Professor Graham Rogers is Dean and Deputy Chief Executive of the Technology Innovation Centre at UCE Birmingham.
What is your background?
Left school at 16 for a career in the Merchant Navy before completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering as a mature student and working as a Design and Development Engineer. Taught engineering in FE and HE before progressing to current position as Dean of Faculty in the Technology Innovation Centre (tic) at the University of Central England in Birmingham.
What initially attracted you to your job?
The opportunity to:
- Create an exciting, stimulating, supportive learning environment that enables learners from all communities to fulfil their potential and enrich their lives.
- Stimulate and support the development of an economy in the West Midlands that is globally competitive.
Define your job?
Create, manage, monitor the standard and enhance the quality of the learning experience of our students so that they are able to develop the transferable, intellectual and technical skills that enables them to develop personally and make a positive contribution to society.
Can you walk me through your day to day activities?
All days are busy and no two days are the same. Plenty of variety from meetings with students and staff, developing new programmes, working with colleagues in the tic and other universities and colleges in the UK and overseas, plenty of administration interspersed with the occasional cup of tea and, on a good day, lunch.
How has your job changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
A reduction in paper and increase in emails (but not in the same ratio). Emails and electronic communication provide the opportunity to contact more people more often and for them to contact me. Technology has had, and will continue to have, a major impact which is good news for my faculty, the Technology Innovation Centre.
What are the key issues facing your sector?
Variable fees, students as consumers, advances in technology (huge opportunities and challenges), demographics, international competition, research assessment and widening participation.
How does government legislation affect your job?
Government legislation has a major impact. For example, the variable fees legislation is impacting all levels of HE in a number of different ways.
What impact has technology had on your job?
More information, more work, more information but (generally) more effective working. My faculty is pushing forward with the development and application of new technologies. This is having a major impact on the curriculum and the way students learning is facilitated and supported.
What are the best things and worst things about your job?
Best: Playing a part in changing lives and seeing learners succeed.
The cappuccino in the tic café
Worst: No time to drink the cappuccino in the tic café.
Do you have any horror stories?
Too many to mention and some unmentionable.
Advice to others looking for jobs
What attributes do you need/what are you looking for when hiring someone in your role?
Excellent people skills, vision, leadership skills, technical skills and knowledge and a competent communicator.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out?
Start paying additional pension contributions earlier.
What do you need to break into this industry/sector?
Experience, qualifications, personality, good interpersonal and people skills. A good research record helps.