“I feel the EDP contributed substantially to my appointment in a number of ways.”
Jonathan Eaton, Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement, Teesside University.
Jonathan Eaton, recently appointed as Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at Teesside University, took part in the Higher Education Academy’s inaugural Executive Development Programme, EDP 1, which ran from April 2015 until February 2016. Here Jonathan talks about how the EDP contributed towards his appointment at Teesside where he started work on 1 August.
My story starts at Queen’s University, Belfast, which is where I did my PhD in Roman History. While I was there I also worked as a tutor with undergraduates on seminars, and as I went through my PhD I realised that teaching was what most interested me. Once I’d finished my PhD I then got a job at Newcastle College lecturing in Classical Civilisation & Archaeology. That was in 2009. In 2012 I moved to a managerial role enhancing research and scholarship across the HE provision at Newcastle College and its partner institutions.
I first heard about the EDP through one of the Higher Education Academy’s mailing lists. I knew the HEA was keen to get representatives involved from across the sector, and it obviously wasn’t just for people working in universities. It was for college HE as well. I was interested for two main reasons. First of all there was the professional development angle, to get a broader perspective on what was happening across the sector and to make new connections and build networks. It was also a really interesting time to do it during a period of turbulence in the higher education sector, so nothing was static. That meant every session we were busy reflecting on the latest policy developments and how we could approach these in our roles.
It was after I completed the EDP that I applied for the position as Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at Teesside University. I feel the EDP contributed substantially to my appointment in a number of ways. The EDP raised my confidence professionally. Although it’s a group programme, there’s an admirable amount of time spent on personal development. For example, we worked on presentation skills. We explored the leadership of change across institutions and what possible barriers and solutions might exist. It also enhanced the currency of my understanding about what’s happening in the HE sector; emerging priorities like the TEF, changes to the quality assurance framework, and my knowledge of the bigger picture of what’s happening in terms of policy. That was absolutely critical.
Applications for the HEA’s Executive Development Programme, April 2017 cohort, are now open. Places are limited. Applications close 31 October 2016.