The Aspiring Registrar and COO Programme

The Aspiring Registrar and COO Programme (previously Flying Higher) is aimed at senior university staff looking to move into the role of Registrar / Chief Operating Officer. It comprises a 2.5 day residential, individual coaching, learning sets and workshop.

The next iteration will start in March 2020.  The deadline date for applications is Friday 10 January 2020.

If you are interested in applying, please read the information below and download the application form.

If you have any enquiries about the Programme, contact Catherine Webb.




Who Should Attend

The Aspiring Registrar and COO Programme is aimed at individuals actively considering a move into the most senior Professional Services position in the university, a role which may be titled Registrar, Chief Operating Officer, Head of University Administration, or University Secretary. It offers participants a unique opportunity to explore this diverse and challenging role, and to reflect on their readiness for this, or indeed other leadership positions.

The programme is suitable for those currently working at the level of Director/Head of any of the principal Administrative and Professional Service functions or Deputy Registrar. The nature of this programme means that it will appeal to those wishing to take stock of their career and maximise their potential.

Participants are likely to have been operating at their current level for 3 to 5 years, be reporting to the Registrar / COO and be on the cusp of applying for a more senior role.

Programme Focus

  • Understanding the variety of ways in which the Registrar role is carried out across the sector and the opportunities this presents;
  • Assessing your readiness for such a leadership position and the importance of having the right ‘fit’ in terms of role and institution;
  • Exploring the complex set of relationships between senior figures in the university structure;
  • Increasing your self-awareness and the understanding of your strengths and development needs.

Programme Includes

  • A development one-to-one session with a Programme Director at both the start and finish of the programme;
  • A residential programme with both practical input and space for reflection;
  • Contributions from an experienced Registrar, a newly appointed Registrar, as well as a Vice Chancellor and Registrar from the same organisation on the demands of the role and what senior colleagues will expect of you;
  • Four full-day action-learning sessions – facilitated by an experienced coach;
  • A workshop on preparing to apply for your next role in order to maximise your chances of success.

Programme Structure

The programme takes place across 9.5 days over 11 months. It begins with a one-to-one meeting with a Programme Director (who is also a professional coach), providing the chance to prepare for the programme and explore your specific development needs. This is followed by a residential programme, four action learning sets and a workshop dedicated to equipping participants for the appointment process.

Programme Dates

  • Initial one-to-one: a two hour session, w/c 2nd March 2020 (London);
  • 2.5 day residential programme at Crewe Hall, Cheshire: from 14.00 on 25th March to 16.30 on 27th March (Crewe Hall, Cheshire);
  • Four action learning sets on 14th May 2020, 2nd July 2020, 10th September 2020 and 12th November 2020.  (Sets are hosted by participants and include a dinner and overnight stay the night before each meeting.  This cost is not included in the programme fee);
  • Workshop: 14th January 2021 (London);
  • Final one-to-one: a two hour session, w/c 1st February 2021 (London).



Programme Fee

Programme Fee: £5,750 for AHUA member institutions; £6,750 for non-members

How To Apply

The deadline date for applications is Friday 10 January 2020.  You will need to complete an application form and provide:

  • a one page personal statement outlining your experience and motivation for seeking to join the programme;
  • a copy of your CV;
  • a letter of commitment from your COO/Registrar confirming that the time and funding needed are available.

For more information please contact Catherine Webb , AHUA’s Executive Secretary.

For terms and conditions relating to all AHUA’s programmes, please see here.

Related Resources

Resource Name
Added On
AHUA Development Programmes, September 2019
Application Form, 2020
Terms & Conditions