Director of External Relations


30th October 2016

Competitive salary, commensurate with experience

For over a century, the University of Bristol has inspired generations of students, pushed back the frontiers of human understanding, and served its city, region and nation with distinction.  We are one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK and one of the world’s top research-intensive universities – fifth in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and 41st in the 2016 QS World Rankings.  Today, the University is a world-renowned institution, with over 15,500 undergraduate and 4,500 postgraduate students.

With an annual turnover of £530m and over 6,000 staff, the University provides high-quality, research-led education, and invests in new technology and services to offer the best student experience.  We have a highly successful programmes of student enterprise and engagement, and we interact ever more closely and productively with the outstanding city-region in which we are located.  This year, we are launching an ambitious new institutional strategy that outlines how we will build on our current position and take our next step forward.

Telling the Bristol story with pride, so that we continue to attract the best staff and students is a pre-requisite for achieving our aims.

This newly created senior post will report to the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer and be an important part of the Senior Management Team, and will be responsible for the overall strategic direction and delivery of all of the University’s External Relations activity and all student recruitment.  In so doing, you’ll enhance and consolidate the University’s profile with key audiences, including domestic and international prospective students, staff, employers and institutional partners.

The Role

  • The Director will provide exceptional strategic and operational leadership and expert advice to the SMT and take responsibility for a broad and diverse portfolio that includes International (including student recruitment and overseas partnerships); UK student recruitment and partnerships; widening participation; admissions; corporate marketing and brand management; PR; media relations and public events; internal and external communications and government relations.
  • Consulting with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Student Recruitment), the Director will oversee the strategic direction of the University’s recruitment, admissions and widening participation activities, and the University’s internationalisation activities.
  • The Director will ensure effective coordination of efforts relating to the University’s external profile across the University’s professional services, both within and outside his/her own teams, and across academic units such as faculties, schools and institutes.
  • This role demands motivational leadership of a sizeable and diverse team, in a large and complex organisation.  It also requires a co-operative and collaborative team player, whose relationship-building and influencing skills are second to none.

The Person

  • With highly developed leadership and interpersonal skills, you will have already held an executive or senior level post in at least one of the professional areas in the External
  • Relations Directorate portfolio in an organisation (public or private sector) of comparable scale and complexity.
  • You’ll have a strong track record, at senior level, in developing and delivering effective marketing, communications and recruitment strategies, ideally within a regulated industry or sector, to an international or global market.
  • Your vision, creativity and lateral thinking have resulted in innovative, effective solutions which have enabled you and your team to deliver organisational transformation.
  • You are able to demonstrate success in the promotion of top class, customer-focused professional standards across the teams you have lead.
  • Politically astute and sensitive to the dynamics and priorities of an academically led institution, you have the gravitas to swiftly earn trust and establish professional credibility.

For more details about this and to apply, please visit our microsite

Closing date:  Midnight Sunday 30 October 2016