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Barbara Bassa

Barbara works for Advance HE as a Programme Director, Senior Leadership and Organisational Development Adviser and Executive Coach.
Advance HE
Job Title
Programme Director, Senior Leadership and Organisational Development Adviser and Executive Coach

She heads a number of national and bespoke leadership programmes for the Higher Education Sector, including Aurora, Senior Women’s Leadership Development and Transforming Leadership Programme. She co-directs Transformative Conversations Programme and leads on a number of bespoke programmes and Member Benefits initiatives. 

Following a career in Europe where Barbara managed business consultancy for high tech organisations such as Microsoft Great Plains, Gold Mine and Lufthansa Systems Poland, working globally and across diverse sectors, including governmental bodies, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing, banking, aviation and IT; she moved to the UK in 2007 and started working in higher education sector. 

She worked for Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield and then across the HE sector in the UK and in Europe as an independent consultant. She led change and managed programmes in areas related both to student (access, widening participation, student recruitment and support) and staff (HR, organisational and leadership development), which gave her a deep understanding of university operations and strategy. 

She directed and delivered university-wide leadership development programmes for senior leaders and executive teams, including over 3,000 coaching sessions.

Barbara is passionate about transforming leadership for the future and contributing to creating more inclusive, authentic, equal and compassionate universities. She works with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Presencing Institute to prepare leaders for the future that wants to emerge and to lead innovation using multiple intelligences: leading with the head, the heart and the gut.
Women’s leadership is close to her heart. She directs two women-only programmes in higher education: Aurora for aspiring women leaders and Senior Women’s Programme, for women preparing for executive roles.

Her work is driven by the values of honesty, transparency, creativity, integrity and collaboration.

Barbara is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an accredited Fierce Conversations and 360 feedback facilitator. She holds a master’s degree in Business from The University of Gdansk (Poland), MSc in Organisational Development (Coaching and Mentoring) from Sheffield Business School and postgraduate diplomas in Social Communication and Human Resource Management. 

Knowledge Hub resources from Barbara Bassa


Wellbeing as a strategic imperative – the management response

27 Jun, 2022

The Board's role in wellbeing as a strategic imperative

17 May, 2022

Turning challenging conversations into transformative ones

21 Oct, 2021