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Senior Manager Academic and Student Services (SMASS)

Reports to: Campus Director – Lancaster University Leipzig

Overview and Objectives of the Position:

The Senior Manager Academic and Student Services (SMASS) is a key leadership role within LU Leipzig. The SMASS will be accountable for efficiently and effectively managing the development and delivery of the learning and teaching of the Foundation and Pre-Masters programmes, as well as quality assurance, academic and student services provision for the whole campus. This incorporates responsibilities for leading and managing: academic and student services; academic quality assurance; on-site support for Lancaster University in its provisions; student experience as well as social and welfare support. The post holder will be encouraged to develop and maintain key relationships with Lancaster University staff – both in Leipzig and in the UK – and assist in the further development of initiatives and projects such as student exchange and student voice. The SMASS will assist in audits, QAA visits as well as programme sign-off processes.

Key Relationships

The Senior Manager Academic and Student Services (SMASS) will work mainly, but not exclusively, with the following contacts:

Lancaster University Leipzig Campus Director (CD)

(Navitas employed)

Reports into the CD and deputises when needed.   SMASS is a senior member of the Campus team and contributes not only to general campus management issues, but also to (marketing) strategies. 

(Interim) Academic Dean (AD) (Lancaster employed)

Works closely with the (Interim) Academic Dean in terms of academic services provision and student experience.

Academic Office Manager (AOM) (Lancaster employed)

Works closely with the Academic Office Manager (AOM) to establish and follow processes and procedures relating to the academic service provision.

Lancaster University Leipzig Staff (Navitas and Lancaster University employed)

Contributes to the team building and local partnership  

management between teams employed by two

institutions building a ‘one-campus-mentality’.

Lancaster University Leipzig Academic and Student Services Team

(Navitas employed)

Appoints and oversees the performance of the campus academic and student services functions and provides day to day guidance to operations.


Lancaster University Leipzig Link Tutors, Programme Leads and Adjunct Lecturers

(Navitas and Lancaster University employed)

Appoints and oversees the performance of the lecturers and programme leads for the Foundation and Pre-Masters programmes.

Navitas UPE Registry

Works closely with other Navitas UPE Managers and Directors of Academic and Student Services in order to share ideas of best practice and share resources.

Lancaster University Leipzig Career and Engagement Manager

Assist in the planning and conduction of events aiding employability of students.

Principal Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Senior Manager of Academic and Student Services (SMASS) include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Manage the curriculum design and approval of Foundation and Pre-Masters programme elements; assist the (Interim) Academic Dean in approval of new degree and masters programmes
  • Manage the collection, analysis and presentation of data for shared academic Boards and Panels, governance reports and annual reports
  • Chair Academic Teaching Staff meetings, Annual Monitoring and Review, Learning and Teaching Committees as appropriate
  • Manage the Annual Monitoring Review process for the Campus
  • Deliver high quality customer service to the degree and masters programmes staff; hold oversight over the Foundation and Pre-Masters programmes
  • Develop and maintain Academic Services operational relationships with Lancaster University as appropriate for the management of examinations, timetabling and programme development
  • Lead the timetabling processes for the Campus
  • Lead the management of examinations processes on Campus
  • Manage the academic quality assurance processes, i.e., QAA, OfS, CLA, CMA, Regulatory audits
  • Manage the Peer Review and Management Observation process on Campus
  • Manage the relationships between Link Tutors and Foundation and Pre-Masters academic staff.

Student Services

  • Lead, with Manager of Student Services, the enrolment process across the Campus including the semester census checks; participate in enrolment and orientation activities
  • Lead the maintenance and integrity of the student data in paper and electronic format
  • Manage the administration processes for leave of absence, extenuating circumstances, withdrawal and termination of students
  • Lead, with Manager of Student Services, on student welfare and social support strategy and operationalise an annual events calendar for students and staff
  • Lead the student accommodation systems and provision
  • Work closely with local partners to ensure that non-German speaking students are well catered for in their everyday lives in Germany.

Leadership and Management

  • Assist Campus Director in the management of the Student Services budget
  • As part of the strategic leadership team, partake in strategic planning processes
  • Work closely with the Director of Marketing and Admissions to develop student number plans, forecasts and budgets; be accountable for progression and retention figures
  • Manage the HR process for Student Academic Services staff including recruitment and induction; manage the Academic Service Team
  • Manage the Foundation and Pre-Masters Academic Teaching staff induction and development of programmes.

Skills and Experience:


  • Minimum of degree level qualification.
  • Evidence of work related professional development
  • Good understanding of the UK Higher Education system and Quality Assurance processes and procedures
  • Successful record of managing people, budgets and resources
  • Experience of implementing strategies, standards and practices
  • Understand and respect the critical interface between budget management, quality assurance and student recruitment
  • Possess detailed knowledge and understanding of OfS regulations and the QAA’s Code of Practice
  • Understand the dynamic and often volatile nature of international education export business and need therefore to provide best practice levels of care, advice and support to students
  • Substantial experience in curriculum development including the management and evaluation of learning and teaching effectiveness
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders including University personnel, agents and government organisations
  • Highly developed interpersonal, presentation and negotiation skills
  • Well-developed problem-solving, decision-making, team-building and team-working skills
  • Leadership and coordination skills in an education environment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, preferably also German
  • Ability to communicate with staff and students from a diverse range of cultural and educational backgrounds
  • Sound knowledge of equal opportunity, equity and workplace health and safety principles and ability to implement them at the strategic and/or operational level
  • IT literacy, including EXCEL, TEAMS, Online Teaching Tools
  • “Can do” mentality and ability to shine when under pressure.


  • Postgraduate qualification (Masters, PhD, equivalent) and/or Teaching Qualification
  • Successful work experience in a multi-cultural environment; previous experience of running a complex and diverse department
  • Previous experience in leading quality assurance and enhancement in learning and teaching; ideally, having worked with QAA and/or OfS before
  • Previous experience of working/living in an English-speaking environment, i.e., the UK
  • Fluency in German; knowledge and understanding of leading teams in Germany (basic understanding of BGB)
  • Use of project management tools and techniques
  • Willingness to represent Lancaster University at civic and industry events.

Key Performance Indicators:

These are some typical indicators that measure success in the role:

  • Retention and progression figures are within the agreed parameters
  • Ability to offer outstanding student experience and diverse activites within agreed budget
  • Team engagement/performance/satisfaction
  • Foundation/Pre-Masters annual student satisfaction survey

Application Procedure:

The application package should consist of a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and two contacts (including positions) for recommendation letters.

Please merge all documents into one PDF file, indicating your name and submit by e-mail to:

Dr Elisabeth Grindel-Denby | Campus Director

Deadline: Friday, the 7th of January 2022, 12 noon.