Aurora - a Leadership Foundation Programme

  • The Aurora Programme is designed to encourage more women to move into leadership positions in Higher Education.  It consists of four workshops and an action-learning set spread over a five-month period.  Oxford Brookes provides opportunities each year for female staff in either academic or support roles to attend the programme.  Further information is available on the Aurora website.

    Each place on Aurora costs £1,000 and participants are sponsored by their Directorate or Faculty.  During the booking period, May to July, applicants are asked to send their Director or Dean a 250-word paragraph saying why they would like to attend the programme. They will then be notified whether they are being sponsored for a place.

    Each university has an Aurora Champion who promotes the course within the university.  Alistair Fitt has taken over this role at Brookes.

    Each university taking part in the programme provides role models to facilitate discussion at the workshops, and mentors for their own participants.  At Oxford Brookes we are also providing update meetings during the programme to encourage discussion about participants’ experiences and share the experience of mentors on issues raised by the programme.

    In 2013-14 we provided ten participants, in 2014-15 twenty staff and in 2015-16 we have 21 staff attending.  The feedback has generally been positive: participants have found speakers inspiring, and most have appreciated the networking opportunities created especially by the action-learning sets. Several members of the 2013-14 cohort have been promoted since attending the programme and some have been involved in cross-University projects. 

    Aurora focuses on becoming a leader in HE.  If you are interested in a more general career and personal development programme which will help you think about what you would like to do next in your working life, you may find Springboard or Fresh Steps more suited to your needs.

    If you would like to take part in the 2017-18 presentations of Aurora, please contact your Dean or Director in May about the recruitment process.  

    Article by Anne Osterrieder,   Are you a leader without even knowing it? What do you look like when you are leading?

    Senior roles at Oxford Brookes

    At the request of our Aurora participants, senior members of staff have talked about what they do and don't do in their roles.  In these videos, Jane Towers- Clark speaks about the role of Head of Department in a faculty, Lucy Vickers speaks about the role of Professor, Joy Butcher speaks about the role of Programme Lead, Anne Gwinnett speaks about the role of Director of a Directorate, Alison Honour speaks about the role of Associate Dean and June Girvin speaks about the role of PVC Dean.