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Academic Governance Reviews

The majority of UK universities operate a dual governance system, with academic governance typically the responsibility of the academic board or senate. Informed by our framework for academic governance and drawing upon our extensive pool of governance experts, we work with you to evaluate effective academic governance.

The rapidly evolving and less predictable operating environment means that the role and responsibilities for those responsible for academic governance continues to increase. Members of governing bodies in all higher education (HE) providers need to have confidence in their academic governance, especially given their duty to provide academic assurance, which requires members to rely on the institution’s academic governance arrangements.

You can successfully navigate this complex and changing landscape with an academic governance review. Undertake a review to ensure that: 

  • academic standards are maintained
  • academic quality is defined and monitored
  • quality of provision is systematically improved.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to know more about Academic Governance Effectiveness Reviews, complete the form below to download the information sheet and one of our team will be in touch to discuss this further with you.

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The importance of academic governance

Academic governance involves the personnel, structures, policies and relationships that regulate the management and conduct of teaching, learning and research in a higher education provider. It is a system that ensures the institution’s standards are maintained, quality is defined and monitored, and there is continuous improvement.”

Advance HE Insight Guide: governing bodies and academic assurance, 2017

The 3-stage academic governance review

Informed by our framework for academic governance and drawing upon our extensive pool of governance experts we work with you to evaluate effective academic governance.

Stage 1: enablers

We work with you to assess the embeddedness of the six enablers for academic assurance culture (respect, understanding, reports, information, student engagement and expertise).


Stage 2: relationships

We look at how responsibilities have been discharged and the effectiveness of the system for implementing key policies. We also consider behaviours within the institution that enable effective academic governance.

Stage 3: behaviours and outcomes

We support you in implementing a system to review the contribution of the academic governance system to enhancing institutional performance and the added value provided through its activities.

Reviewing Academic Governance in HE: a framework

Our approach to our Academic Governance Reviews is based on our framework ‘Reviewing Academic Governance in HE’. This framework sets out some key factors for the consideration of academic governance effectiveness and is intended as a tool to support higher education institutions and further education colleges delivering higher education in their own effectiveness reviews. It draws on work by Advance HE and the Committee of University Chairs (CUC).

The framework has been developed to guide managers and governing bodies as they seek to review the effectiveness of academic governance. Members of governing bodies in all higher education providers need to have confidence in academic governance given that they now have a specific duty to provide academic assurance – an assurance that requires members to rely on the institution’s academic governance arrangements.

Download the framework

Useful resources

Advance HE is committed to producing and sharing news, guidance, research, publications, resources and toolkits to support good governance in HE.

We also have a number of case studies available from our work with institutions across the sector, which provide examples of how key enablers have been used in specific situations. 

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Insight Guide: governing bodies and academic assurance

Understand and evaluate current practice and to provide support for governing body development.
Download the guide

Find out more about our Academic Governance Effectiveness Reviews

Complete the form to receive an information sheet about our Academic Governance Effectiveness Reviews and a member of the team will be in touch with you shortly to discuss further. 

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