Deputy Head of UK Recruitment and Widening Participation

Requisition ID:  26169

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  15 Sep 2023


Salary: £45,585 to £48,350 with progression to £54,395 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 20 October 2023



The Role


Part of the Academic Services Hub and External Relations Directorate, the Deputy Head of UK Recruitment and Widening Participation is key to the recruitment of high quality students from diverse backgrounds and widening access to Newcastle University. 


We are seeking a Deputy Head of UK Recruitment and Widening Participation as a Maternity cover for a period of around 11 months to provide expertise and leadership on recruitment and widening participation (WP) across the University and work collaboratively with Faculties, Academic Schools and Professional Services to deliver on the University strategies, including the Access and Participation Plan.


The role will also lead and manage the Student Recruitment Team to effectively deliver targeted recruitment, outreach and WP events, and projects to support the University strategies for home student recruitment and fair access and WP.


If you would like to discuss the role further, please contact Annie Shuker, Deputy Director Student Recruitment & Admissions


This opportunity is available on a fixed term basis for external candidates but also as an internal secondment opportunity for an existing colleague.


To apply, please upload an up-to-date CV and a cover letter which outlines how you meet the essential requirements of the role set out in the person section of the role description. 



Interviews will be held on site at our Newcastle Campus where possible.  

Key Accountabilities
•    Lead and manage the Student Recruitment Team (SRT) to effectively deliver targeted recruitment, outreach and widening participation events, services, activities and projects which provide an excellent student experience, support University strategies and meet commitments set out in the Access and Participation Plan (APP). Take oversight to ensure all activity is developed using evidence-led practice, offers value for money and that national policy requirements, Office for Student regulation, legislation, data protection and safeguarding practices are embedded. Work with SRT Managers to ensure activity is high quality, innovative, responsive and customer focussed

•    Provide professional support and expertise to the Head of UK Student Recruitment and Admissions (Deputy Director), in conjunction with the leads for UG and PG Admissions and international recruitment, for the development and delivery of the University’s strategies for undergraduate Home Student Recruitment, fair access and widening participation. Support and expertise should aim to maximise the recruitment and conversion of high quality applicants from diverse backgrounds, ensure the University achieves key home undergraduate recruitment and widening participation targets and ambitions set out in the APP. Contribute to the preparation of monitoring reports for external (OfS) and internal (Executive Board, Senate, University Student Recruitment Strategy and Management Committees) audiences

•    Work collaboratively with key stakeholders across the University – including admissions, faculty recruitment, marketing, success and progression, careers, wellbeing and equality and diversity leads – to successfully deliver on recruitment, fair access widening participation and conversion strategies and ensure activity is cohesive, high-quality and customer-focussed

•    Have an oversight of an activity budget of over £1million annually, working closely with the SRT Managers who manage budget streams, to use an evidence-led approach to plan spend and assure value for money. Ensure reports and audits are completed by relevant team members at appropriate times and contribute to APP quarterly reporting as required

•    Lead, line manage, motivate and champion the team of Student Recruitment Managers, ensuring they are well supported to achieve their objectives and have timely and effective development reviews. Provide support for Managers to in turn effectively lead and manage their line reports within the SRT. Oversee People Services and management functions for the SRT in line with wider Recruitment and Admissions Directorate approaches

•    Have oversight of the SRT’s evaluation and impact strategy, working closely with all SRT Managers to ensure activity and services are using appropriate evaluation frameworks and taking effective action to deliver improved outcomes. Work with colleagues at the Inclusive Newcastle Knowledge Centre and the colleagues responsible for success and progression to deliver a robust and university-wide approach to evaluation and monitoring of widening participation activities. Oversee the embedding and effective use of evaluation tools such as HEAT within the SRT and across all outreach activity in Faculties and Academic Schools for all pre-entry activity

•    Maintain a good knowledge of University-specific recruitment and admissions data by using appropriate data tools e.g. Power BI, BEX, UCAS Track, OfS Data Dashboard to understand pre-entry event attendance and engagement, applications, conversation rates and intake to inform strategies, and activity and service delivery

•    Oversee Newcastle University’s involvement in local and national widening participation partnerships such as UniConnect, NERAP, Realising Opportunities and IntoUniversity centres, ensuring correct representation on partnership governance groups. Maintain oversight of engagement with third party providers and partnerships to ensure alignment to strategies, value for money and impact

•    Maintain an authoritative and up to date knowledge and understanding of the issues, policies and complexities of UK (national and regional) undergraduate student recruitment and widening participation agendas. As appropriate, represent the University externally at widening participation and outreach forums, deputising for the Head of UK Recruitment and Widening Participation as required
•    Maintain oversight of a robust approach to Child Protection and Safeguarding for all outreach and recruitment activity, supporting the lead Student Recruitment Manager to ensure policies and procedures are always up to date and based on law, regulations and best practice. As a Senior Designated Officer, undertake regular and appropriate Child Protection Training
The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

•    Knowledge and understanding of the issues, policies and complexities of UK (national and regional) undergraduate student recruitment and widening participation agendas
•    Understand the undergraduate student life cycle including enquiry, application, conversion, registration and factors affecting the choices and decision-making of undergraduate applicants
•    Knowledge of UK educational qualifications and systems and considerable experience of managing student recruitment, access, outreach and widening participation activity 

•    Analytical skills to consider complex data sets to ensure that ongoing project development is evidence-based and impact driven 
•    Well-developed planning and organisational skills
•    Ability to work accurately with meticulous attention to detail
•    The ability to deal with complex and sensitive matters in a professional and effective manner
•    Customer service skills including the ability to negotiate and interact tactfully with a wide range of people
•    Experience of leading, managing and motivating a team 
•    Experience of leading projects and budget management 
•    Excellent IT and digital skills and familiarity with relevant systems


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Works effectively in complex and dynamic operating environment 
•    Motivates and inspires others and works effectively in a team or providing leadership
•    Thinks strategically, making sense of complex or conflicting data and different priorities of stakeholders 
•    Builds relationships with key stakeholders and audiences internally and externally to gain support and can use a variety of influencing styles to suit the audience
•    When communicating, understands how best to appeal to another person or group and correctly finds the best way to approach a situation
•    Willingness to work some evenings and weekends and to travel throughout the UK and stay overnight, as required



•    A degree or equivalent qualification or substantial relevant experience.

Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26169