Nicholas Edwards tell us about his role as Assistant Registrar and his passion for supporting students throughout their university journey.

Tell us about your role at the University

My role sits within Registry and primarily involves looking after our students on study visas and Registry’s compliance with immigration law. I also help with other functions such as Graduation preparation and ceremonies; Student Registration weeks; Academic Discipline; Quality Assurance; and our relationship with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. As a former solicitor I am geekily interested in policy and processes and often seek out involvement in this sort of thing!

How do you usually start your day?

Coffee. Simple as that. Once that has kicked in I do the traditional check of emails before starting on the action list. This can vary from answering queries from our international students; liaising with the Home Office; reviewing processes and communications for our various roles; attending meetings or committees; or preparing for the larger events Registry co-ordinates, like the bi-annual Graduations – where I am often seen wandering about looking like an imposing extra from Game of Thrones. 

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

I initially came here when I was 17 to study my law degree and went on to take up a sabbatical position as President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities at AUSA. That led me to my formal legal training and after 4 years in Edinburgh I began to realise that I missed the work I had done in Higher Education. My other half at the time was looking to relocate to the city to study his medical degree and everything, as they say, fit into place from there. 

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Without a doubt the variety. Getting to deal with students and staff on a daily basis, while dealing with a variety of emails and reports, meetings and an ever changing political and strategic environment is something I find really exciting. Getting to support our students through the entirety of the University career, from registering to Graduating, is also really rewarding – if not sometimes challenging along the way! Ultimately I am passionate about improving things for our students and the staff that support them – be that making processes easier and more clear; communications easier to read; or policy more accessible. 

What are your work priorities at the moment?

Currently focus is on our incoming students for the next Academic Year where I will be involved in co-ordinating the immigration and visa check process for the new overseas students. I will also be involved in supporting all returning students in using the MyCurriculum system and making the usual tweaks to our Tier 4 policy and process for the new academic year to hopefully make the lives of our students and staff easier! 

How do you like to relax outside work?

In a fairly boring answer I love catching up with friends and family dotted around the country. I am often down in the central belt visiting friends from my legal days and my family have recently moved to Kent – so I am down south a few times a year to catch up with the parents and nephews who keep me pretty busy!

Otherwise the usual TV box sets; a bit of cooking and baking; and the constant attempts at getting “healthy”.

Excuse the photo, but when on the Hogwarts Express…..