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Education & Training Interviews: Martin Hoyle, Head of Student Administration at St Mary’s University

Posted on 25/01/2018 by Samantha Johnston

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In the second part of our Education & Training interview series, we sat down with Martin Hoyle, Head of Student Administration at St Mary’s University. In this interview, we talk to Martin about the education sector, his career and how TPP placed him in his current role.

 

What is it that you do?
I am the Head of Student Administration at St Mary’s University. I am responsible for overseeing examinations, assessments and UKVI compliance, as well as student academic misconduct, conduct, complaints and appeals. My role involves working within the registry department managing a team of 6 administrative staff.
 

How did you arrive at your current role?
​During a short period of temporary employment following my last permanent role, TPP contacted me to see if I would be interested in the role of Head of Student Administration on an initial temporary basis.

Prior to this, I had gained over ten years’ experience working for various Universities in professional services disciplines and this role seemed to encapsulate all of my previous experience as well as allowing room for further growth and development. The role then ended up becoming a permanent post, which I successfully interviewed for a few months later!
 

What did you want to be when you were younger?
Other than a millionaire, so I didn’t have to work, I think I wanted to be a footballer or in the RAF.  Then after three years of working in a factory after finishing college, I decided to study Events Management at University and work within the music/events industry. After a brief stint of working in promotions for a music venue in London, I decided working weekends wasn’t for me and gained my first temporary position in the HE sector via an agency.
 

How did you come into contact with TPP?
Sam contacted me out of the blue, having seen my CV online and believing I could be suitable for the role I am in now - continuing to put me forward.
 

Did they help you in anyway?
Absolutely, they made me aware of the role, regularly checked to see how I was doing once recruited and provided guidance and support when negotiating my permanent contract. Now the roles are reversed and I use TPP to recruit staff for my team during busy periods.
 

What made you want to work in Education?
Getting into the sector was purely by chance, however there are many reasons I now enjoy working for a University.

Aside from the generous annual leave and flexible working hours, it is generally a relaxed working environment, opposed to what I perceive the corporate sector to be like - and Senior Management are engaging and approachable. In terms of employment, it is relatively easy to choose the direction you wish to go, with many roles having transferable skills.  

Climbing the ladder is also possible with many institutions recruiting and promoting from within.  You also of course have the opportunity and flexibly to move anywhere you wish, providing it has a University!
 

What was your favourite subject at school?
PE as I was stronger at sport than I was academically!
 

What’s it like working at St Mary’s University?
It is a nice place to work, located on a lovely campus, set in beautiful green surroundings.  Working hours are flexible to accommodate my lengthy commute and there is a real sense of community - due to the small size of the institution compared to other University’s I have worked for.  

Changes to regulations, processes and policies happen much quicker here than I have I experienced before and it is encouraging to see things operating more efficiently. It’s also  good to see an improved student experience due to my own ideas and work.

How has the sector changed in your career?
Students are certainly expecting higher levels of service than they were when I first entered the sector over ten years ago, and rightly so. The drastic increase in tuition fees means they are demanding value for money. Competition between Universities for admissions also seems to be fiercer than before, with students being more selective in where the choose to go.
 

If you could give some advice to someone joining the sector, what would it be?
The best way to get into the sector would be to start a temporary position via an agency like TPP!  Quite often temporary positions lead to permanent roles, which is what happened to me all those years ago.
 

How would you describe TPP in one word?
Excellent
 

If you are interested in a similar role, please get in touch with Samantha Johnston on samantha.johnston@tpp.co.uk.