Higher Education Governance Resources

Below is a list of events, programmes and resources relevant to governance professionals from organisations including AdvanceHE, AHUA, AUA and CUC. If you wish to include an event or resource, please contact the AHUA office team. Click on one of the headings below to take you to the relevant section.

In association with:


Advance HE Navigating Freedom of Speech for the Short and Long Term

06 June 2024

This interactive online event, delivered in association with CUC, AHUA and UUK, will provide a forum for the governance community to understand and horizon-scan the regulatory environment and gain an overview of the sector guidance to inform their own practice. Advance HE will be publishing new guidance on protected beliefs shortly. Confirmed speakers include Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Chair of Northumbria University and David Bass, Director of EDI at Advance HE. More to follow.

Attendees will: – hear from a diverse range of speakers with different governance role perspectives

– have a chance to share and consider their own institution’s experiences of navigating freedom of speech to date

– learn from other institutions and reflect on key aspects of the guidance through networking and breakout discussions.

Learn more here

Professional Development Programmes

AHUA Secretaries Programme

Aimed at University Secretaries seeking to transition from being a technically-focused, ‘compliance’ subject-matter expert, to becoming a strategically-oriented governance adviser to the Governing Council, VC and Senior Management Team.

Aimed at: University Secretaries and those with governance responsibilities.

Join the waitlist for 2024

AHUA Online Governance Programme

A Masterclass introduction to governance – starting with the fundamentals, and moving on to identify the key building blocks of a high-quality system of governance.

Aimed at: Professionals already occupying some form of governance role in their institution.

Applications for 2023/2024 are now closed. Learn more here.

Advance HE Governance Professionals in HE programme

Specifically designed for Clerks, Secretaries and staff in governance related roles in professional support teams who play a central role in the academic and corporate governance of HE institutions.

Aimed at: Clerks, Secretaries and those in governance support roles.

Advance HE Governor Development Programme (GDP)

Designed to address a broad range of needs across governance. While many of the events may be specifically relevant to those involved in particular aspects or roles within HE governance, anyone is welcome to attend any event.

Aimed at: Governors and governance professionals

Advance HE Governance Professionals in HE

A flexible and practical development programme for higher education staff who lead and support corporate and academic governance. 

The programme includes some asynchronous study as well as presentations, opportunities for group discussions and exploration of issues, plus a dedicated cohort area for resources, ongoing discussions and problem sharing/solving. There are three core workshops and two Action Learning Sets for all participants.

Aimed at: Clerks, Secretaries and those developing their career as a governance professional.

Further information can be found here

CGI: Governance Officer Apprenticeship

A governance officer apprenticeship gives the opportunity to work in a governance role while studying for a foundational governance qualification accredited by the Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland (‘CGIUKI’). CGIUKI is the chartered professional body which sets the international qualifying standards and is dedicated to supporting governance professionals. Apprentices will learn from experienced colleagues, gain practical skills, achieve a qualification that employers want, and earn a salary at the same time.

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Aimed at: A governance officer apprenticeship is a new pathway into governance for young people without a degree or for career changers. Apprentices earn a salary and valuable work experience while achieving a qualification, which can lead to a fulfilling and lucrative journey up the career ladder in governance.

Learn more here


Advance HE Podcast

The Advance HE Podcast cover topics including supporting inclusive boards, the changing face of governance and more.

Listen here.

CUC Practice Note: Role of the Secretary to the Board (January 2024)

This Practice Note explores the range of operating models associated with the Secretary’s role; future opportunities and challenges; the influence of structures, levels of authority, role remit as a determinant of success, critical skills and responsibilities; and the relationship between the Secretary, the Governing Body Chair, and the Head of the Institution

Read the Practice Note here.

CUC Guidance for Chairs and Governing Bodies: Tackling Harassment and Sexual Misconduct (May 2022)

This Practice Note is designed to help Chairs, and governing bodies tackle Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, drawing on a range of published guidance and interviews at several universities exploring current practice.

View the guidance here

CUC The Higher Education Senior Staff Remuneration Code (November 2021)

Fair and appropriate remuneration is key to the success and development of the UK’s HE sector, operating as it does in an intensively competitive global environment . To support members of governing bodies, the Higher Education Senior Staff Remuneration Code (the Remuneration Code) has been developed after wide consultation with CUC members and HE stakeholders. The Code will be reviewed every four years, in consultation with the sector.

View the Code here

CUC Higher Education Code of Governance (2020) Higher Education Code of Governance: Self Assessment Checklist (2020)

The Higher Education Code of Governance and Self Assessment Checklist has been developed to support governing bodies deliver the highest standards of governance across their institutions. This Code’s primary audience is HE providers’ governing bodies; however, the thinking that underpins the Code can be applied by any organisation seeking to improve its governance practices.

View the Code here

CUC Higher Education Audit Committees Code of Practice (2020)

The Code sets out the key elements that enable HE providers to demonstrate their commitment to effective audit.

View the Code here

Advance HE and CUC: Top Tips for New Chairs (April 2021)

Victoria Holbrook, Assistant Director Governance, Advance HE, talks to John Rushforth, Executive Secretary, CUC. In this video John discusses the common issues that new chairs face when they start in post, shares advice on how to create a healthy board culture and provides top tips to help new chairs navigate their role on the board.

Watch the video here

Advance HE Governor Competencies map

The Advance HE Governor Competencies Map has been designed as a practical tool to support board members with mapping their own individual progression and development needs as well as that of the board as a whole.

The Governor Competencies Map contains sixteen core competencies across three key areas that Advance HE believe governors should seek to have within the context of higher education.

View the Governor Competencies map here

Advance HE Diversity of Governors in Higher Education 2022

In this report, Advance HE offers evidence that diverse and inclusive governing bodies which comprise different opinions, experiences and insights can better support strategic decision-making which address the needs, interests and expectations (NIEs) of all stakeholders.

View the report here

Advance HE: HE Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit and Resources

The HE Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit is designed to help institutions to improve the diversity and inclusivity of their governing bodies, whether as a Secretary, Chair of Governors, Governance and Nominations Committee member, or anyone interested in tackling under-representation and aiming for inclusion at the Board level in the higher education sector.

Download the Toolkit

Developed in partnership with Advance HE, Perrett Laver and the University of Gloucestershire, these resources expand on the HE Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit in order to support the tackling under-representation the Board level.

Access the resource

Advance HE Guidance to Support the Induction and Development of Governors and Boards in Wales

This guide has been written to provide a supporting document for institutions in the induction and development of new governors or for anyone wanting to understand more about the key elements of being a governor and the governance landscape of higher education.

Advance HE Member Benefits

Governance Effectiveness Projects 2022 – 2023

Exclusive to Advance HE member institutions, the Governance Effectiveness Member Benefit Projects 2022 – 2023 are tailored to support boards with the challenges and changes they are facing. Current projects include the Supporting Inclusive Boards Programme, a series of four online workshops which will enhance and share thinking from recruitment to belonging, a project to gather information on how the changing expectations of Academic Governance are impacting Boards, and a sandpit style event exploring the Board’s Role in ESG and Sustainability Oversight.

Visit the Member Benefit page to find out more.  

Advance HE: A Conversation on Effective Governance in HE (April 2022)

Andy Shenstone, Advance HE Director of Business Development and Jo Chaffer, Australia-based Key Global Associate with Advance HE, discuss key aspects in building effective governance:

  • The distinguishing features of the UK higher education policy and legal context, particularly in terms of governance and how these shape institutional governance
  • The trends or major themes in governance in UK universities over the last few years
  • What those in governance should be paying more attention to
  • Improving governance effectiveness, including motivating and encouraging people with different talents, skills and perspectives to want to join governing bodies, including examples of good practice
  • Advice for leaders in shaping good governance, particularly in good governance culture
  • Building trust between the Executive and the Board.

Watch the video here

Advance HE: Effective Governance (June 2022)

Advance HE associates David Langley and Mark Adderley discuss how executives and non-executives can contribute to the Board – and their ideas on what makes an effective Board.

Watch the video here

GuildHE: Member Survey on Governance (May 2022)

This report provides an overview of the recent GuildHE survey of members on board governance.

View here

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