Building new networks at the ACU HR in HE Conference

The ACU held its 8th HR in HE Community Conference in Canada at the University of Waterloo in September 2018. The conference brought together HR practictioners working in higher education from across the Commonwealth and beyond, to examine the theme 'Universities of the Future: Global Perspectives for HR?'. Here, Ronnie Squires, Human Resources Officer at the University of the West Indies – who was awarded a bursary to attend the conference – shares his experience.

The ACU HR in HE conference was extremely educational, due to the nature and diversity of the sessions on offer. A number of sessions I attended will benefit me as my professional career develops, including 'Lean in Higher Education', 'HR in the new digital age'; 'Inclusive leadership in the HE Sector' and 'University professional staff careers: do we need a new approach'. Each of these sessions, delivered by experts in the sector from across the Commonwealth, provided me with new ideas, knowledge, and thinking that I will be putting into practice.

Group of delegates at the ACU HR in HE Community Conference 2018

Delegates at the ACU HR in HE conference - Ronnie Squires is second from the right 

Beyond this, the networking value of the conference cannot be overemphasised. The people who attended represented approximately 20 Commonwealth Countries – I was privileged to interact with Caribbean colleagues from The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Maritime University in Jamaica and the University of Guyana. On the international scene, I made new linkages with colleagues from the United Kingdom, Canada, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, Uganda and New Zealand to mention a few.

During the course of the conference there were numerous opportunities to network with colleagues and the benefits of these meetings cannot be underestimated or undervalued, including the welcome reception and Gala dinner. The greetings were extremely cordial and heart-warming and this process of fraternal interaction was the highlight of each day of the conference. From all accounts, these linkages will continue into the foreseeable future.

It would be remiss of me to close this blog without offering deep appreciation to the ACU for awarding me the bursary, without this I would not have been able to attend the HR in HE Conference!

My involvement in this conference will immeasurably enhance my professional career and undoubtedly will also be beneficial to the UWI Open Campus in multiple ways over the next few years.

Ronnie Squires is a Human Resource Officer based at The University of the West Indies Open Campus in Barbados. His duties include oversight of HR Operations for Open Campus in Barbados. He reports directly to the Director, Human Resources who is based in another territory, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Consequently, he occasionally substitutes for the Director in overseeing the HR Operations of the entire Open Campus.

Find out more about the 8th ACU HR in HE Community Conference. If you would like to be at the next event, join the HR in HE Community today. 

Last modified on 07/11/2018
Tags: ACU HR in HE Community, Human Resources, Commonwealth, higher education