This post will support the Head of Outreach in the management of a team of officers and programmes which are part of the University’s commitment to the widening participation agenda. It will include responsibility for the strategic development and management of the University’s flagship Access to Birmingham (A2B) Scheme and a major strand of its Access Agreement with the Office for Fair Access. The scheme now attracts more than 1200 applications per annum and is also important in ensuring that students from under-represented groups within Higher Education are given every support when applying to a research led institution like the University of Birmingham and are not disadvantaged by the application process. The University is committed to finding able students with real academic potential regardless of their educational background or personal circumstances.
The purpose of the role is to lead on the strategic development and implementation of the A2B Scheme, and to manage a team of staff who are involved in its delivery performance as well as a range of other strategically important widening participation activities. S/he will need to develop, and manage the maintenance of a wide range of important relationships with external stakeholders and also build close working relationships with University schools and in particular admissions tutors and other internal institutional staff charged with delivery of the A2B Scheme. S/he will also need to provide leadership and direction for the other officers involved in the delivery of A2B activity, also providing guidance on their contribution to other projects and activity within the department. This post will also deputise for the Head of Outreach where required and is expected to contribute to the strategic development of the University’s Outreach and Widening Participation work.
The A2B Scheme has been running since 2000 and is under a constant process of review and evaluation to maintain its position a leading access scheme in the UK. This is an important and high profile role where the post holder will be the face of the University on many occasions and which has a strategic role in the scheme’s ongoing development.
Level of Knowledge / educational qualifications
- Educated to degree level or equivalent
- Substantial previous experience in a role including Widening Participation to Higher Education
- Staff management experience
- Some evidence of post graduate study
- Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of the current widening participation policy environment and the challenges facing the sector and a Russell Group university
- Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of the school education sector and current challenges which will impact on our work.
- A person who will command respect and engage in a variety of situations from pupils in schools, to head teachers and senior managers for the University
- Demonstrable influencing skills and the ability to influence senior academic and professional services staff within the University
- Ability to work effectively in a team and independently and to respond positively to the demands of the role
- Able to solve complex problems and think critically
- Able to use sound judgement in decision making
- A person who is a self-motivator and who can motivate a diverse range of staff, demonstrating advanced emotional intelligence
- Ability to work independently and proactively in making and developing contacts with schools/ colleges and to develop good working relationships
- Well-developed organisational skills with real attention to deadlines and detail
- Advanced project management skills
- Confident in the use of IT systems and electronic communication