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Governance Effectiveness Projects: Academic Governance

This is the collaborative project between Advance HE, UUK and GuildHE which aims to convene the sector to understand shared challenges and approaches to academic governance.

The Academic Governance project has been designed to ensure effective academic assurance. This has been driven by the increased need for governors to understand and effectively receive evidence-based assurance about “student outcomes” in England as a requirement from the OfS, but increasingly in other UK Nations as part of their regulatory requirements.

Governing bodies are expected to actively seek assurances that academic governance is robust and effective. This becomes ever-more important with the political interest in issues surrounding quality in higher education and ensuring value for money for public expenditure. Advance HE, Universities UK and GuildHE are working together to explore these issues in more detail.

An Advance HE member benefit

Academic Governance is an Advance HE member benefit and is open to colleagues at Advance HE member institutions. If you are interested in participating in this programme please register your interest.

Register your interest
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Project Outputs

Project Output - News Article

“Expectations are increasing on governing bodies to seek their own assurances that standards are being maintained and to enable governors to have a more interactive role in this. This series of round-tables will seek to identify practical ways in which governing bodies are already carrying out this role and identify ways to further strengthen this."

Dr Alex Bols, Deputy CEO GuildHE

"Governors have a central role in protecting the value of degrees and ensuring the sector's excellent global reputation remains. We are delighted to be working with Advance HE to strengthen how governing bodies scrutinise quality and standards. These roundtables will be an opportunity to share the latest innovations from across the UK. This work follows UUK and GuildHE's commitment in July 2022 on degree classification levels."

Chris Hale, Director of Policy, Universities UK

Supporting and enhancing academic governance

The 'Academic Governance project' is a collaboration that will bring the sector together to explore and disseminate best practices in academic governance.

Read the news article

Project outputs - Academic Governance Roundtables

We are running a series of three roundtables for governance professionals, members of university academic boards and student representatives and the last one for Chairs and Vice Chairs of Audit and Risk Committees. These roundtables will explore in more detail these issues including the outcomes of the Universities UK and GuildHE survey on the Statement of Intent on degree classifications which questioned universities about their academic governance. 

The roundtables will be chaired by a member of the Advance HE Governance Strategic Advisory Group.

Each Advance HE member institution is able to put forward one individual to participate in each roundtable. We will be contacting the key governance contact for your institution with a link to express an interest.

Roundtable 1: Governance Professionals

7 March, 10:30-12:00 GMT – Chair, Chris Costigan

About Chris Costigan

Chris Costigan is Ravensbourne University London’s University Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of board governance as well as academic governance, quality assurance and for the monitoring and management of the University’s compliance with a range of external regulators.

Learn more
Chris Costigan

Roundtable 2: Members of Senate/Student Reps

9 March, 10:30-12:00 GMT  – Chair,  Dr Adeela ahmed Shafi MBE

About Dr Adeela ahmed Shafi MBE

Adeela is an Associate Professor in Education at the University of Gloucestershire. Adeela’s research is focused on the education of young people in secure custodial settings. She is currently leading 3 large Erasmus+ projects, Re-Engaging Young Offenders with Education & Learning (RENYO), Active Games for Change (AG4C) and Skills4Life.

Learn more
Dr Adeela ahmed Shafi roundel

Roundtable 3: Chairs and Deputy Chairs of Audit and Risk

14 March, 10:30-12:00 GMT  – Chair, Paul Ratcliffe

About Paul Ratcliffe

Paul is the Chief Operating Officer at the St Georges University of London and is the executive lead across a number of areas of the University, including strategic planning and risk, audit and efficiency. Previously, Paul had a number of leadership roles at Imperial College London from 2007 until 2016.

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Paul Ratcliffe

Project Output - Webinar and Panel Discussions 

In the webinars and panel discussions, the findings from the round tables and data from the Universities UK Survey and Advance HE Governance Professionals Survey will be discussed. This will take the format of a short presentation by the project leader before moving into a wide panel session with key representatives from across the HE sector, including student and staff representatives.

Dates to be announced. 

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Project Facilitator

Charles Knight

Senior Adviser Learning and Teaching,  Advance HE

Charles is an academic leader and consultant with a proven track record of delivery in the areas of learning and teaching and enterprise. Prior to joining Advance HE, he was Associate Dean (Student Experience) at Salford Business School where he worked with colleagues to introduce a series of innovative practices including short technical qualifications, block teaching and an increased emphasis on the use of simulations and experimental learning.

Learn more
Charles Knight roundel
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An Advance HE member benefit

Member Projects are part of Advance HE's member benefits for the 2022-23 membership year. Click below to see the full range of benefits available.

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