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GDP: New Governors of Scottish HEIs

For new governors and student governors of Scottish HE institutions and FE colleges offering HE programmes in Scotland.

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This comprehensive virtual event is designed specifically for those new to the unique role of court members in Scottish Higher Education. This event provides an exceptional opportunity to delve into the intricacies of higher education governance in Scotland, exchange best practices, and connect with peers from various institutions.

During this event, attendees will gain valuable insights into the latest developments and ongoing challenges in higher education policy and governance. Seasoned governors will have the chance to refresh their skills, engage in discussions about challenges and opportunities, and network with fellow professionals.

This event serves as the ideal starting point for new governors, whether they are entering the realm of governance for the first time or transitioning from a governor role in another sector. Discover the specific nuances of governance for Higher Education in Scotland and lay a solid foundation for your journey.

This is a standalone one-day event that promises to equip you with the knowledge and connections necessary to excel in the court member role. 

Join us at GDP: New Governors of Scottish HEIs

25 October 2023

Location: Virtual


Book your place


Who is the event for?

This event is designed to develop the knowledge and skills of those in Scottish HE governance, inform and support those entering governance roles and enable a transition to the Scottish sector for governance professionals in other nations. 



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

09:50am   Policy Landscape - Matthew Francis, Public Affairs Manager, University of Sterling 

10:25am   Understanding the Role of Being a Governor - Veronica Strachan, University Secretary and Vice Principal Corporate Services, Robert Gordon University

10:55am   Break

11:15am   Breakout Discussions

 11:45am   The Student Perspective on Governance - Ellie Gomersall, President, NUS Scotland

12:15pm   Understanding HE Finances - Richard Maconachie, Director of Finance, Scottish Funding Council

12:50pm   Wrap up and Final Remarks 

13:00pm   Close



Speakers and presenter for the event are being approached and will include experience governors in Scottish HEIs, student representatives, higher education leaders and university governance and finance professionals.

Veronica Strachan

University Secretary and Vice Principal
Robert Gordon University
Veronica Strachan
Veronica qualified as a solicitor in Scotland before joining RGU where she began, in 1994, as a lecturer in law. She has held a range of senior roles within both academic Schools and professional support departments. She has been a member of a wide range of committees at various levels and have been involved in leading and delivering successful outcomes in university wide projects. Since 2018, she has been Secretary to the Board (term used for the court in other institutions).

Ellie Gomersall

NUS Scotland
Ellie Gomersall
Ellie is the NUS Scotland President for 2022-24, having previously served as President of University of the West of Scotland’s Students' Union. She is passionate about fighting inequality, tackling student poverty, and showing solidarity with trade unions

Richard Maconachie

Director of Finance, Scottish Funding Council
Richard Maconachie
Richard was born and raised in Edinburgh and now lives outside Glasgow. A chartered certified accountant, he has expertise in finance, transformation, governance and control, and major project development.


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:



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