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Connect Benefit Series - Leading change through teams and networks

As part of our Connect Benefit Series for 2021-22, our Leading change through teams and networks project will run from November 2021 to January 2022.

From November 2021 to January 2022 our Connect Benefit Series project is “Leading change through teams and networks”. All colleagues at Advance HE member institutions can participate in this Connect Benefit Series project free of charge; please share this webpage with your colleagues.

While we all play a part in the success of our organisations as students, academic and support staff members and leaders, we never do it alone. That is why effective teams and networks are a crucial component of any organisation, and the make or break of any change process. The sector is constantly transforming, facing new opportunities and challenges - from Covid-19 pandemic, to race equity, fighting harassment, improving mental health of staff and students, and more.

The last 18 months in particular, highlighted the need for formal and informal collective structures and for their leaders to be flexible, resilient and responsive to continuous change. That is why this theme explores the opportunities for and challenges in developing change agency as a core skill for collaborative working within and between teams, groups and networks.

An Advance HE member benefit

The Connect Benefit Series is an Advance HE member benefit and is open to colleagues at Advance HE member institutions. 

Find out more about Advance HE Membership

Introductory Blog - Dom Jackson-Cole

In this introductory blog, Advance HE's Senior Adviser (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), Dom Jackson-Cole outlines this member benefit theme in further detail. 

Read the blog
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Supporting Inclusive Boards: community in small and specialist institutions

The Supporting Inclusive Boards community will convene governance professionals from small and specialist institutions in a series of developmental, online sessions to enhance and share thinking, noting the importance of the role of the governance professional in implementing change. Invitations to join the community is offered in conjunction with GuildHE and has been sent to small and specialist institutions.

Kim Ansell, Senior Adviser at Advance HE is joined by Tesse Akpeki, Director of Tesse Akpeki Associates Ltd to discuss the value of this community and what participants can expect from being part of it. Advance HE members can access the podcast recording 'Supporting Inclusive Boards: an introduction to the community' below.

Listen to the podcast
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The Higher Education Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit

As part of the Collaborative Development Fund 2020-21, the Board Diversity Practice Project's Higher Education Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit has been created to assist governance professionals who are interested in tackling under-representation and aiming for inclusion at the Board level in the higher education sector. 

This Toolkit was developed in partnership with Advance HE, Perrett Laver and the University of Gloucestershire and is available to Advance HE member institutions.

Download the toolkit
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“The role of social capital in the success of Black, Asian and minority ethnic students.” – Interactive workshop 24 November

The old saying “it’s not what you know but who you know” has been widely researched by sociologists, economists, anthropologists, educators, business and management experts, and more. Who you know and can count on can be described as social capital, and is a key building block of official and unofficial networks which are essential to success – be it success of individuals, projects or even entire organisations. This interactive workshop took place on 24 November 2021 at 14:00-16:00 GMT and concentrated on the role of social capital and networks in improving student success and more importantly how institutions can help build them.

Watch the recording
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Building a successful team or network to transform institutions: a discussion panel with change experts - 18 January 2022

This panel discussion on 18 January 2022 at 14:00-16:00 GMT supported institutional change-makers, project managers and leaders in better understanding how they can use the power of teams and networks to create successful institutional change and/or transformation. The panellists have a wealth of experience in successfully creating, using and managing teams and/or networks to drive cultural change within institutions that made a positive change in the lives of their staff and/or students. The speakers shared their stories, case studies, tips and best practices. The audience had an opportunity to ask their questions to the panellists. 

Watch the recording
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A range of supporting guides for this member benefit theme can be found below. 

The higher education board diversity and inclusion Toolkit

Developed in partnership with Advance HE, Perrett Laver and the University of Gloucestershire, this Toolkit is designed to help member institutions to improve the diversity and inclusivity of their governing bodies, whether as a Secretary, Chair of Governors, Governance and Nominations Committee member, or anyone interested in tackling under-representation and aiming for inclusion at the Board level in the higher education sector.

Download toolkit

Co-operative leadership for higher education

The aim of this research was to assess the possibility of establishing co-operative leadership as a viable organisational form of governance and management for higher education.

Download report

The excellent and inclusive university: an institutional framework

The three institutions in this study are part of the PLuS Alliance, a grouping that aims to foreground service to society, while broadening conceptions of excellence.


Download framework

Leading change together: managing cultural change across the higher education workforce

Culture, change and organisational development (Small development Project).

Download report

Diversity of governors in higher education

This report details the diversity characteristics of UK HEI governors using the enhanced HESA records for the academic year 2018/19. 

Download report
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Related resources, programmes and events

Below you will find information on Advance HE resources, programmes and events which relate to the leading change through teams and networks member benefit project.

Leading HE board diversity and inclusion: Roles, priorities and practice

During this event, we will launch a new toolkit developed as an output of this project, for Advance HE members to aid those responsible for enhancing board diversity and inclusive governance practice. Additionally, our panel will consider the question of 'whose role is it to lead change in board diversity and inclusion?'.

Find out more

The role of Governance in Equality in Higher Education

From the student awarding gap to the gender pay gap, there is much to address. At a minimum, Boards and committees must deliver assurance to ensure the organisation is meeting EDI related statutory and regulatory requirements.  Key to this is building the confidence, knowledge and skills of individuals and groups in the governance system.

Find out more

Inclusive learning and teaching workshop series

During 2021-22 we will be running a series of workshops focused on equality, diversity and inclusivity topics to support practitioners, managers and leaders within HE institutions across the UK.

Find out more

Governance Events 2021-22

Development programmes, networking events and conferences for governance professionals in HE. Advance HE events are designed to support you, whether you are thinking of being a Governor, have recently become one or are looking to develop skills in your existing role as a Governor, Student Governor or governance professional.

Find out more

Governance Conference 2021

This one-day virtual conference on 18 November 2021 will focus on the skills and attributes required for good governance of HEIs.

Find out more
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Advance HE Connect

Advance HE Connect our online network that is open to all those who work in HE providing a space where the sector can share, connect and collaborate in one place with 22,000 HE peers from 100 countries around the globe. The platform features special interest groups, events and collaborative projects. 

Join or log in now
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Stay up-to-date

Our monthly newsletter contains the latest news from Advance HE, updates from around the sector, links to articles sharing knowledge and good practice and information on our services and upcoming events. Don't miss out, sign up to our newsletter now.

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