20: Episode 20: Gifted amateurs, lockdown art and design, UAL’s delayed term start and new ways of working for professional services.


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Episode 20 of University Registrars Talking About Stuff features Steve Marshall, Secretary and Registrar at the University of the Arts London talking about lots of topical higher ed matters. Steve talks us briefly through his career and how he ended up at UAL before we explore the nature of the role of Secretary and Registrar and equivalents within universities, considering whether such roles are indeed the last postings for the gifted amateur or perhaps more realistically a destination for those with real breadth of experience and knowledge within universities. The jury is clearly out on that one.

The pandemic is, of course, central to the discussion and we learn about UAL’s response to lockdown and all of the preparations which had been undertaken for such an eventuality although no-one, of course, expected it to be quite so dramatic. Nevertheless, the University had responded well including to the particular challenges faced by art and design students. UAL had also determined early on to start the 20/21 session later in October which is a decision Steve feels is a particularly helpful one looking around at other institutions’ experiences.

We also talk about all of the stuff around the future working model for university professional services as well as the experience - a mixed one - of online meetings of one kind and another. Finally, drawing on the UAL experience, we explore the likelihood of future mergers in the sector and note that these things take time, investment and commitment. A packed higher ed half an hour.

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