Introduction to Higher Education 2023

AHEP is proud to present a series of Introduction to Higher Education sessions, open to both AUA members and non-members!

This event is essential for all HE professionals. As a new entrant to the sector you will gain a thorough introduction to HE and as a current HE professionals you will deepen your knowledge allowing you to move your career forward.

Find out more about the dates of each session below.

About the event

Keeping up with the changes in higher education is almost a full-time job but engaging with the wider context and understanding the bigger picture is important if you are going to maximise the contribution you make to your organisation. This introduction to UK higher education provides you with an overview of the sector. A brief look back at the historical developments lays the foundation on which to explore the more recent changes and the current influences and their impact. We will outline how political, economic, social and academic considerations impact higher education, and you will be encouraged to reflect on how your own role and institution contributes to, and is influenced by, these external factors.

Session Detail

The higher education sector is not now nor has it ever been homogenous. Understanding this context puts the current sector into a sharper focus. The session therefore starts with a look into the historical development of higher education throughout the United Kingdom from the 11th Century to the present day.

Further information about how key developments in the sector, such as external examining and the classification system, arose and how these developments informed and continue to inform debates within the sector (whether or not the historical antecedents to current discussions are recognised).

Commentary on the current political view of the higher education sector and thoughts on the future.

Understanding what is meant by ‘higher educational sector’: the structure and organisation of the contemporary sector, including the role of providers of higher education, professional bodies, statutory organisations, and government. Current issues affecting the sector, and the forces shaping the agenda of governing bodies.

Locating professional services functions in the broader context of Higher Education activity; starting to define who ‘we’ are.

An exploration of professionalism and the professional identity of professional services and managerial staff; addressing questions of what our professional identity is, could be and/or should be, as well as the extent to which our professional identity is fixed.

The higher education sector can be a confusing mix of job titles, different sector organisations, and institutional structures with seemingly little consistency between institutions. In this session, delegates will be steered through a supported conversation by the speakers to share and discuss different titles and names. Queries, disagreements, and comments will all help delegates understand the sector and how it operates.

This final session will be interactive, with delegates debating and comparing. Instructions for the balloon debate will be sent to you closer to the event.

Find the date of the remaining session and book on below!

Introduction to Higher Education November 2023

Thursday 30 November 2023, 9:30 – 13:00

Join us Online Via Zoom

AHEP Member £45+VAT | Non-member £95+VAT



Matthew Andrews

University of Gloucestershire

Pro-Vice Chancellor Governance and Student Affairs

Matthew is Pro-Vice Chancellor Governance and Student Affairs at the University of Gloucestershire and has enjoyed an extensive career in university administration and leadership. Prior to moving to Gloucestershire, initially as Secretary and Registrar, Matthew was Academic Registrar and Director of Academic and Student Affairs at Oxford Brookes University. He started his career at Durham University where he held various posts including Director of the Graduate School and Director of Undergraduate Recruitment. He was a personal tutor at Hatfield College. Matthew holds degrees in Philosophy and Theology, Seventeenth Century Philosophy, and Social Research. He obtained his doctorate from Oxford University after researching higher education in the nineteenth century and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Matthew is a long-standing member and Fellow of AHEP, having supported the work of the Association in numerous guises including as Chair of the AUA for 2012-14. He is a member of the executive of the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA) and has been a member of a number of national HE groups for organisations including, amongst others, UCAS, Jisc, and the Department for Education. His interest in contemporary higher education policy and practice includes serving as a member of the editorial board for three professional journals in the UK, USA, and Australia. 

Kenton Lewis

Kenton Lewis Associates

Director and Principal Consultant

Kenton is an educational sociologist and an experienced manager, trainer and executive coach; his coaching client list includes middle and senior managers from across Higher Education. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Kenton worked for 18 years in higher education administration, management, leadership and governance. He has been a Trustee at the AUA, is a founding member and Trustee of The Bride Group (an independent, charitable social mobility policy association), and is a Lay Observer for the Ministry of Justice (PECS). Kenton holds Fellowship of AHEP, CMI and RSA, and is a Principal Fellow of the HEA. He has won multiple national and international awards for innovation in higher education, including the Lord Mayor of London Dragon Award, two e-Learning Age Awards, and the Guardian Public Service Award. He was recognised in the 2014 New Year Honours with an MBE for services to higher education.

Vikki Goddard

Higher Education Consultant and Chair of AHEP

Vikki Goddard has worked in Higher Education for almost thirty years, including as a Registrar and COO, Director of Strategic Planning, and Director of Faculty Operations.  She is passionate about enabling people to achieve their potential, and has a particular commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Her last role was as Director of Operations for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester, the largest Faculty of its type in Europe.  She previously held the same role in the Faculty of Humanities, and in both cases was responsible for the provision and performance of all Professional Services.  She was jointly responsible for the complete redesign and restructure of Teaching, Learning and Student Experience services across the University and was Professional Services champion for EDI.
Before coming to The University of Manchester, Vikki was Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Salford. As Head of the University’s Administration she was responsible for ensuring that the Professional Services provided an excellent support for all the University’s activities and led a significant reorganisation of services. She also led broader change to the University’s strategic direction and a major interface with Salford City Council on master planning for the University area.
Previously, Vikki was Director of Strategic Planning at the University of Liverpool, leading the development and implementation of strategy and planning, but also involved in a wide range of other areas including international development, quality assurance, research strategy and REF management,  data management, collaborative partnerships, and examinations.  She also led the implementation of the academic relationship with Liverpool’s joint venture partner in China, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.
Vikki has a long-standing commitment to the continuing development of Professional Services staff and is a Fellow of AHEP. She is also a member of the AHEP Board of Trustees and has served on a number of groups for national sector bodies.

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