In 2016-17 Advance HE, supported by the UK higher education (HE) funding councils (Higher Education Funding Council for England [HEFCE], Higher Education Funding Council for Wales [HEFCW], Scottish Funding Council [SFC]), commissioned work to inform strategies to improve practices in leadership, governance and management in HE, based on previous best evidence of ‘what works’. This initial work found senior leaders in HE were enthusiastic for a ‘what works’ style approach to provide the sector with clear, robust and relevant evidence. Practical insights to enable decision making were also proposed, based on examples of good practice in other sectors, and considering how principles of effective initiatives could be applied to HE for maximum impact. Results of this first phase are summarised in the Leadership Foundation’s What Works: The Concept report.
A second phase was designed to collate evidence from previous publications from the Leadership Foundation in greater depth. For this phase, Media FHE was commissioned to review this evidence and provide insights related to effective interventions in two areas: ‘what works’ in supporting women’s careers and ‘what works’ in promoting positive cultural and behavioural change. In March 2019, Advance HE published a summary report describing ‘what works’ in supporting women’s careers. This summary report will describe findings and recommendations related to effective interventions and initiatives to promote positive cultural and behavioural change through staff engagement.