Senior Programme Officer (Commonwealth Scholarships)

Association of Commonwealth Universities

An exciting opportunity has arisen at the ACU for a Senior Programme Officer to support our work within the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) Secretariat. The Senior Programme Officer (SPO) is a key member of the CSC Secretariat and will manage a busy team of up to seven Programme Officers and oversee the work of a further three roles. The SPO ensures that the team provides an excellent standard of service to Commonwealth scholars through the professional and timely administration of awards from application through to selection and placement as well as whilst on award.

The role requires effective people management, including team development and monitoring performance, as well as the ability to manage relationships with external organisations including the CSC’s university and other partners.

As Senior Programme Officer, your responsibilities will include:

  • Managing the workloads and monitoring the performance of Programme Officers to ensure that a consistent high level of service is provided to all scholars and UK universities to agreed timelines.
  • Developing and monitoring the CSC’s university partnerships strategy, ensuring that Memorandums of Understanding are in place across schemes and are updated as necessary and to serve as point of contact for university partners.
  • Updating internal policy documentation and manuals as well as external facing documentation (Handbook, Terms and Conditions, pre-departure material) annually or as needed.
  • Keeping CSC policy and practice under review and make recommendations to senior management as appropriate.
  • Keeping up to date with developments in the field of higher education, where necessary attending events and conferences.

Educated to degree level, some of the skills you need to be able to demonstrate include:

  • The ability to provide strong people management for the team including skills in delegation, team development, coaching and developing others, as well as monitoring performance.
  • Experience of designing and refining, implementing, and communicating complex administration processes.
  • Excellent negotiating, influencing and networking skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including writing for and understanding of different audiences and sensitivity for different cultural contexts, and the ability to deliver high standard presentations, policies and reports.
  • Exceptional organisational skills and strong attention to detail.
  • Experience of working in the UK Higher Education environment and supporting international higher Education members/students.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), a registered UK charity, has administered international postgraduate scholarship programmes for almost 60 years. Most of our work is for external sponsors, including three UK government departments. In all cases, we are committed to helping sponsors meet the objectives of their investment and to providing an excellent service to award holders themselves.

Benefits include 31 days holiday per year (including 4 Christmas closure days) plus bank holidays, competitive pension scheme (10% employer contribution and 5% employee contribution), season ticket loan, childcare voucher scheme and excellent support for learning and development.

For further information and details of how to apply, visit

As Senior Programme Officer you will be employed by ACU Trading Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the ACU.

Please see for further information.

At the ACU, we welcome and encourage applications from everyone regardless of gender, race, religion, marital status, disability, age, and sexual orientation.

Interview date: 7 February 2018

Start date: As soon as possible in February/March

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