Appointment of the Associate Director International

The University of Sussex


Dear candidate

Thank you for expressing an interest in joining the University of Sussex.

The distinctive ethos with which Sussex was established more than 60 years ago still animates our work today. From the start, Sussex challenged convention and fostered critical, at times dissenting, thinking. It set out to disrupt traditional ways of creating and organising knowledge, and in doing so, developed its own distinctive identity which fostered a strong sense of community and purpose.

As Sussex embarks on our seventh decade, the early emphasis on innovation, interdisciplinarity, intellectual rigour, and internationalism – in education, research, and external engagement – continues to define the University.

Sussex’s success as a world-leading university is built on these practices and is underpinned by the institutional values that we strive to enact – collaboration, courage, inclusion, integrity, and kindness; and by our foundational commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech.

The higher education sector faces major challenges, but in a globally interconnected world that urgently needs new ways of thinking and bold interventions, Sussex’s future is extremely bright. We are focused on directing the energy and resources of the University to realising the full potential of our ground-breaking research, thought leadership, and transformational education in the service of the common good.

At the heart of this is a twin-track focus on advancing equality, enhancing diversity, and creating an inclusive, supportive university community in which diversity in all its forms is embraced, so that everyone feels that Sussex is a place in which they can flourish. Alongside this, we want to ensure that the University is a leading player in the transition to a more equitable, environmentally sustainable, post-carbon future.

Our new Associate Director International will be central to this work, working closely with the Director of Communications, Marketing and Advancement and Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and International Development to support the new Provost on the delivery of our student number ambitions and working with the Associate Director Global Engagement and the new PVC Global and Civic Engagement on delivery of the ‘Engage for Change’ pillar of our strategic framework. Sussex already has an extensive network of national and international recruitment collaborations with universities and organisations around the world, and we are ambitious in seeking to further our international work and to engage in ethical and mutually beneficial partnerships globally to contribute to the positive change that the world so urgently needs.

You can find more information about the role and how to apply on this website. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you in confidence – their details can also be found on this site.

I look forward to welcoming the Associate Director to work with the senior team and the whole Sussex community and with institutional partners, old and new.

With best wishes

Marcus Williams
Interim Director of Communications, Marketing and Advancement

About us

The University of Sussex received its Royal Charter in 1961 and immediately set about offering an alternative to the traditional higher education landscape.

From the very start, Sussex was intended to be a new kind of university: challenging convention and fostering critical thinking. It set out to disrupt traditions, create new ‘interdisciplinary’ pathways, and redraw the map of learning. Today our courses, research, and culture aim to stimulate, excite and challenge. So, from scientific discovery to global policy, from student welfare to career development, Sussex innovates and takes a lead. And today, in every part of society and across the world, you will find someone from Sussex making an original and valuable contribution.

Now in our 61st year, we have grown to more than 18,500 students, and have established a global reputation with more than 89 per cent of our research recognised as world leading or internationally recognised in REF2021.  We are currently rated in the top 250 in the world (218th) out of more than 1,500 Universities in the QS World University Rankings and 1st in the same rankings by subject for Development Studies.

We are also in the top 50 of universities globally delivering on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  We especially value our community, as demonstrated by our outstanding record for student retention, and we nurture our students to give them the best life chances.

We also maintain fantastic connections with our alumni from more than 150 countries, who are proudly associated with the University and who frequently tell us how their time at Sussex shaped their careers and gave them the courage to stand up for their beliefs.  Our alumni include the former Presidents of Botswana, Costa Rica and South Africa, the former Acting President of Zambia, and the former Vice-President of the Gambia. All of them take their Sussex experience beyond campus to contribute to their communities and to the wider world.

The continuing support of our alumni enables us to provide bursaries and scholarships for a wide range of disadvantaged students, as well as networking and mentoring opportunities.

Looking to the future, we aim to build on our strengths and remain committed to Sussex providing high-quality education, excellence in academic research, and fruitful engagement with our international partners and local communities.  We welcomed students from over 150 countries to campus in 2023 and we are committed to maintaining a truly international environment as we develop our new University strategy.

You can find out more about the university here.

A research-intensive university

With our highly cited researchers, five Nobel Laureates and a founding commitment to interdisciplinarity, Sussex is respected for innovative, high-quality research.

We received excellent REF2021 results.  We are ranked by Times Higher Education (THE) as 27th in the UK for Research Power and Market Share, up from 34th in 2014 and placed 32nd for research impact. 89% of our research is ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Also, 93% of our research impact was assessed to be ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ – up from 80.7% in 2014.

We have an exceptionally strong international profile to our research, being ranked first in the world for Development Studies in QS World University Rankings (2022) for the sixth year running. We are also proud to have been named among the top 50 universities in the world for delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals in research, teaching, stewardship, and outreach in the (THE) World Impact Rankings 2022.

We have longstanding strengths in biosciences, gender studies, international relations, literature and linguistics, modern history, psychology, quantum physics, radical arts theory and practice, science policy, and sustainability research. These established areas of excellence are joined by emerging and consolidating strengths within business and management, digital humanities, law, and medicine. Our Business School received the highest research grant income of any Business School in the UK in 2022.

We have a number of Research Programmes and Centres that highlight our commitment to interdisciplinary research, and which provide creative opportunities to solve some of our most pressing research challenges in new ways, such as the Sussex Kindness Research network. We also have several active Doctoral Training Partnerships, including a £17m AHRC grant, funding around 75 studentships, which collectively promote excellence in research, knowledge exchange and postgraduate training.  From questioning the ethics of artificial intelligence to challenging policies that cause poverty and inequality, our researchers are at the forefront of translating research into positive change. Our focus continues to be on how we can advance knowledge for a better world and how can we contribute towards ensuring progress for people and planet.

Teaching, learning and the wider student experience

  • More than 18,500 students, of whom 76% are undergraduates, and 24% are postgraduates
  • University of the Year for Student Retention in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

We recognise the value that human interaction brings to education, and are deeply committed to face-to-face teaching.

At the same time, our goal of delivering a transformative learning experience to our students, as set out in our Sussex 2025 strategic framework, incorporates new ways to make learning and teaching exciting and contemporary.

Across our on-site and virtual programmes we continue to pioneer and integrate innovations in educational pedagogy, learning methods and digital technologies. We want our curriculum to break boundaries, inspire students to be critical thinkers, and encourage disruptive, entrepreneurial imagination to meet future global challenges.

Enhancing the student experience beyond the classroom, our recently opened Student Centre is fundamental to an ambitious transformation in how our students access friendly, consistent, and expert personalised services across campus and digitally. We want to create a strong sense of belonging and community for all students, creating spaces to build relationships, be creative and share ideas.

Developing our new Student Centre is just one of a range of initiatives to transform the Sussex student experience. We are also proud to have launched both The Spirit of Sussex Award, which celebrates students’ extracurricular achievements, and the Connector Programme, aimed at getting staff and students to work together to improve the student experience at Sussex.

Inclusive Sussex

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are everyone’s business at the University of Sussex.  Achieving equality, diversity, and inclusion is fundamental to the success of the University. We aspire not just to reduce inequalities in outcomes for individuals, but to use our expertise, commitment, and courage to challenge the status quo and address chronic issues of under-representation and disadvantage.

We are committed to taking bold action to transform the campus into one that is experienced as inclusive by all our communities. This includes understanding and addressing power relations and the intersecting inequalities that many members of our community experience. Our goal is to create a culture where everyone thrives, making Sussex a beacon in the sector nationally and internationally.

We have much to be proud of in building an equal, diverse, and fair community at Sussex. In terms of gender equality, our percentage of women professors is seen as excellent for the sector and our Widening Participation programme of engagement and support has resulted in significantly reducing the attainment gap for our ‘first generation scholars’.

But we know from our data, research, and consultations that we have much more to do to make the University truly equal and inclusive, for example, by closing the gender pay gap, improving the representation and experience of black and minority ethnic staff, closing the attainment/awarding and employment gap across different groups of students, and making our campus fully accessible.

Inclusive Sussex is the University’s equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy. Our vision is for all members of our community to have equal access to opportunities, and to experience the University as one that enables them to fully meet their potential and supports them to make a full contribution to the University. Reducing inequalities, and promoting and celebrating diversity of background, identity and belief allows us all to thrive. We can achieve more together than we can apart.

For further information on the University’s commitment and approach to EDI, please see

Sustainable Sussex

Our ambition is simple and clear – to be one of the most sustainable universities in the world. From our aims to reach net zero by 2035 and embed sustainability across the curriculum and beyond, to our wide-ranging research, our commitment to sustainability permeates everything we do.

We already have sector-leading performance in key issues of sustainability such as our own renewable energy farm with 3,000 solar panels and being the first UK university to introduce an aerobic digester for food waste.

We scored 100% in three areas of the 2022/23 People & Planet University League Table. Building on this, we have recently published our ambitious and comprehensive sustainability strategy, setting out a roadmap for Sussex. What is remarkable about Sustainable Sussex is its breadth. We are addressing all 17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Our key aims include:

  • Reach net zero by 2035 – including both direct and indirect carbon emissions via decarbonised infrastructure and ethical procurement activity.
  • Embed sustainability into all aspects of student learning and experience.
  • Recycle 50% of waste by 2025 – and reduce the waste produced per student by 10% by 2025.
  • Create the UK’s most biodiverse campus – setting aside up to half of the site for nature.
  • Have more staff and students volunteering in their local community – including through a new charity partnership with Surfers Against Sewage.

Our strategy is grounded upon consultation and collaboration at every level. It has been co-created with the University’s students, staff, partners, and stakeholders. Our academics have also been doing tremendous work to protect and restore the environment. For example, Sussex biologists are involved in conservation projects across the globe, including joining a local initiative to protect and restore the Sussex coast’s kelp fields that have been depleted by trawling, and we have a new Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre, which received £20m from UK Research and Innovation.

All these sustainability efforts, and more, have earned us praise and recognition. The University was named among the world’s top 50 for delivering on the UN SDGs in research, teaching, stewardship and outreach in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Impact Rankings 2022.

Global engagement and impact

Sussex is proudly international. From the first Mandela scholarships in the 1970s, to our pioneering role in the establishment of Erasmus, Sussex has been globally minded from its inception.

The University hosts 4,500 students from over 150 countries annually and welcomes one of the largest UK communities of prestigious Chevening Scholars. Our network of global alumni reflects our long history of internationalisation. With over 330 academic partners in 60 countries, we have established mutually beneficial relationships with outstanding global partners that underpin our initiatives for student and staff mobility, research collaboration, and international teaching programmes.

We have aligned our engagement priorities with Global Grand Challenges and deliver impact-led projects worldwide. We display empathy and compassion to develop a strong international focus and awareness in our staff, students and in all that we do.

In 2020 the University of Sussex was one of the first 15 universities to be awarded the title of ‘University of Sanctuary’ in recognition of its efforts to welcome and support forced migrants.

We offer an extensive array of scholarships to support our students and ensure we optimise diversity in our recruitment.

Our International Office is comprised of 23 staff with colleagues based in four countries (China, India, Malaysia, Nigeria and Japan) supporting agents and prospective students learn more about Sussex.

The successful candidate for the Associate Director role will join the Division of Communications Marketing and Advancement senior leadership team and will work closely supporting the Divisional Director.  This exciting opportunity comes about as a result of the previous International Office lead, relocating to New Zealand after a ten-year period.  The successful candidate will be joining at an exciting time for the University as we embark on our new strategic plan under the leadership of our Vice-Chancellor Professor Sasha Roseneil.

You can view the international office organisation here.

Our location

Our campus

The University of Sussex is home to more than 18,500 students who are based in one of the most beautiful campus locations in Britain. Our campus is located at Falmer on the edge of the lively city of Brighton & Hove. Situated in rolling parkland, the campus combines award-winning architecture with green open spaces.

Designed by Sir Basil Spence, the buildings that make up the heart of the campus were given listed-building status in 1993. Falmer House is one of only two post-war educational buildings in the UK to be Grade 1 listed in recognition of its exceptional interest.

The campus is undergoing sustained investment and development to support Sussex’s academic mission, with new teaching buildings, new student residences, refurbishment of teaching buildings and the Library, and the reopening of the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

The campus is just 55 miles (90 km) from London. Frequent trains from central London take as little as 50 minutes to Brighton, with a quick nine-minute connection to Falmer to reach campus. London Gatwick airport is only 30 minutes from Brighton, and London Heathrow is just over an hour’s drive.

Brighton and the wider community

The city of Brighton & Hove has much to offer to both staff and students, including a quality of life for families and single people that is hard to match. With a fabulous variety of shops, restaurants and pubs, the city also has a range of good schools and a very tolerant, relaxed atmosphere.

With the South Downs National Park, historic sites such as The Royal Pavilion and the beautiful south coast within easy reach of the campus, there is also plenty on offer for nature and history lovers alike. Brighton has a truly diverse cultural scene with a wealth of theatres, cinemas and galleries. From pre-West End premieres at the Theatre Royal to the variety of experimental fringe productions staged throughout the year, and the famous Brighton Festival every May, there is plenty on offer.

Both Glyndebourne and Chichester, with their own distinctive cultural offerings, are easily accessible. The historic market town of Lewes is also close to campus, and many members of staff choose to live there because of its wide choice of housing and excellent schools.

The role

Associate Director International (AQ2065)

Apply now

Job Title: Associate Director International
Grade: Grade 9
School/Division: Communications, Marketing and Advancement (CMA)
Location: Bramber House, level 4
Responsible to: Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and International Development (SRAID)
Direct reports: Senior International Officers
Key contacts: Director of SRAID, Director of CMA, PVC Global and Civic Engagement, Provost, Heads of School, Head of Admissions, Associate Director Global Engagement.


  • Providing strategic direction for the International Office and International Business Development.
  • To develop and advise on strategy, leading the development and implementation of the international student recruitment strategy.
  • Work with Schools, CMA and Professional Services colleagues to scope out income-generating opportunities.

Working for the Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and International Development and with other members of the senior management, including the Director of Communications, Marketing and Advancement and PVC Global and Civic Engagement and Provost, the Associate Director International will play a significant leadership role in the development and implementation of the University’s international student recruitment strategy.  The post-holder will identify opportunities for and work with Schools and Departments to support income-generating opportunities, particularly in international markets and advise and work with CMA colleagues on maximising international recruitment to support overall University recruitment objectives.

Principal accountabilities

  • Provide leadership to the International Office team in the UK and overseas, promote and maintain a high quality Professional Services department, engendering a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Responsible for setting the standards of delivery within the International Office and ensuring appropriate resources are available.
  • Set direction and vision for the International Office ensuring resulting policies and operational plans are in alignment with strategic objectives, in particular the development and implementation of the international student recruitment strategy.
  • Work in partnership with other internal and external stakeholders to ensure strategic alignment of service, for example working with Academic Schools and Professional Services teams to support income generating opportunities.

Key responsibilities

Departmental Leadership

  • Provide leadership across a number of teams, setting standards of service, targets and objectives including overseas offices in China, India, Malaysia and Nigeria.
  • Ensure the appropriate allocation of resources to achieve targets and objectives including the selection, induction, performance management and development of all members of the department.
  • Set departmental direction and vision ensuring service and departmental culture are in strategic alignment with the institution.
  • Support the development of others, providing leadership and coaching in area of expertise.
  • Foster an ethos of continuous improvement.
  • Foster an ethos of support provision to Schools of study by ensuring alignment with other Divisional colleagues and School academic and Professional Services colleagues.

Service Delivery

  • Working within overall university policy and procedure, ensure the effective management of responsibilities in the area of expertise. Plan and allocate resources to support the achievement of departmental targets and objectives.
  • Development of departmental/functional strategic plans (including oversight of Regional recruitment strategies, Overseas office plans, Agent monitoring, Commission, Health and Safety linked to travel, Scholarships policy and Articulation and Progression policy).
  • Ensure effective service delivery within area of responsibility.
  • Provide reports and other communication media internally and externally as appropriate. To undertake analysis, interpretation and presentation of complex and conflicting information to inform decisions related to subject area.
  • Ensuring an appropriate health and safety framework for International Office staff.
  • Identify critical issues when resolving problems, particularly where there is complex or competing information and use university strategy and objectives to make decisions.

Strategy and Planning

  • Based on a broad and deep set of knowledge and experience, set strategic direction in areas of responsibility.
  • Shape policy development and provide guidance on the strategic agenda to your line manager, Director of the Division and senior academics responsible for the international agenda.
  • Ensure appropriate governance is in place for area of expertise, supporting the International recruitment agenda through attendance at the Intake Management Group, International Executive Group, Scholarships Advisory Group.

Customers and Stakeholders

  • Proactively engage with internal and external stakeholders, such as our partner Study Group, recruitment agents, British Council, BUILA, UUKi colleagues, Academic staff (such as the School based Academic Directors of Recruitment and Admissions), Professional staff in the clusters or students to ensure the effective delivery of strategic objectives, initiate and develop relationships, providing analysis of data and information to inform decisions as necessary, showing appropriate sensitivity when needed.
  • Persuade, influence and negotiate as appropriate to further the objectives of the University.

Key responsibilities

  • Review on an annual basis the international student recruitment strategy to meet the objectives of the University’s strategy, updating the line manager and Divisional Director.
  • Agree annual international regional recruitment plans and budgets with the Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and International Development.
  • Overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of regional recruitment plans,  undertaking an annual review of performance in priority and non-priority markets and provide feedback to relevant University committees and providing monthly updates on overseas recruitment in year.
  • Recommend strategies on financial incentive packages such as scholarships, discounts and agent commissions that increase recruitment and net gain to the University.
  • Working with the Doctoral School, Admissions and School colleagues, through the Scholarships Advisory Group for taught scholarships and relevant Doctoral School committees for PGR awards, coordinate and manage strategy around international scholarships.
  • Manage the strategies and recruitment activities for target countries and ensure regular travel overseas to major markets to represent the University and monitor performance.
  • Oversee the management of the University’s agent strategy, including responsibility for confirming all commission payments with the Finance Office.
  • Oversee the relationship with key pathway providers such as Study Group, contributing to regular meetings and steering groups.
  • Update the University Executive Group as required on issues relating to international recruitment and ensure risk registers are kept up to date on a monthly basis.
  • Provide up to date policy advice and guidance in advance of intakes, changes in market conditions and ahead of key committees and visits from key partners.
  • Participate in outbound and inward University recruitment and business development opportunities and ensure senior management colleagues are appropriately briefed.
  • Provide advice to the line manager and Director of the Division and other senior colleagues to ensure the reputation and brand of the institution is upheld.
  • Accompany Senior Management on targeted overseas missions as and when required, including the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellors and Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and International Development.

To carry out any other duties that are within the employee’s skills and abilities whenever reasonably instructed.

This Job Description sets out current duties of the post that may vary from time to time without changing the general character of the post or level of responsibility entailed.


  • Leading a team of c.22 staff.
  • Manage a budget of c.£875k.
  • Responsible for oversight of overseas offices in China (Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen), India, Malaysia and Nigeria.
  • Management of the Agent Commission process.
  • Responsible for the achievement of International student recruitment targets agreed annually through the Planning process.
  • Responsible for the Health and Safety of staff within the International Office in the UK and overseas.
  • The post holder reports to the Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and International Development, but enjoys a defined level of autonomy and responsibility to enable the post holder to manage their own work and that of their reporting managers to achieve their agreed objectives. The role holder also supports the senior leadership team of the Division of Communications, Marketing and Advancement to achieve the strategic and operational goals of the University, Professional Services & their Division. The post holder is expected to work collaboratively across the University and with key stakeholders to deliver single team working that efficiently and effectively supports the achievement of those goals and objectives.
  • Support achievement of the Division of Communications, Marketing and Advancement’s compliance with all applicable statutory and regulatory compliance obligations, including (but not limited to): UKVI, Health & Safety, the Prevent Duty, data protection, Competition and Markets Authority requirements and equal opportunities, as appropriate to the grade and role. Additionally, to promote good practice in relation to University policy, procedure and guidance in relation to those compliance matters in respect of students, staff and other relevant parties.
  • Balance effectiveness and cost-efficiency in the management of the budgets you are accountable for, demonstrating compliance with Value for Money and Return on Investment principles to support the University’s strategic aim to achieve a world-class standard of teaching and research by managing our resources effectively and efficiently.


Essential criteria

  • Normally educated to degree level, or other equivalent qualification.
  • Proficiency in the area of International Recruitment with significant experience, and a broad and deep knowledge and understanding of the international higher education field, sector trends and cross over with marketing, recruitment and admissions, data compliance, health and safety.
  • Highly effective leadership skills with the ability to motivate others to achieve.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to present concepts, vision and strategy in a way that can be understood the audience.
  • Well-developed planning and organisational skills, including project management with the ability to delegate to team members.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to effectively influence, persuade and negotiate in area of expertise, effectively contribute to team working to build and develop working relationships.
  • Well-developed analytical skills with the ability to generate effective solutions from concepts and vision and make effective decisions to deliver vision.
  • Effective IT skills on MS platform.
  • Experience at senior level of leading international student recruitment teams in higher education.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Higher Education sector.

Essential role-specific criteria

  • An experienced international recruitment practitioner in this area, with substantial experience in international recruitment.
  • Substantial staff management experience which has included motivation of others in an operational environment.
  • Recent experience of international travel for international student recruitment purposes.
  • Experience of developing, liaising with and managing an extensive education agent network.
  • Experience of developing, liaising with and managing successful overseas partnerships.
  • Experience of managing international liaison officers or student recruitment staff.
  • Experience of working at a senior level to develop strategic international recruitment plans and programmes activity in order to meet recruitment targets.
  • Experience of setting and monitoring financial, recruitment or similar targets.
  • Experience of managing departmental budgets.
  • Experience of producing marketing material on and off line and publicity for recruitment purposes.
  • Experience of managing admissions systems and Customer Relationship Management systems and being involved with developing enquiries management and conversion processes.
  • An ability to be the external face of the institution overseas and to represent the University to a range of audiences.
  • Credibility, drive, determination and intellectual curiosity.
  • Creative problem solver with enthusiasm for developing new initiatives and working in a team environment.
  • Prepared to travel overseas up to 8 – 10 weeks per annum with work in the evenings (hosting overseas visitors) and occasional weekend work (when overseas).

Desirable criteria

  • Higher Degree or professional qualifications, for example an MBA or CIM qualifications.
  • A Project Management qualification such as Prince II or equivalent would be advantageous.

Terms of appointment


A competitive salary will be agreed with the preferred candidate.

Annual leave

39 days inclusive of bank holidays and University minimum service days.


The successful candidate will be eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme. You can find out more here.

Further benefits

The University offers a wider range of additional benefits including

  • An Employee Assistance scheme
  • An Annual Leave Purchase scheme
  • A cycle to work scheme
  • A travel discount scheme
  • Staff discounts
  • A health cash plan
  • Tax free childcare (Government scheme)
  • Discounted gym membership

You can find out more here.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to the University. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 7th August 2023.

Preliminary interviews will be held in late August. Final interviews will be held in September.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining how you meet the essential experience criteria of the person specification.
  • Please include details of two referees in your CV, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.

To apply, please click the Apply Now button at the top of this page.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534 or or Imogen Wilde on +44 (0)7864 652 633 or