Launched in November 2013, Aurora is our women-only leadership development programme. In 2016-17 we will be running the fourth year of Aurora, with six cohorts taking place across the UK and Ireland.
Three years on, we have witnessed an overwhelmingly positive response from the sector. Nearly 2500 women have participated in Aurora, exceeding our expectations year on year. 139 institutions have taken part from across the UK and Ireland, supporting the development of their women leaders and partnering with us to champion gender equality in higher education.
Below you can watch Ginnie Willis, Programme Director for Aurora, talk about how Aurora aims to encourage a wide range of women in both academic and professional roles to think of themselves as leaders, to develop leadership skills, and to help institutions maximise the potential of these women. This innovative development process is for women up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent.
‘Onwards and Upwards’, our Aurora longitudinal study, launched in July 2015 to track the careers and aspirations of women working in higher education. Led by a team of experts at Loughborough University, this five-year study aims to follow the journeys of Aurora participants before, during and after they have completed the programme. To read more about the study and look at its initial findings visit the longitudinal study homepage.
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As the Aurora champion I have personally enjoyed meeting and briefing our participants. I have heard about their challenges, their barriers and aspirations and have been able to set them all up with some excellent mentors. My post-Aurora programme evaluation meetings have often been inspiring and revealed stories of increased confidence, seeing things from different perspectives, greater levels of determination, actual promotions and even a personal request for a pay rise!
Assistant Director (Leadership Talent) and Aurora Champion
Read Lynne's blog, 'Tackling the gender gap'.
Like a lot of organisations, we realise we have work to do on our male/female staff ratios at senior levels, so I was very pleased to get details of the Aurora programme. I’m delighted that the University of London is one of the first to sign up and I strongly believe this will help us in very practical ways to address gender equality.
Human Resources Director
University of London
European Commission Report
The report rightly stresses that progress in integrating gender in research and innovation relies on firm and sustained top-level commitment.