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Aurora is an initiative by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education aimed at enabling more women to develop the leadership side of their careers and so address the under-representation of women at senior levels in the sector. It is a programme run in partnership with universities based on workshop events, mentoring and self-directed learning.

While most leadership programmes are aimed at leaders already in role, Aurora is designed to enable a wide range of women, in academic, professional and research roles, to engage with leadership development at an earlier stage in their careers. It aims to enable women to think of themselves as future leaders and to better understand leadership and whether they want to develop their career in this direction. It is a major initiative with over 139 institutions participating.

Birkbeck’s participation

Birkbeck ran a pilot of the programme in 2014-15 and sponsored 10 participants from academic, professional and research roles, following the success of the programme the College sponsored a further 9 participants in 2015-16.  Participants completed learning events and engaged in mentoring with a Birkbeck mentor; feedback so far from the two groups is very positive across all staff groups.  Participants noted the quality of the learning events, range of speakers and usefulness of the materials. They have also feedback about tangible benefits in terms of greater confidence, career planning, leadership and different ways of approaching challenges.

Inviting applicants for 2016-17

Following the success of these two programmes, we are committed to running a third cohort starting on 8th March 2017 and we will be communicating further details over the summer.

We will be inviting participants in the autumn term.

If you would like to find out more about the Aurora Programme, please click here.

Application form and help

If you or your line manager have any general questions about Aurora, including about whether Aurora is relevant to you, please contact :



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