Director of Communications - Universities UK - London - £100,000

About Universities UK

We are the collective voice of the UK’s universities and have 142 member universities. For over 100 years we have brought universities together in all four nations of the UK to foster collaboration exchange insight and influence policy.


Our universities are at a pivotal juncture. It is more vital than ever that we can communicate our positions in an effective, collaborative, and powerful way. We shape the narrative surrounding a sector which educates 2.8 million students, which generates new discoveries every day, which makes a £130 billion contribution to the UK economy, and which supports 440,000 jobs.


We are recruiting a new Director of Communications into what is a key leadership role. This is a critical role that represents our voice on behalf of our members across all our key external stakeholder audiences. Through your strategic approach to communications and engagement you will help us to hack our way through the thickest of issues we, and our members currently face to establish a positive public and political perception of our vibrant and important sector. Whether your interest sits with education, economic health, employment, or the reputation of our countries internationally, you will have some of the greatest impact on each of these issues through leading our talented and dedicated communications team.

As the Director of Communications, you will be responsible for:
  • Leading the development and implementation of Universities UK’s communications, campaigns, and political strategies.
  • Developing and delivering a dynamic external relations and communications programme with the objective of achieving maximum impact for UUK’s activities.
  • Acting as a highly visible senior communicator for the sector ensuring UUK has good networks and means of communications with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Playing a visible and meaningful role as a senior leader within UUK and the sector.
  • Leading a multi-functional communications team overseeing media relations, campaigns, digital, political affairs, and events.
  • Providing a coherent, productive, and active voice as part of the executive leadership team of Universities UK.
To qualify as the Director of Communications, you must have:
  • Extensive experience of implementing, reviewing, and evaluating media strategies.
  • Proven track record of successfully placing media stories, working on high profile stories, and dealing with complex enquiries from journalists at a national level.
  • Extensive experience of dealing with reputational risk issues and implementing successful issues management and crisis communications response strategies.
  • Direct line management experience including supporting and developing people in a wide range of roles.
  • Experience of leading several teams simultaneously while managing organisational priorities.
  • Experience of preparing and briefing senior spokespeople and stakeholders for media interviews and high-level political meetings.
  • Experience of successfully lobbying, influencing, and engaging Westminster, Whitehall and other key political decision makers and a strong understanding of how to navigate the UK political landscape.
How to apply:

You must please apply by submitting an up-to-date CV and accompanying supporting statement via the apply button.

For an informal and confidential discussion, please speak with our advisors at Berwick Partners Odgers Berndtson

Thomas Ewen; thomas.ewen@odgersberndtson.com 

Closing date for applications: 23:59 on Sunday 28th April 2024

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