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GDP: Governance in Scotland

The GDP Scotland event provides a state-of-the-nation view on governance in HE.


The GDP Scotland event provides a state-of-the-nation view on governance in HE, with a particular take on the emerging impact of the legislation on governance in Scottish HE institutions, considering progress on outcome agreements and a wider analysis of the funding landscape. We will hear from leaders in the sector, as well as court members, with a chance to network and share practice. The event will be of benefit to Chairs, governors and governance professionals.

Booking information

Date: 22 May 2024

Register your interest


09:30am   Welcome and Introductions - Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE & Laura Coutts, Head of Membership (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Advance HE

09:50am   Policy Environment in Scotland - Alastair Sim, Director, Universities Scotland

10:45am   Break

11:00am   Fair Access in Scotland - John McKendrick, Access Commissioner, Glasgow Caledonian University

11:30am   Funding in Scottish Higher Education

11:55am   Comfort Break

12:00pm   What Courts Should Know About Academic Quality

12:30pm   Breakout Discussions

13:00pm   Close

Aaron Porter

Associate Director (Governance)
Advance HE
Aaron leads on Advance HE governance activity through the delivery of our national Governor Development Programme which engages with around 900 governors across the UK on an annual basis. He has extensive experience leading reviews of over 25 governing boards. Aaron was previously President of the National Union of Students (NUS) and also chair of trustees for the organisation.

Alastair Sim

Director of Universities Scotland
Universities Scotland
Alastair Sim
Alastair Sim has been Director of Universities Scotland since July 2009, joining from the Scottish Civil Service. Since 2009 he has navigated the Scottish HE sector through two Scottish elections, two general elections, a referendum on Scottish independence, several spending reviews and a funding gap.

John H McKendrick

Commissioner for Fair Access (to higher education)
John H McKendrick
In January, John H McKendrick was appointed Commissioner for Fair Access (to higher education) by the Scottish Government. He has visited all but one of Scotland’s HEIs since his appointment.

Laura Coutts

Head of Membership - Scotland and Northern Ireland
Advance HE
Laura Coutts Advance HE Membership Team
Laura joined Advance HE in March 2022 as Head of Membership supporting member colleges and Universities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In her previous role as Senior Director of University Partnerships with CEG Digital, she specialised in the implementation, launch and delivery of online programmes with a host of UK partner universities.