Why I’m Going Where the Audio is [Big Announcement]


Big news. I’m starting three different audio shows. This post tells you what they are, why I’m doing it, and what’s in it for you.

Since they’ll be audio shows, you can listen to the audio that forms this post instead, or read along as you listen to me say it!

Get ready for the first show, for students, to drop next week. It’s called TUB-Thump and you’ll get to hear it right here on TheUniversityBlog.

In recent months, I’ve moved away from the heavy focus on the student experience and policy analysis.

Not because I’ve lost interest. More because I’ve moved closer toward the individuals, the stories, and the excitement in other aspects in and around higher education. So, the student- and policy-facing stuff is still there, just in an evolving way.

Some of this is down to a realisation I had that’s strengthened over that time.

While I’ve spent so many years concentrating on writing words, they’ve stayed written.

It’s dawned on me that those words should sometimes be spoken and sometimes be seen. Sometimes narrated, sometimes freeform.

I love writing words down, but I also have a pretty big thing for the spoken word.

The more audio shows and podcasts I’ve been listening to, the more I recognise the intimacy it brings. And instead of being tied to a screen—like you are when reading or watching video—listening can take place when you’re doing other things.

Last year, I put out a few test broadcasts about higher education and about finding your voice. It was an enjoyable experiment.

Audio shows have been growing quickly in the US. And while the UK is playing catch-up, the enthusiasm is clearly growing. Now is a great time to be producing audio and taking the medium seriously.

Text isn’t going away. However, if I can do more to help people make the most of higher education, I’d be mad to ignore it.

Audio and video are a big deal. My current priority is with audio, because you can listen when it suits you. Even better, you can listen while you’re doing other stuff. It’s great when you’re not tied to a screen, and it’s a privilege when people choose to listen directly to your voice during their day.

In the hundreds of audio shows I’ve checked out, one thing is clear. The best stuff requires a mixture of excitement, storytelling, and communication to YOU. Very specifically, to you the listener so you feel a part of what’s going on, even when you’re not speaking back. When you feel you’re being respected, and you feel like you’re learning just enough to feel challenged, but not too much to feel out of your depth, the audio…just…works.

So here’s the deal. I’m going big on audio right now. And it might sound crazy, but I’m about to launch three shows. Yep, three shows.

The shows will be under what I call the “Learning Always Network“.

Here’s what will be on offer:


The first show is tied to TheUniversityBlog, called TUB-Thump. It’s a twice-weekly dose of help to students, so they can make the most of their time at university, and beyond. It’ll be on Mondays, to start the week with a bang, and on Thursdays, to keep the momentum going in the week. So, that’s TUB-Thump, for students.


Next up is Mind Your Higher Ed. Starting fortnightly and progressing to weekly, Mind Your Higher Ed (or MYHE for short), is for university staff (and other interested parties) to learn more about the many different facets of the university. From academia to administration, from estates to catering, from student support to students’ unions…I hope to bridge gaps between staff in very different arenas, and also demystify the world of higher education for the interested public.


And the third show in the Learning Always Network is the all-encompassing namesake, Learning Always. Also fortnightly, going in alternate weeks with Mind Your Higher Ed, Learning Always will host interviews with a wide and eclectic range of guests, discussing how they perceive learning, what they got from big milestones and achievements in their lives, and how their attitudes have changed over the years.

Like I say, MYHE and Learning Always will run in alternate weeks, but so long as I get recording enough in advance, they’ll probably become weekly shows. Anyway, having one new show is tough enough. I’ll get them off the ground and ramp it up when I see it’s sustainable.

So…three different, but related shows. TUB-Thump, with a student angle. MYHE, with a staff focus. And Learning Always, with a mix of all sorts educational.

And with loads of interviews, you won’t just be hearing my voice droning on. You’ll get to hear different views, tips, and news from a wealth of guests. I want it to be fun and informal, but also giving you valuable content as you’re being entertained. Stuff you’ll enjoy listening to, and that also helps you to take action in your field.

Text, audio, video. It’s all at our disposal now. From a desktop, or from your mobile device. It’s all possible now.

So here’s to hearing stories, here’s to loving learning, and here’s to championing higher education. This is a chance for people to listen up and find out about all the amazing work that people like you are doing on a daily basis.

If that sounds good to you, then the place to go will be learningalways.co.uk once the audio drops. I’ll remind you.

And when the shows launch, you’ll be able to subscribe to them via iTunes and your favourite audio apps.

If you’re already a regular reader of TheUniversityBlog, I’ll be posting up new editions of TUB-Thump from there too, so your student needs can all be covered under the one roof.

I’m going where the audio is. I’m all ears. Are you? I hope to hear from you…soon.

One comment

  1. I’m so excited that you’re doing this! It will be great to tune in each week. Totally agree with you about diversifying the way you get your message across. All the best!

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