Job Details

Head of Student Engagement

Reference Number
Gilmorehill Campus / Main Building
College / Service
Job Family
Management Professional & Administrative
Position Type
Full Time
Salary Range

Job Purpose

The University of Glasgow is committed to the wellbeing and success of its students. As a member of the Student Support and Wellbeing leadership team, the Head of Student Engagement plays an important part in achieving this, working with colleagues to transform services and making a significant contribution to the Glasgow student experience.

The Head of Student Engagement is accountable for the effective leadership of the Student Engagement Service, with responsibility for shaping, developing and delivering student support in line with the University’s strategic objectives for Student Support and Wellbeing. The Head contributes to the development and delivery of strategy, policies, operational plans and cultural change as it relates broadly to student services and specifically to student engagement.

The Head leads and manages two cross-cutting teams, which are responsible for the delivery of front-line support:
a) a multi-functional enquiry, triage and Student Engagement Team, incorporating the
pre-existing Student Services Enquiry Team, augmented by para-professional
colleagues from the specialist services such as counselling and psychological services,
disability services, international student support and financial aid teams
b) the Student Life Team, which operates a peer support programme within colleges and schools and supports student life within the University’s residences.

The Head has an important role to play in fostering an ethos of partnership working between colleagues working in central, college and school teams.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. Lead, motivate and develop the Student Engagement and Student Life teams, encouraging behaviours and attitudes that reflect University values.
2. Define culture, set and monitor standards and ensure the continuous improvement of the services provided by (a) the front-line Student Engagement Team, which is primarily located in the Fraser Building, and (b) the Student Life Team, which currently consists of wardens and living support assistants.
3. Manage services providing specialist and professional advice and advocacy to: (a) international applicants and students in relation to life in the UK and immigration, in line with OISC standards and (b) all students on funding, including the disbursement of financial aid where this is needed.
4. Develop and implement a strategy for the residential student experience, in consultation with the Accommodation Office.
5. Build on the success of established peer support provision, by developing and implementing a University wide scheme in which students offer broad based pastoral support to their peers.
6. Develop a comprehensive bank of self-service and self-help materials for students, their academic advisers and other professional services staff. Evaluate and improve these materials on the basis of user feedback and external best practice.
7. Contribute to the annual budgeting process, manage an annual budget and deliver value and impact for money to ensure the financial sustainability of the services.
8. Work closely with the Director of Support and Wellbeing, colleagues in Information Services, colleges and schools, in the development and continuous improvement of the student service delivery model and, specifically, its implementation in the Fraser Building.
9. Manage direct reports, promote the overall support and development of staff, their health and safety, and foster good and open team communications, so that the Student Engagement and Student Life teams are considered great places to work.
10. Develop and maintain professional networks outside the University, horizon scan and review good practice elsewhere and use this intelligence to the benefit of the service so it continues to evolve in support of the University’s vision for the student experience.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

A1 Ability to demonstrate the necessary strategic competencies required to undertake the duties associated with this level of post, having acquired the necessary professional knowledge and leadership experience in a similar or number of different specialist roles. Or: Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework Level 9, 10 or 11 (ordinary/Honours degree/ postgraduate qualification) or equivalent, with a broad range of leadership experience in student or customer facing roles.
A2 Knowledge of relevant organisational policy frameworks, including HR, health and safety, equality and diversity
A3 An understanding of how complex business changes are achieved, through experience of leading these in a related setting
A4 Highly developed knowledge of frontline service operations and an appreciation of the key requirements of a customer focussed approach.
A5 Knowledge and understanding of how to ensure compliance with a complex quality standards framework.
A6 Knowledge and understanding of the student journey and the key factors affecting contemporary students’ lives
A7 Knowledge and understanding of user-centric service design.

B1 Knowledge and understanding of advice and guidance services within a diverse and multi-cultural setting.
B2 Knowledge of peer support schemes and an understanding of key success factors.
B3 A good working knowledge of UK Visas and Immigration rules

C1 Excellent leadership and management skills at a senior level with a demonstrable ability to develop high performing teams
C2 High level influencing and interpersonal skills, able to quickly build credibility, deliver impact at all levels and influence across a wide stakeholder group
C3 Ability to think strategically, challenging the status quo through well-presented arguments based on sound professional judgement which support the adoption of new ways of working
C4 Strong process and change management skills with necessary persistence and drive to bring projects to a conclusion
C5 Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to empower, inspire, and motivate teams and individuals, including the ability to build and sustain strong/trusted working relationships across the organisation
C6 A self-motivated individual with the ability to work effectively under pressure and to tight timescales whilst prioritising competing demands
C7 Welcoming of challenge with an open and transparent style
C8 Ambition to achieve challenging goals and turn the University’s aims into reality
C9 Commitment to developing cross-functional activity and exploiting synergies
C10 Strong IT skills
C11 Effective conflict resolution and negotiation skills

E1 Extensive experience of leading and managing staff and cross-functional teams at a professional level
E2 Experience of working in a higher education setting or with students or young people
E3 Extensive experience of monitoring and evaluating service provision and using this to improve or change delivery
E4 Experience of delivering a customer-focussed service to diverse and demanding users
E5 Track record of leading and influencing strategic planning and decision-making and successfully implementing strategic initiatives
E6 Experience of working with and influencing senior management, and wide stakeholder groups with competing priorities
E7 Demonstrable experience of implementing and managing change (operational and culture) on sizable scale
E8 Having ownership and control of functional budgets and delivering cost-effective, value-adding services
E9 Proven experience of working as a senior member of a management team contributing to strategy, culture and managing business risks
E10 Able to demonstrate applied leadership and management knowledge to complex business challenges

F1 Experience of developing self-help materials
F2 Experience of building communities in a residential setting
F3 Developing processes and procedures to improve service effectiveness and efficiency
F4 Development of service policies, procedures or protocols
F5 Proven experience of partnership working

Job Features

Reporting to the Director of Student Support and Wellbeing, the post holder will be responsible for setting the strategic leadership and direction for first line support and enquiry resolution, including a new layer of pastoral support, for the entire student population (approx.30,000 students) across all campuses. The post holder will have management responsibility for two teams, of about 30 staff in total.

Planning and Organising

• Set strategic plans and priorities for the function, monitor and report on trends and service usage
• Develop budget proposals for service development and enhancement
• Develop and improve the capability of staff, motivating and mentoring them to cope with current and future service demands
• Implement and monitor the new service delivery model
• Actively contribute to the strategic development of the Directorate

Decision Making

• As a member of the Student & Wellbeing Leadership team take decisions on matters arising, risks or issues and any mitigations needed
• Make effective and efficient use of all resources available to deliver excellent service and make a positive impact on the student experience
• Ensure consistency of ethos and standards in the delivery of the service delivery model across the campuses, taking steps where necessary to address where this falls short

Internal/External Relationships

• Develop effective working relationships with students and colleagues across the University within Professional Services and Colleges and Schools
• Ensure that relationship building is effective at all levels within the service
• Support and work in partnership with fellow Heads within the wider directorate and play an active role in providing effective and visible leadership within the directorate
• Benchmark with other institutions nationally and internationally in order to keep abreast of progress elsewhere and share knowledge
• Represent the service and directorate at relevant committees and working groups

Problem Solving

• Apply knowledge and experience to provide guidance and support to others to address significant problems, some of which may be multi-disciplinary in nature
• Analyse and interpret data to progress service development and direction. This will include measuring the impact of the new service delivery model in terms of its effectiveness in supporting students, reductions in complaint numbers, and positive feedback from the colleges and schools
• Leading process change where appropriate to improve service delivery

Standard Terms & Conditions

Salary will be on the Management, Professional and Administrative Grade, level 9, £51,630 - £58,089 per annum.

New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.

The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.

Relocation assistance will be provided where appropriate.

It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.

The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.

Vacancy Ref : 027017
Closing Date : 2 September 2019