Skip to main content


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

Since its launch in 2013 more than 8,300 women from nearly 200 different institutions across the UK and 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.

Join our "Becoming an Aurora Mentor" workshops

Starting from 4 November 2021 we are launching a new series of workshops which provide an introduction to mentoring in an institutional context and will identify how to make mentoring effective.

Find out more

Aurora has had a huge impact for Brunel. It has highlighted our commitment to gender equality and ensuring women have the opportunity to apply for more senior positions in the organisation and that we want them to stay, grow and develop with us. Aurora has helped our participants to maximise their talents and develop leadership skills and acumen. Several have succeeded in advancing their careers, either through promotion or by attaining new leadership roles."

Professor Lorraine De Souza, Aurora champion, Pro-Vice Chancellor (equality, diversity and staff development), Brunel University London

How does Aurora work?

With a number of cohorts running regionally online, the Aurora programme 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 webinar which will introduce the aims and objectives of Aurora along with an inspirational guest speaker
  • attend each of the four development days, and the two action learning set days
  • undertake self-directed learning throughout Aurora, aligned with development interests
  • commit to working with a mentor who is provided by their institution
  • be prepared to access leadership opportunities and champion for change.
Find out more about how Aurora works
3px purple line

Aurora 2021-22 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.

View the Aurora champion directory
Download Resource

Aurora 2021-22 cohort dates and prices


Aurora - Your Future in HE: face-to-face events

In Spring 2022, we're giving Aurorans the opportunity to meet face-to-face at four one-day events across the UK and Ireland. The events are designed to complement and reinforce the overall Aurora programme, and are open to both new participants and those from previous cohorts who have not yet had a chance to meet up physically.

Find out more
3px purple line

Aurora and your institution

Institutions are responsible for coordinating Aurora within their organisation, providing mentors for their participants and supporting participants to attend 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