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 Governance Conference 2023

23 November 2023

Advance HE is celebrating 20 years leading and supporting effective governance in HE. Culture is the key factor that underpins effectiveness no matter what the operating context throws at higher education providers. With that in mind, the 2023 conference will look at board culture through the lens of navigating policy, politics and people. 

The conference is an ideal opportunity to connect with fellow Governors in higher education, Governance Professionals or Executives and learn about developments across the higher education sector with a focus spanning higher education in the UK and internationally.

Sign up here

Advance HE Governance Professionals in HE

23 January – 15 May 2024

Advance HE offers a flexible and practical development programme for higher education (HE) 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.

Register your interest here

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Advance HE Clerks and Secretaries Network Event

15 May 2024

The success of the board depends on secretaries and clerks. This event gives
those who are new to the position and those who are already in it the chance
to collaborate on issues that are crucial to their governors and their own
professional contributions

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

Learn more here

Professional Development Programmes

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.

Deadline for applications: Friday 29th September

Apply here

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: Relevant to anyone with governance responsibilities.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 30th November

Apply here

AdvanceHE 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.

AdvanceHE Governor Development Programme (GDP)

GDP has been 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: Clerks, Secretaries and those in governance support roles.

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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 recourses

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

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