Episode 43: Warming up an HE cold spot and supporting a challenged generation of students

Episode 43,  Aug 23, 02:31 PM

In this, the 43rd episode of the University Registrars Talking About Stuff podcast, I am delighted to be talking to James Rolfe who is Chief Operating Officer at Anglia Ruskin University. James joined Anglia Ruskin some four years ago after an unusual career journey which began in the civil service in Whitehall in the 90s before leading him to a role in social services in Norfolk and then as a senior manager at Enfield Council. We explore some of the differences and similarities with HE with James arguing that really the culture and operations in central and local government are not really that different, rather it is a bit like adjusting the sliders on a graphic equalizer (a reference which only older listeners are likely to get).

ARU operates across three main campuses, in Chelmsford, Cambridge, and, most recently, Peterborough. We explore the practicalities of this together with looking more closely at the terrific new development in the traditional HE cold spot of Peterborough where there remain real ambitions for growth in partnership with the local authorities.

James and I then discuss, given that this was recorded in Confirmation and Clearing week, the particular challenges faced by the latest generation of new students and the need for universities to offer enhanced support to this group both in terms of orientation but throughout their studies to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed.

Finally we look at the wider issues of regulation, competition and collaboration among universities and the great opportunities provided and work done by AHUA, an organisation of which we are both proud to be members.