Who got that job?

February 20, 2004

Ian Hart, 48
Head of Schools and Colleges Liaison
Job advertised in The Times Higher , May 16 2003

Many professionals cross paths with their spouses at work, but Ian and Ruby Hart's work overlaps so much that they get warned by their eight-year-old son to stop talking shop.

The shop talk began in September when Ian, who has a background in further and adult education, became head of schools and colleges liaison at Wolverhampton University, where his wife had worked for ten years.

She is also Black Country coordinator for Partnerships for Progression (Aim Higher), and a large part of Ian's work involves liaising with the programme.

He leads a team that informs school and college students about the opportunities available in higher education. Each year, he and his staff make hundreds of visits to schools, colleges and education fairs.

Rob Haines, director of marketing and external relations, says the university was seeking to attract someone from outside higher education.

The ad brought lots of applications from former school headteachers and deputies as well as from further education.

"We were looking for someone who could bridge the interface between the university and feeder schools and colleges but who also had an insight into lifelong learning in the community and widening participation," he says.

Hart had worked with Wolverhampton's local education authority and talked in schools to staff, children and parents.

Haines says: "He had the credibility we needed for talking to college principals and school heads once you've got across the threshold."

Hart has found that the biggest difference has been the scale of his work.

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