Association of University Administrators

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Association of University Administrators
Founded 1961 (MUAAS)
Type Professional association
Focus Higher education
Origins Conference of University Administrators, Association of Polytechnic Administrators
Area served
Great Britain and Ireland
Key people
Chair: Kathryn Fowler (Deputy Executive Officer, University of Aberdeen)
Vice-Chair: Chris Ince (Committee Secretary, SOAS, University of London)
Honorary President: Professor Ruth Farwell (Buckinghamshire New University)
Slogan Connecting and developing HE professionals

The Association of University Administrators (AUA) is the professional body for higher education administrators and managers in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The AUA exists to advance and promote the professional recognition and development of all who work in professional services roles in higher education, and to be an authoritative advocate and champion for the sector.

The AUA was formed from a merger of the Association of Polytechnic Administrators (APA) and the Conference of University Administrators (CUA). CUA traced its history back to the Meeting of University Academic Administrative Staff, founded in 1961. The AUA celebrated the golden jubilee of the professionalisation of support staff in UK universities in 2011.


AUA members are individually and collectively committed to:

  • the continuous development of their own and others' professional knowledge, skills and practices;
  • actively championing equality of educational and professional opportunity;
  • the advancement of higher education through the robust application of professional knowledge, skills and practices;
  • the highest standards of fair, ethical and transparent professional behaviour.

Annual conference[edit]

The AUA's annual conference is the largest professional development conference in the UK HE calendar, with plenary and keynote presentations and around 100 working sessions. The 2011 Conference (in The AUA's Golden Jubilee Year) was held at the University of Nottingham 18–20 April 2011. The 2016 Conference was held in Leeds, at the Royal Armouries Museum, 21-23 March 2016. The conference returns to Manchester from 10-11 April 2017 for the start of a three-year residency.

Professional development[edit]

The AUA provides professional development opportunities for university managers and administrators in the higher education sector. It provides opportunities to help members identify and meet their professional development needs through information services, events and conferences. The AUA organises an annual programme of seminars, workshops and conferences.

CPD Framework[edit]

The AUA has developed the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework to support the continuous professional development of all professional services staff working in the sector. The project was a culmination of a highly collaborative 2 year Leadership, Governance and Management (LGM) project, and was jointly funded by AUA, HEFCE, LFHE and the HEA. The Framework is a significant milestone in the development of the profession of HE management and administration.

Since the Framework was formally launched at the AUA Conference and Exhibition 2009, The AUA has been working on plans to support implementation projects across the sector. By working with a small number of pre-pilot early adopting partners The AUA has established the extent to which the Framework can be adapted to a wide variety of organisational context.

The full CPD Framework document and supporting online resources are available for use by staff in HE.

Postgraduate certificate[edit]

The AUA Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice is a portfolio-based scheme validated by the Nottingham Trent University. Achievement of the award demonstrates a knowledge of key areas within the HE sector, transferable skills and evidence of the 'professional journey' undertaken.

Themed networks[edit]

The AUA has established a number of themed networks which allow members with similar interests to share good practice and develop their understanding of specific areas of HE policy and practice.

The AUA also have a number of established working groups which meet together to organise events or discuss key issues and exchange best practice, including the Planning Forum and the Equality Advisory Group.


The AUA has strong links with similar organisations and individuals worldwide. Members can also apply for Travel Awards of up £1,000 to undertake small research visits to countries outside of the UK and Ireland. In addition, The AUA organises an annual Study Tour, which involves a group of ten members of The AUA undertaking a two-week fact finding visit. Recent Study Tours have visited New Zealand, India, Brazil, and Japan. These and other international activities are organised by the International Higher Education Network, one of the specialist themed networks within The AUA, and co-funded by AHUA.


Members receive free of charge The AUA's quarterly journal, Perspectives; quarterly newsletter, Newslink, and each new title in the Good Practice Guide series.


The AUA's online services include a number of email discussion groups: aua-news, for electronic bulletins including weekly press digest and fortnightly professional development bulletin; and aua-forum, email list for sharing information and best practice. The AUA also has Jisc mailing lists, JISCmail, to aid communication within sub-groups of the organisation (e.g. aua-bc, aua-pgcert) and for special interest groups (e.g. aua-deptadmin). It has an online jobs noticeboard.


The senior official within AUA is the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Kathryn Fowler 2016-2018

Tessa Harrison 2014-2016
Matthew Andrews 2012-2014
Christopher Hallas 2010-2012
Maureen Skinner 2008-2010
Bruce Nelson 2006-2008
Sue Holmes 2004-2006
John Ryan 2002-2004
Alison Johns 2000-2002
David Allen 1998-2000
Keith Jones 1996-1998
Sally Neocosmos 1994-1996

See also[edit]

External links[edit]