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Good Governance

Resources, guidance and research to support good governance in the higher education sector.

Overview

As the governance of universities and higher education (HE) colleges in the UK evolves, there are major implications for members of governing bodies: increasing expectations about how they undertake their role; a greater focus on measuring institutional performance with associated implications for information and strategy; coming to terms with an increasingly complex environment in which governance takes place; and so on. All this means that governors need to be well prepared for their roles and the challenges they face so that they can contribute effectively to their boards from the outset.

Governor Dialogues

In 2015 Mary Joyce undertook a governor dialogues project, discussing particular aspects of governance with eight different Governors. In 2018 we created three films which built on these dialogues. The project include contributions from Chris Sayers, Dame Shirley Pearce, Stuart Palmer, Bill Rammell, Sana Iqbal, Irene Birrell and Paul Greatrix. They are intended to prompt discussion and further debate within universities on key governance topics and will be used to support Advance HEs’ governor development programmes.

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Getting to Grips guides

The "Getting to Grips" guides provide a comprehensive introduction and overview of key areas of higher education and the responsibilities of Governors. These guides are aimed specifically at governors focusing on topics such as: Being a New Governor; Academic Standards, Quality and the Student Experience; Audit; Estates and Infrastructure; Finance; Human Resource Management; Internationalisation; Research and Knowledge Transfer, Information and Communications Technology, Risk and Procurement.

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Illustrative Practice Notes

In partnership with the Committee of University Chairs (CUC), we have developed Illustrative Practice Notes on a range of themes to support governors and share practice from governing bodies throughout the UK. 

Useful information about governance in higher education

For lay governors who may be working in higher education for the first time, we have collected useful websites and resources which provide information about areas specific to higher education.

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Research resources for governance in higher education

Advance HE has years of experience in effective governance in higher education. Our knowledge hub holds a comprehensive database of research and small development projects designed to help the sector in its pursuit of good governance.

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Additional resources

Briefing note series

These downloadable summaries have been designed to support those working in governance in addressing different specific aspects and can be disseminated as a helpful resource to colleagues who are new to particular areas of governance. Each draws on the latest thinking and legalisation, providing a helpful guide to re-familiarise yourself with specific issues as they arise. Each briefing note offers up-to-date information, further reading, links and questions to consider on a range of governance issues.
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Governor self-assessment tool

This toolkit will enable governors, with the help of their chairs and/or their clerks/ secretaries, to identify and review their particular governance strengths, together with any areas they may want to concentrate on for future development.
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