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Governance Reviews and Governor Development

We carry out independent Governance Effectiveness Reviews, drawing upon an unrivalled pool of governance experts and our framework and toolkit to support governing body effectiveness.

In the current environment, effective governance of higher education institutions has become a high profile issue. Every governing body of an HEI in the UK (not including Scottish HEIs) should undertake a review of its effectiveness every four years. In Scotland governing bodies are expected to review their own effectiveness every year with an externally facilitated evaluation every five years. The CUC Code of Governance (article 7.11, p.26) suggests that ‘Many governing bodies find an external perspective in this process useful’.

Drawing on our network of experts, we provide an external perspective through our Framework for Identifying and Supporting Governing Body Effectiveness Reviews in HE, developed in partnership with CUC.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to know more about 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.

Enquire now

Customising Your Review

Drawing upon an unrivalled pool of governance experts with experience from both within and beyond higher education, we offer a range of expertise in the delivery of these sensitive and important reviews. We recognise the diversity of the sector by making sure our reviews are customised to the characteristics and context of each institution – so a review can range from facilitated workshops to a full data-driven comparative exercise.

"We embarked on the review because we wanted to refine our governance in the context of a very
different environment for higher education. Advance HE’s comprehensive understanding of the sector, the challenges facing governing bodies and best practice in the sector, meant that their work was extremely productive and their report insightful."

University Registrar and Secretary

A Framework for supporting governing body effectiveness

At the heart of our approach is the framework for identifying and supporting governing body effectiveness reviews in higher education, developed in partnership with the Committee of University Chairs.

Download the Framework

The framework sets out three key factors (enablers, working relationships, outcomes) for consideration of governing body effectiveness and offers a tool to support members in conducting their reviews. These three inter-related elements are an effective basis for underpinning higher education governing body effectiveness reviews.

The governance cycle

Governance Effectiveness Benchmarking

We also offer a unique Governance Effectiveness Benchmarking service. Our extensive anonymous dataset, created from our previous reviews of over 25 higher education providers, enables us to provide insight and compatative analysis.

This includes insights on key themes or trends such as succession planning for diversity or member participation and comparaive analysis against core indicators with othe anonymised providers, or by mission group size or location. 

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Governance Effectiveness Review Case Study: Aberystwyth University

Read the case study from our Governance Effectiveness Review at Aberystwyth University. 

Aberystwyth’s 2018-23 Strategic Plan recognises effective, efficient and accountable governance as a hallmark of the university.

The University has, under the leadership of the new Vice-Chancellor and with the active support of Council, sought to address challenges such as governance structure and processes, increased competition, value for money and changes in membership of the governing body and executive leadership team.

Read the case study
Governance Effectiveness Review Case Study - Aberystwyth University Thumbnail

Perspectives on Governance

What contributes to an effective board culture? Our Governor Dialogues series considered how the culture of a board affects work. In a specially commissioned film, experts from across the sector provide perspectives on this theme.

Watch the video

Other Governance Support

Governance Effectiveness survey tool

A unique resource offered free of charge to Advance HE members. Contact us for further details.
Use the tool

Governor Development Programme

Designed and delivered in collaboration with a wide range of sector partners, offers a series of face-to-face events, resources and additional support.
Find out more

​​​​​​​Academic Governance Reviews

Complement Governance Effectiveness Reviews, focusing specifically on the responsibility of the Academic Board or Senate.
Find out more

Find out more about our Governance Effectiveness Reviews

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

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Let us do the hard work for you and keep you updated with services such as: the latest news, reports and research from around the sector, information on Advance HE services and awards that can support you in your role.

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