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Student governors

GDP: Student Governor

Providing guidance and networking opportunities for new and returning student governors


GDP Student Governor is a two part programme, the first session will take place on 7 September 2023 and the second on 24 January 2024.

Day 1 of the Student Governor programme is designed to equip newly-appointed Student Governors with the essential knowledge and skills needed to excel in their first term on the governing body.

During this immersive programme, participants will be introduced to the role and expectations of a Student Governor, acquire a comprehensive understanding of the structure and responsibilities of a governing body and learn valuable strategies to effectively manage conflicts of interest while making a meaningful impact.

For returning Student Governors, we offer a tailored strand of activities and content specifically crafted to enhance your second year. Take advantage of expert facilitation and invaluable advice as you reflect on your previous year's experiences and discover new ways to maximize your contribution.

Day 2 allows student governors to reflect on their year to date, provide further skills development and network mapping as well as preparing them for their end of year handover.

The event will build on the day one event in September and provide participants with a space to reflect and share their experience as well as look forward to how they can maximise their impact in the second half of the year.

For returning Student Governors there is a dedicated strand of activity and content with a chance to reflect on the experiences of the previous year with expert facilitation and advice to maximise your contribution in your second year.

Join us at GDP: Student Governor

Student Governor 1 (Fully booked)

7 September 2023

Student Governor 2 (Fully booked)  

24 January 2024


De Vere, Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5DA


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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.

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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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Who is this event for?

This program will benefit both novice and seasoned Student Governors, as well as individuals supporting and collaborating with them.




10:00am   Welcome and Introductions - Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

10:20am   The Higher Education Policy Landscape - Where we Stand - Livia Scott, SUs Community and Policy Officer, Wonkhe

11:00am   Panel - How to Make the Most of Being a Student Governor - Kevin McStravock, Lead Policy Officer (Nations & Europe), The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education & Diana Dakik, former President, University of Surrey Students' Union

11:45am   Break

12:00pm   Think, Speak and Act Like a Governor - Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor, Wonkhe

12:45pm   Lunch 

13:30pm   Action Learning Sets

15:45pm   Wrap Up & Close 




Speakers and presenters include regulators, university and students’ union leaders, along with governance professionals from both inside and outside the HE sector.

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.

Livia Scott

Community and Policy Officer
Livia Scott
Livia Scott is Wonkhe SUs’ Community and Policy Officer. A history student who has completed both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree, Livia served as the full-time elected Education Officer at Newcastle University Students’ Union in 2021/22.

Jim Dickinson

Associate Editor
Jim Dickinson
Jim Dickinson is an Associate Editor at Wonkhe where he takes a particular interest in students, governance and higher education regulation and leads on work with students’ unions.

Kevin McStravock

Lead Policy Officer
Kevin McStravock
Kevin McStravock (he/him) is Lead Policy Officer (Devolved Nations and Europe) at the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), the UK’s independent quality body for higher education. Before joining QAA in 2021, Kevin held a number of leadership roles within the student movement including as Deputy President and Vice President for the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and as President of Ulster University Students’ Union (UUSU).

Diana Dakik

Diana Dakik
Diana graduated with a BSc Veterinary Biosciences (Hons) from the University of Surrey, UK, in 2018. Following completion of her undergraduate degree, she pursued a PhD in Veterinary Medicine and Sciences with an interest in Immunology and Virology, specifically in horses, expecting to submit her final thesis in early 2023. Throughout her University experience, Diana has been extensively involved in the Students’ Union, undertaking many elected part-time officer roles across the Union’s zones. Diana has been a member of the University BUCS team since 2018, and has competed under the Zambian flag for a number of years, most notably at the 2019 All Africa Games.




This event will be delivered in-person, 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 conference will be delivered as as a series of presentations, breakout discussions and panels, with time after each for questions and comments.

For any enquiries regarding the event please contact the Governance Team at:



Save when you book both Student Governor events

Attend both events for a discounted price: Advance HE members: £615; Non-members £815. Use the discounted booking link below to book. In order to make your booking you will be redirected to My Advance HE, our customer portal. If it is your first visit to My Advance HE you will need to go through the sign up process to activate your account. You can use My Advance HE to book on behalf of yourself or for other colleagues.
Book onto both events