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Effective Governance

Advance HE is committed to producing and sharing news, guidance, research, publications, resources and toolkits to support good governance.

In today’s turbulent environment all providers need high performing boards that are equipped to determine the strategic course of the organisation. The effectiveness of a board depends on strong foundations; exhibiting the right behaviours; high-quality information, sound processes and skilled governance professionals.

Resources, guidance and research to support good governance

Including Getting to Grips guides, illustrative practice notes and briefing notes.

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Introduction to governance

Our purpose is to support everyone involved in HE governance whatever their role. New governors need briefing and orientation to understand the separation of management and governance, and their responsibilities as trustees. In addition, student governors need specific support to equip them for their period of office.

Codes of Governance

There are two specific codes of governance applying to the UK higher education sector. The Higher Education Code of Governance (the 'CUC Code') and the Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance.
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Governing Bodies

The composition of a governing body, the role of committees and effectiveness, as well as the detailed work of the individual committees, is discussed.
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Getting into Governance

An introduction for those just starting out in governance, providing an overview, briefing notes and additional resources on becoming a Governor, what governance means, and the responsibilities of a Governor.
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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Institutions need to be compliant with the legal and regulatory requirements placed on it in relation to EDI. If an institution is found to be non-compliant, it will be exposed to reputational and financial risks. To ensure compliance, governors need to seek assurances from the executive that the institution is delivering on its legal duties and regulatory requirements. As a governor you should expect to receive regular reports to confirm this is the case. Similarly, governors need to give careful attention to the composition of the governing body, ensuring the membership is sufficiently diverse to allow discussion and decisions to be informed and tested by governors, bringing different perspectives and experiences.

Governance and EDI

As a governor, your responsibilities are to provide oversight of the institution’s direction and performance and seek assurance that agreed policies are being successfully implemented and the institution complies with the legal and regulatory requirements placed on it. Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is integral to both of these responsibilities.
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Board Diversification

The Board Diversification Project, commissioned by HEFCE, HEFCW and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, is designed to support greater diversity within higher education boards and those applying for board roles, whether in higher education or outside of the sector. The project brings together a series of related, practical initiatives to support the sector to increase diversity within higher education boards.
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Good Governance

Effective working relationships – especially between the Chair, the head of the organisation and the Secretary to the governing body – are crucial, and executive teams need to engage transparently and make timely and effective use of their board’s accumulated experience, insight and wisdom. Good governance is critical to securing institutional resilience and success, and demands a commitment to deliver added value.

Governing Body Effectiveness

Find out more about our resources for use in reviewing the effectiveness of governing bodies. Including Advance HE's updated framework for supporting governing body effectiveness reviews in higher education. It sets out the key factors for consideration of higher education governing body effectiveness and offers a tool to support our members as they conduct their effectiveness reviews.
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Good Governance

As the governance of universities and higher education (HE) colleges in the UK evolves, there are major implications for members of governing bodies. We have collated a selection of resources, guidance and research to support good governance in the higher education sector.
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Academic governance and operating context

The role of a board in higher education is distinct from the role of a corporate, as institutions meet the diverse needs of performing as private sector charities, public sector commercial organisations and places of academic learning and research. Boards are concerned with ensuring accountability, control and scrutiny; institutional strategy and mission; measuring and monitoring their institutions' performance; and, responding to a dynamic operating context.

Academic Governance

The essential requirement for a successful set of arrangements is the development of a culture within the leadership team of openness, trust and respect, culture sits at the heart of our six enablers for academic governance and assurance.
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Operating context

The aspects of the operating context for higher education providers are considered, including: legal requirements and regulation, ethics and values, and competitive pressures
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Governance on Advance HE Connect

Advance HE Connect has two governance groups which provide a forum to share your views and join the conversation, keep up to date with Advance HE’s governance information, programmes, events, and blogs, as well as post any governance job vacancies and events you may be hosting. Advance HE Connect is our online platform exclusively to share, connect and collaborate with your HE peers around the globe.

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Governance Professionals in HE Group

Our Governance Professionals in HE group is an Advance HE member benefit for those working in the area of governance. This group features a forum to share your views and engage with peers around the globe, in addition to a media centre which provides access to our library of governance resources and tools.
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Governance in HE Group

Our Governance in HE group is open to all and provides a place to keep up to date with governance news and insights within the HE sector, and provides the opportunity to engage with your governance colleagues.
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Our services

Advance HE uses expertise in governance to support and convene governing bodies throughout higher education, aiding with board effectiveness, governor development, strategic sessions and wider support for the governance community. 

In partnership with experts from the sector, Advance HE’s governance portfolio meets these needs by:

  • improving understanding of the latest governance developments for all 
  • facilitating the sharing of practice in safe spaces
  • upskilling and professionalising support with a focus on behaviours as well as process
  • providing benchmarked, independent challenge and advice, and other bespoke support
  • produce a range of materials, collate helpful information and provide tailored services to ensure that governors and governance professionals have everything they need to promote good governance in their institutions.

Governor Development Programme

Designed to support Governors, board members and professionals from all HE providers across the UK.
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Meet our governance experts and consultants

To help us form and deliver our support our governance experts and consultants are vital. Click below to find the profiles of the people who work on our governance portfolio.

Meet the team
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