Member Spotlight: PgCert Success

Dr Angela Jones-Evans, Library Team Leader: College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, University Library Service, Cardiff University

I work in the Library Service at Cardiff University where I manage a group of librarians who offer support for learning, teaching, and research in one of the three Colleges of the university. My career in HE spans more than three decades.  To cut a very long story short, I have been a university administrator, a lecturer, and a librarian in different institutions in England and Wales and at a range of levels over the years.  

Returning to Higher Education Networking

Back in the mists of time I was a member of the CUA (Conference of University Administrators) which predated the AUA! I remember going to some great conferences in Belfast and Manchester in the early 90s and attended an in-depth thorough week-long course on committee servicing at Liverpool University, where we had a memorable and captivating after-dinner poetry recital from Roger McGough.  

I had been out of higher education for a while between 2005 and 2017 and wanted to build up my network again. I also wanted to get up to date and feel more knowledgeable about the context and practice of HE as I knew that a lot had changed over the period in which I had been working elsewhere.  These were both perfect reasons to join AHEP and simultaneously enrol on the PGCert.

Skill Enhancement

The course helped me to see the ‘big picture’ and look at theory through a practical lens so it has now become almost second nature to relate aspects of my daily work to a theoretical model learnt on the PG Cert and reflect upon how those models could be used to help shape change. 

I feel much more confident as a HE professional through undertaking the course. I also feel connected to colleagues not only in the wider HE sector but also in my own university which has an active AHEP network. 

Through the PGCert, Diploma and MSc I was able to see that there are many aspects of what I do which are transferable to other professional services functions and this perspective is particularly useful when thinking of career development. It has been a truly empowering experience to have been given the opportunity to share my MSc research findings with the wider professional services community at this year’s AHEP conference. When I started the PGCert journey I never imagined that it would lead to this, and I’m surprised and delighted that it has!

Career Advancement Opportunities

I would encourage colleagues to look at the AHEP website and read the course information to see if it whets their appetite. If it does, I would urge them to speak to their line managers about building the PGCert into their annual objectives. If funding and study time is available to support this endeavour, then I would suggest that this is money and time well spent.

I can see that HE professional services, universities, and the wider world in which we operate are constantly evolving and that we as HE professionals must adapt and grow to meet the challenges that this creates or else we and our universities will cease to be relevant and will ultimately become obsolete. Professional development enables us to see the context within which we operate whilst keeping a sharp focus on our roles within this context. By striving to be the best that we can be within those roles we are ensuring that we remain relevant and can demonstrate our ability to be adaptable and agile in the face of change.  

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