Developing future leaders for higher education
Launched in November 2013, Aurora is our women-only leadership development programme. Over the last two years, 1473 women and 128 institutions and higher education sector bodies have engaged in Aurora. Year three sees Aurora coming to five more cities, across six cohorts.
Below you can watch Ginnie Willis, Programme Director for Aurora, talk about how Aurora aims to encourage a wide range of women in 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.
Aurora is a response to our own research which shows that women are under-represented in senior leadership positions internationally and identifies actions that could be taken to change this. Many influential stakeholders including vice-chancellors, hefce and the ECU agree the situation needs to be addressed and the feedback from the sector tells us that HEIs would like to encourage more women to plan and prepare better for leadership roles at an early point in their careers.
Aurora is a leadership development initiative that combines education, mentoring and on-line resources to provide learning with a more enduring impact. Aurora provides an additional opportunity for women to influence their institutions and to develop leadership skills and does not replace other LF programmes, where we expect to go on drawing equally from men and women as before.
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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.