Everyday highs without the lows

September 29, 2006

Name : Anne Hill

Age : I'm as old as my skin and a bit older than my teeth.

Job : Programme director for undergraduate housing in social sciences at the University of Central England, Birmingham. I'm also the learning and teaching strategy co-ordinator for my faculty (law, humanities, development and society).

Salary : Not bad, because I have recognition for my different roles.

Education : I left school at 16 but, wanting to continue learning, I completed a part-time professional qualification in housing and worked in social housing until joining the university in 1992. I later studied part time for my masters degree in education and professional development. I was conferred with my professorship in 2004 for my "record and reputation as a teacher including innovative contribution to subject and course development". I have also been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy this year.

Working hours : Officially, it's 9am to 5pm, but my hours are very flexible. My job ranges from teaching, supporting staff and students and promoting learning to diverse groups. Many of our students are part-time and often have families, so my working hours fit around the students' needs.

Conditions : I love working here, it's the best job I've ever had. A true sense of achievement every day is rare, but I have it.

Number of students you teach : Normally groups of about 15 to 30. That means we can really get to know them.

Biggest bugbear : Possibly administration. I never seem to have the time to do everything.

How did you solve it? Well, you find the time.

Worst moment in university life : I haven't got one.

What is your office like? I share the office with a colleague, and we work together really well as we are able to spark ideas off one another. The office space is new. I had new furniture this year for the first time in 14 years.

How do you cope with difficult people? Are there difficult people or is it difficult situations? Sometimes the issue that manifests itself isn't the real problem. It can be about family, personal or work problems that cause the students stress and have an impact on their studies. We can often help with strategies to manage their academic work, and once they feel in control again it can help with sorting out the underlying problems.

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