Alan Ferns, Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation In an increasingly competitive higher education marketplace, universities around the world are beginning to pay more attention to their most valuable asset – their reputation. How do universities go about measuring and managing their reputation and what role can public engagement – and the presence of iconic scientists, research and facilities play in defining and enhancing a university’s reputation. Alan Ferns, Associate Vice-President for External Relations at The University of Manchester, will talk about the role that Rutherford, Brain Cox, the Jodrell Bank telescope and the wonder material Graphene have played in building the reputation of his University. He will also discuss how public engagement is playing an increasingly important role in shaping people’s perceptions of universities around the world. Alan Ferns is Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation and is responsible for providing co-ordination, leadership and strategic direction for a wide range of external relations and reputation building activities. He works closely with the President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior colleagues to build and maintain good relationships with external agencies and key stakeholders and to monitor, protect and enhance the University’s global reputation Prior to taking up his current role in January 2017, Alan was Director of Communications and Marketing at the University where he managed the award-winning central communications and marketing team. He also provided the strategy and leadership for a wider community of communications and marketing professionals across the University responsible for delivering communications and engagement activity for the University’s 40,000 students, 11,000 staff and 380,000 alumni. Alan and his team delivered all of the communications surrounding the successful Manchester ‘merger’ of 2004 and built the brand that has transformed the global reputation of The University of Manchester since then. He has worked in the field of university communications since 1983 at the universities of Lancaster, Salford and Manchester.
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