UCL Association University Administrators (AUA)



January 2008
Progressing Your Career in Higher Education Management and Administration, Christopher Hallas and Paula Speller
30th January 2008

Report by Lynn Maslen:
Due to popular demand Chris Hallas repeated the workshop given last year, this time ably assisted by Paula Speller. In a break from tradition this workshop was held over a lunch hour which proved popular given the number which attended.

Chris and Paula very openly discussed their career routes and aspirations and it was enlightening to see how many in the workshop had made Higher Education a concerted career choice at the outset in relation to those who had discovered it along the way. Whichever category you fitted into, everyone was able to benefit from the helpful and clear instruction and discussion provided to guide participants into the production of a career development action plan by first identifying strengths, weaknesses, aspirations, inhibitors and needs (also called SWAIN) and then passing on the tools to move from this to an action plan.

A most insightful, informative and thought-provoking workshop which I can thoroughly recommend to all if it is ever run again. Even if you have no thoughts of moving on from your present job, the process will help identify areas on which you may want to work to develop to assist you in your day-to-day activities.

For those who were unable to attend or anyone interested in this topic, the PowerPoint presentation can be download here.

AUA Quiz, 22nd January 2008 Report by Paula Speller:
I am pleased to report that the UCL AUA quiz team of James Ansell, Jen Burrows Chris Halls, Louise Howitt, Bella Malins, Tessa Rickards and Paula Speller triumphed at the recent London Region AUA Quiz. With questions on topics ranging from sport, TV and music to general knowledge and who's who, the little grey cells of all participants were given a thorough workout.

In a closely fought competition, the UCL team walked away with the winner's cup (well several University of Westminster mugs, a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates to be precise!). Our thanks go to the University of Westminster, last year's winners, for organising this event and to Quiz Master Maureen Skinner from Thames Valley University.

As victors, UCL will have the honour of hosting next year's Quiz.

October 2007
Wine tasting event at UCL, 31st October 2007

Report by Francesca Moultrie, Student Affairs Officer, The Aga Khan University, (Institute for Muslim Civilisations):

"What a wonderful way to spend Halloween!" was my first thought when an invitation to this event dropped into my mail box early on October 5th. I didn't know at that point quite how educative and enjoyable a couple of hours it would turn out to be…

Kathy Burke took us on a journey across continents disregarding borders, interested only in broadening our knowledge and educating our taste buds so that we may better appreciate the liquid of the crushed - and fermented - grape. We started with the 'gentle'' young Whites (including - quelle horreur - an English wine!) and progressed through to the slightly more distinguished older Rieslings (one of which was ten years old and from Kathy's own cellar), before pausing for bread and cheese. Part II then commenced with a young Cabernet Carmenère which, as we were informed, benefitted from a high tannin level (the result of the tough skin of the cabernet grape), followed by a rather splendid Bordeaux, through to a softer Côtes du Rhône ('softer' in this case because the grenache grape - which was one of the 'mélange' of three to constitute the wine - has a soft skin and thus releases more fruit). An oak-casked Rioja, followed by a full-bodied Zinfandel, brought the Reds to a conclusion. It was at this point that I noticed the amount of wine being discarded on the other tables, which was markedly more than on my table - doubtless because this hardy bon-viveur of French/Scottish stock would find it sacrilegious to throw away any wine unless it were completely unpalatable - and none of the wines offered during the course of this evening was remotely in that category - far from it! - from my perspective… The evening was brought to a wonderful close by sipping two ten-year old Ports. We then had the opportunity to chat with Kathy, to purchase some of the excess 'stock' bought in for the evening, or even - if, like me you were very lucky - to leave with a 'gift' of a bottle which had been opened but was waiting to be polished off!

Many thanks - un grand "merci beaucoup"- to those who organised the event and an even bigger thank you to Kathy for spending the evening with us and for the knowledge she imparted. Santé!