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GDP: Induction to Higher Education Governance for New Governors

This one-day event provides an opportunity for new Governors to come together to understand their roles and responsibilities as members of the governing body.


This will provide new governors in higher education institutions with the necessary background, briefing and understanding to enable them to perform their duties and act as an effective member of the governing body.

The event will introduce attendees to the higher education policy environment and the consequences of recent and ongoing policy developments and debate for the role and responsibilities of a governor, and how institutions face current and future challenges. 

Attendees will receive a comprehensive overview of governance approaches and policies across higher education institutions. They will have the opportunity to learn from the valuable experience and expertise of current governors in various areas, including the student experience and the intricate relationships between university management and governance. This knowledge will enable you to effectively hit the ground running and make a meaningful impact as governors.

This is a standalone 1 day event, which takes place twice during the academic year. 



Who is this event for?

This event is designed to support and prepare those new to higher education governance for their roles and duties, and to inform individuals who might be considering embarking on a governance role within their institution.



Evolving higher education governance brochure

Our new Evolving higher education governance 2023-24 brochure details our support for boards, governance professionals and individual governors. Find out more about our consultancy and enhancement services, the dates for our Governor Development Programme 2023-24 and upcoming exclusive content and projects for Advance HE members.

Discover more
Evolving higher education governance brochure image


09:30am   Welcome and Introductions - Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

09:50am   What New Governors Need to Know About the Higher Education Policy Environment - Debbie McVitty, Editor, Wonkhe

10:30am   Understanding the Role and Responsibilities of a Higher Education Governor - Andrew Boggs, University Secretary, Royal Holloway University of London

11.10am   Break

11:20am   Students' Experience - Tom Lowe, Senior Lecturer (Higher Education), University of Portsmouth

11:50am   Governance in HE - Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

12:05pm   Panel of Governors -  Professor Ella Ritchie, Emerita Professor of Politics, Newcastle University & Andrea Miller, Governor, University of West London

12:30pm   Wrap Up and 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.

Ella Ritchie

Emerita Professor of Politics and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University and Associate
Advance HE
Ella Ritchie
Ella is an experienced Higher Education academic, senior manager, consultant and advisor in the areas of university governance, values and structures, widening access to higher education (where she established a national network, Realising Opportunities), academic structure, the student experience and university partnerships.

Debbie McVitty

Debbie McVitty-545x363px
Debbie McVitty is editor of Wonkhe and is an experienced commentator on higher education policy. Debbie is interested in the social impact of HE, learning, teaching and curriculum, institutional change and innovation, and in bringing to light diverse and under-represented voices in the HE policy debate.

Tom Lowe

Tome Lowe
Tom Lowe is a Senior Lecturer in higher education at the University of Portsmouth, where his research includes student engagement in educational developments, embedding employability into the curriculum and supporting student belonging.

Andrew Boggs

University Secretary
Royal Holloway, University of London
Andrew Boggs
Andrew Boggs oversees the effective management of university governance, legal matters, and regulatory compliance, and provides advice and guidance to the Council, the Chair of the Council, the Executive Board, and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Andrew has worked in the higher education sector and on university policy for over 25 years.  Before joining Royal Holloway in August 2023, he worked with Kingston, St Mary’s, and Oxford universities.

Andrea Miller

Board of Governors
University of West London
Andrea Miller
Andrea Miller began her career as a rock journalist and indie record label manager. Joining the BBC, she produced numerous arts documentaries such as David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge; Peter Ackroyd’s Dickens and Van Gogh: Painted in Words with Benedict Cumberbatch. As a producer and commissioning executive, she worked with international broadcasters winning awards from BAFTA, RTS, Grierson, Banff Film Festival, and an International Emmy.



This event will be delivered virtually through Zoom, with joining instructions sent out by the governance team two weeks before the day of the event.

Along with the joining instructions and links delegates will receive a copy of the programme, with finalised timings, topics, and speakers.

The event will be delivered as as a series of presentations, discussions and panels, with time after each for questions and comments.

For any enquiries regarding the event please contact the Programmes and Events Team at:



Plan your professional development for 2023-24 using our NEW Development Planner

Whether you are looking to enhance your practice, share insights or identify the next step in your professional development, by answering only a few short questions our new Development Planner will guide you to a range of development opportunities that meet your requirements. Try it today.

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Rachel Hewitt HEPI

Three key lessons for new governors

Rachel Hewitt, HEPI’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, advises new governors on how to navigate the policy environment

"I'm new to the sector so it was a great introduction to the differences and similarities in governance"

Beverly Shears, Independent governor, De Montfort University