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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 both academic
and professional services 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 PVC 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. Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alistair
Fitt, holds 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 also hold regular update meetings
during the programme to encourage discussion and networking amongst the participants,
and to share the experience of mentors on any issues raised by the
We regularly send 15-20 participants each year. 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. Aurora alumnae have used their new skills
and confidence to progress their careers and/or to get involved in
Aurora focuses on becoming a senior leader in HE. If
you are at an earlier stage in your career we also offer Springboard or Fresh
Steps. These are more general career and personal development programmes to
help you think about what you would like to do next in your working life.
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 in professional services. Alison Honour speaks about the role of
Associate Dean and June Girvin speaks about the role of PVC Dean.