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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.

The Quality of Board Decision Making Processes in Higher Education Institutions: UK and European Experiences

This report examines factors affecting the quality of decision-making in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK and in selected EU countries. Specifically, we investigated awareness of the impact of heuristics (mental shortcuts that act as decision aids) and cognitive biases on judgement, and whether boards regularly adopt active processes to mitigate bias in reviewing or approving plans set out by university management.

Published: 19 February 2018

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Governance and risk disclosure practices in UK higher education institutions in an era of austerity and reform

This small development project examined risk management and governance disclosure practices in UK HEIs in a period of increased budget cuts and reforms (2009 to 2014), with the aim of identifying, developing and disseminating ‘best practice’ across the sector.

Main Report

Globally, the higher education sector is experiencing rapid changes, including increasing competition, ‘commercialisation’, ‘managerialism’ and regulation. These changes have brought to the fore issues of sound governance and risk management in HEIs. However, there is a clear dearth of serious systematic and longitudinal research examining the extent to which senior managers of UK HEIs engage with, and disclose, existing good practice recommendations relating to risk management and governance in their annual reports.
Published: 5 May 2018
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Best practice guide

A central objective of this project was to identify, develop and disseminate a ‘best risk management and governance disclosure practice guide’ to be used not only within the UK higher education sector, but also by governors councillors, senior managers and trustees of all types eg of HEIs around the world. It is within this context that this simple and easy to use best practice guide or toolkit for making governance and risk management disclosures in HEIs has been prepared.
Published: 5 May 2018
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Creating value from open data

The “Creating value from open data” project set out to bring universities and sector organisations together to examine how the value of open data to UK higher education institutions could be developed. The key aims were to explore the opportunities, benefits and challenges of open data, develop a demonstrator application and set out a roadmap for further work. Via a series of scoping workshops, potential was recognised for applying open data in areas such as student journey, space management and learning analytics. An open data mashup day brought together university managers, data experts and students to develop ideas for using open data to enhance the student journey and an app to help students to source course books was selected for development in phase two with support from Jisc.

Published 1 March 2016

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Governance in a changing environment

We commissioned and published three governance research outputs as part of the Contemporary issues in governance series. The reports are avaliable for download below.

Governance in a changing environment: thought piece

A short reflection by Dr Geoffrey Copland about some key issues and themes for governors to consider.
Professor David Greatbatch, Durham University
Published: 1 June 2014
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Governance in a changing environment: literature review

A review by Professor David Greatbatch of the literature on the issues and themes discussed by Copland.
Dr Geoffrey Copland
Published: 2 June 2014
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The governance of private higher education providers in the UK

A report by John Fielden looking at how regulatory agencies in different countries review governance issues, together with interviews with private providers.
John Fielden, CHEMS Consulting
Published: 3 June 2014
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