London Churchill College offers a range of Higher National Diploma courses to students in East London.
The College identified that none of its directors was an expert in every aspect of the Directors’ responsibilities and believed it was desirable that every director should be able to contribute to every aspect at a certain level.
The College had two main aims: to refresh the Directors’ awareness of the HE regulatory framework and to help them to keep abreast of changes in the higher education landscape.
To address this, the executive Directors appointed Advance HE to deliver a workshop covering various aspects of HE governance and emerging themes that could influence the higher education landscape.
Advance HE works with small, specialist independent providers whose Boards may not have the same proportion of academic members as other HE institutions. Its extensive experience with larger institutions enabled it to develop and modify its guidance to be more useful for a smaller and more specialised organisation.
The College and Advance HE worked in close partnership to develop a bespoke workshop to address the training gaps and a finalised agenda was agreed.
Advance HE delivered an online workshop, looking not only at the changes in the sector but also in how London Churchill College could insulate itself from any possible regulatory threats.
Following the workshop, London Churchill College believed its directors were now much more aware of further changes needed in its academic portfolio and the discussions had encouraged further thought on the possibility of University partnerships and on diversifying its income streams. The College also identified institutional benefits, helping the College to complete one of its outstanding actions.
It established a list of issues which should be explored further as part of the College’s development.
Extensive feedback demonstrated that delegates had found the workshop a valuable training opportunity and several expressed the wish for further events in the future.
Principal Dr Nick Papé said: “I found Advance HE very easy to deal with and accommodating throughout the negotiations to arrange the workshop. Each stage of planning was evaluated by the Directors and when discussed with Advance HE our ideas and requests were quickly assimilated into a finalised agreed agenda. I hope the Board of Directors agrees to hold further annual or biannual workshops and certainly my recommendation would be for us to keep a close liaison with Advance HE for training opportunities in the future.
“For me personally, I found the session on Academic Governance particularly absorbing and has reinforced my drive to place student engagement high in the College’s agenda. I like the idea of providing assurance to the Board of Directors on the quality and standards of academic matters, which I see very much as an integral part of my role.”