Aurora: Women in Higher Education Leadership Programme

  • Who's it for

    Aurora is for all individuals that identify as a woman up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent in a university or higher education college, ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as one option for progression.

    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.

    Aurora 2021 - 22 dates


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    • 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 programme.

      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 cross-University projects.

      Aurora focuses on becoming a senior leader in HE. If you are at an earlier stage in your career we also offer Springboard (currently not running due to Covid-19). 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?

      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.
      • Ruth Davis
      • Laura Fortuna (PA to Ruth)