Coronavirus update: Closure of Ambitious Futures

Given the extraordinary and unprecedented situation the higher education sector has faced and the huge financial challenges every university has been presented with, it is with great regret that we announce the closure of the graduate programme for university leadership, Ambitious Futures Ltd, with effect from February 2021.


What does this mean for our 2019/21 cohort?

For our current cohort of trainees, their leadership and development programme will continue as planned and they will graduate in February 2021.


Pride in the achievements and a heartfelt thank you

Ambitious Futures was established in 2012 by the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA). It became a subsidiary company of the University of Nottingham in 2015.

During that time, we have partnered with over 40 higher education institutions to recruit exceptional graduate talent into the sector. We have delivered programmes of vocational learning to seven cohorts and have helped to develop 195 trainees for leadership positions in universities.

This unique graduate programme was designed exclusively for the higher education sector:

  • to attract, develop and retain exceptional talent in our universities’ professional services
  • to nurture future leadership potential across the sector
  • to contribute to workforce development and career progression
  • to support succession planning strategies
  • to enhance the profile of universities as excellent places to work
  • to develop a talent pipeline for the sector
  • to drive transformation, change and improvements in processes and services
  • to deliver added value, high impact outcomes
  • to align knowledge, skills and abilities with strategic and operational priorities
  • to drive a progressive, adaptive and agile approach in higher education institutions

The programme has harnessed the interdependence between strategy, talent and performance adding significant value and competitive advantage for many universities. The knowledge, skills and abilities of our trainees have helped to transform services and processes, galvanising and managing change across strategic and operational priorities.

In 2019, the Ambitious Futures programme was recognised for its development of the future leaders of higher education by Times Higher Education (THE Awards) and was presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development’ award sponsored by Advance HE. The judges found that "this innovative approach helps to develop personal resilience, adaptability and emotional intelligence in high-achieving graduates".

We would like to thank our partners and trainees for their support and commitment over the last seven years.