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Aurora is Advance HE's leadership development initiative for women. It is run as a unique partnership bringing together leadership experts, higher education providers and research institutes to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the sector.

Since its launch in 2013 more than 10,000 women from nearly 200 different institutions across the UK and the Republic of Ireland have participated in Aurora.

Led by a team of leadership experts, participants will explore four key areas associated with leadership success: Identity, Impact & Voice, Core Leadership, Politics & Influence and Adaptive Leadership Skills. This is in addition to an action learning set.

Aurora Portfolio Launch

Core UK and IE, Alumnae Community and Workshops

Communications will be sent directly to Champions registered on our mailing list. 

13 June 2024: Dates and Booking Links Open

4 July 2024: Champion Updates Webinar on Zoom from 10:30 - 12:30

31 July: Early Booking Rates End 


Join the mailing list

About Aurora

With a number of cohorts running regionally online, the Aurora is a mix of development days and action learning sets. Participants are also supported by mentors from their institution.

Participants will be asked to:

  • Attend the introduction session which will introduce the aims and objectives of Aurora along with an inspirational guest speaker
  • Attend each of the four development days, the two action learning set days and the the final in-person development day
  • Undertake self-directed learning throughout Aurora, aligned with development interests
  • Commit to working with a mentor, found by delegates with the support of their institution
  • Be prepared to access leadership opportunities and champion for change.
Find out more about Aurora
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Aurora Women’s Leadership is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Since it was launched in 2013, more than 10,000 women from nearly 200 different institutions across the UK and the Ireland have completed it – all gaining new skills, bigger networks and fresh perspectives on leadership. To mark this special milestone, women who have taken part in Aurora since its very earliest days share their stories and institutions outline the role it plays in their gender equality work.

Join us as we celebrate a decade of leadership empowerment
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Aurora 2024-25 Cohort Dates

All bookings on Aurora must be made through or with the permission of your institutions Aurora Champion. You can find your institution's champion through our Aurora champion directory.

Dates for 2024-25 are coming soon.

View the Aurora champion directory
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Aurora Institutions

Institutions are responsible for coordinating Aurora within their organisation, helping to provide mentors for their participants and supporting participants to attend all of the development days and their action learning sets. In each institution, Aurora is led by an Aurora champion

Find out more

Aurora - The Longitudinal Study

Our five-year longitudinal study of Aurora participants tracks the careers and aspirations of women working in higher education.

Read more

Aurora Case Studies and Related Stories

'Aurora is part of our gender equity strategy': Sir David Bell

Advance HE’s Aurora women’s leadership programme is a key part of the University of Sunderland’s strategy to create a ‘pipeline’ of women leaders.

Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell explains how the programme is supporting the institution’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts and creating a cohort of women leaders who are more confident, better connected and more satisfied in their roles.  

Read More
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Aurora Mentor

Join our "Becoming an Aurora Mentor" workshops

For 2024-25 there will be 4 cohorts of Becoming an Aurora Mentor workshops, each consisting of two half-day virtual workshops. We are now also able to provide an in-house mentoring Aurora.

Find out more

Share and Celebrate Your Achievements with Digitally Recognised Learning

Aurora participants' learning will be digitally recognised.

For much of our portfolio for 2024-25 the learning of event attendees and Aurora participants and conference, symposia and colloquia presenters will be digitally recognised.

This makes it easy for you to share and celebrate your achievements by adding them to your email signature or including them in your social profiles including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Your learning certificates can also be easily verified and downloaded as a pdf.

Find out more about digitally recognised learning
digitally recognised learning