the AUA will operate as part of AUA Consulting.  You can find out more at

Coming soon….AUA Mentoring

AUA is developing a new mentoring service which will be launched in early 2021 for AUA members. Mentoring is more directive than coaching, often providing specific advice based on the mentor’s own experience. The mentor will typically be more experienced and knowledgeable than the mentee – imparting insight and offering solutions and guidance based on what they have learned and seen in the past. More information will be available in the New Year.

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