University staff build career bridges

Wednesday 22 January 2003

The first recruits to an innovative course allowing junior managers and senior support staff from the Universities of Dundee, St Andrews and Abertay Dundee to develop their careers will be formally inducted today (Wednesday 22 January 2003).

The Career Bridges course has been created as part of the Promoting Partnership Initiative, an ambitious venture fostering institutional change within higher education. The initiative aims to draw upon strengths and interests in the Universities of Dundee, St Andrews and Abertay Dundee.

The career development programme will be spread over two academic years, comprising four modules taught in an open, challenging and supportive environment and a fifth module focusing on a management project, culminating in a certificate from the three institutions.

Initially a pilot project, the course aims to improve teamworking and leadership skills, increase awareness of the higher education sector and build confidence and networking opportunities across the three institutions.

The programme will involve 24 people from a range of backgrounds including secretaries, an electrical engineer, technician, IT helpdesk officer, researcher and student recruitment officer.

One of the new recruits is Heather Henderson, administrator within the Centre for Enterprise Management at the University of Dundee. Heather explains, “Because I work mainly with academics, opportunities to exchange ideas with other support staff are limited. I am really looking forward to meeting other administrators, finding out how they organise their work and pick up ideas on best practices to make our operation more efficient. We have assignments to complete throughout the year but I think these will forge my commitment to the course as I will be working on them in my free time as well as during business hours. The course is a great opportunity to improve the way I work and it was also considered a great idea by my line manager Professor Malcolm Horner who encouraged me to participate.”

Meanwhile, Human Resources Manager at the University of Abertay Dundee, Jacqui Stewart said, “The University of Abertay Dundee is delighted to be part of this exciting development programme. We see it playing a key role in the development of our staff – a central part of our human resources strategy. Abertay staff are very enthusiastic about the opportunities which the programme offers, including building networks and sharing of best practice across the three institutions, as well as developing personal skills. I’m looking forward to working with the team and seeing the participants grow and develop over the two year programme”.

Case studies and group based projects will be delivered across four modules, covering key themes of Managing Yourself, Managing People, Managing Resources and Managing in the Higher Education Context. The final module centres on consolidation of the four modules culminating in the development and delivery of a management project.

Staff Development Manager at the University of St Andrews, Sandy Wilkie said, “I’m delighted that we are launching this innovative opportunity for university staff. Career Bridges is a modular, highly-interactive programme that will enhance both skills and self- awareness. It will enable the participants to learn from each other, network and work together on projects of real value. It will undoubtedly prove to be an excellent model of collaboration within the higher education sector”.

The Promoting Partnership Initiative aims to expand both teaching and research in important emerging areas; experiment with innovation; build significant relationships with the private sector and; significantly contribute to the social and economic well-being of Scotland.



You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the event at the West Park Centre, Perth Road, Dundee at 1.30pm prompt on Wednesday 22 January 2002. Twenty- three of the 24 participants will be present.

Further information can be obtained from: * Claire Grainger, Press Officer, University of St Andrews – 01334 462530/07730 415 015 or email [email protected] * Jenny Marra, Press Officer, University of Dundee – 01382 344910 or email [email protected] * Kevin Coe, Press Officer, University of Abertay Dundee – 01382 561571 Ref: career/standrews/chg/21jan2003


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