New challenges, new opportunities | AUA Blog

A Platform for Exchanging Ideas

Each year the world is getting more complicated and less transparent, with the need to get more reliable sources of information than official channels. Meeting people directly and talking to them is more necessary than ever for university staff, be they academics or administrators. That is why conferences of any kind are becoming more and more important for discussing professional issues and sharing best practices, experience and ideas.


Yulia Grinkevich
Director of Internationalisation
HSE University


Maria Shabanova
Deputy Director of the Academic Integration Centre | The Office of Internationalisation
HSE University



For us the most valuable part of attending professional conferences like AUA is two-fold: to get fresh ideas from colleagues who work at different higher education institutions (and in different countries!) and to share the experience of our university, which is a good opportunity to reflect on our practices, and structure them in a way that’s meaningful to others – and get feedback on that.

Why AUA Annual Conference specifically?

Firstly, there aren’t many associations and conferences worldwide which focus specifically on administrative staff who work at the universities, so as to discuss specific challenges which come with either combining an academic and administrative position or building a purely administrative career in higher education institutions. AUA Annual Conference is fully devoted to these issues, and provides a platform for discussing it.

Secondly, AUA Conference brings together many colleagues who, despite working in different institutions, often face similar challenges. It’s a very supportive community open to sharing knowledge, and thus there is a great chance to find an interesting solution and to learn about the pitfalls which others have already experiences.

Thirdly, it’s a good platform for sharing your ideas and honing them, because it allows to receive feedback from colleagues in a very positive way and see what can be improved.  Holding a session provides ample opportunity not only to find an exciting and concise way to share your ideas, but also to learn how to facilitate group work, how to encourage the participants to articulate and share their own professional experience, etc. All these skills come in very handy both for tactical issues of how to do the job effectively every day and manage others (in a project, in an office, across units etc.) as well as how to strategise and plan further work and one’s professional development and career in a university environment which is full of fast-paced changes nowadays.

For us it’s the third AUA Conference, and we find it to be an important forum for sharing interesting ideas and practices from our home university (HSE University, Moscow). Delivering a session of our own and participating in others’  allows us to see how our experience both differs and is quite relevant for colleagues who work in vastly different higher education environments, and thus we can further develop interesting ideas and find new solutions collaborating together.


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