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GDP: Governor Induction Event

Regent’s University London, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS Room: Tuke Common Room
County / Region
United Kingdom
Position on the Pathway
Governor's Pathway
Fellowship Category
All Fellowship Categories
Event Type
Networking Events
Start Date
End Date
One day
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From

For new Governors (staff, independent and new governance professionals).

This one-day event has been designed as a chance for new Governors to come together to understand their roles and responsibilities as members of the governing body. We will consider the policy landscape, the delineation between governance and management, and consider how best to hit the ground running as an effective Governor.

Using recently developed guidance for new Governors, this event will be delivered as a professional workshop, allowing participants to receive expert information and advice that complements the induction for new Governors provided by their institution. It will offer an overview of the policy landscape and regulatory environment and offer the opportunity to meet and network with other new Governors.

New Governor

Venue: Regent’s University London, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS, Room: Tuke Common Room

Event agenda

09.30 Arrival: registration and refreshments
10.00 Welcome and introductions - Aaron Porter, Associate Director Governance, Advance HE
10.30 Understanding the experiences of students in higher education - Dr Camille Kandiko Howson, Associate Professor of Education, Imperial College London
11.15 Refreshment break
11.30 Decision making and governance in higher education providers - Dr Catherine Baxter, University Secretary, Harper Adams University
12.15 Understanding the Office for Students and HE regulation - Victoria Holbrook, Head of Membership, Advance HE
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Table discussions
14.45 In conversation with Alex Bols, Deputy Chief Executive, Guild HE & Vice-Chair, University College of Osteopathy
15.30 Closing remarks

Event agenda

Download the draft agenda for the Governor Induction event



Aaron Porter
Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

Aaron Porter is the associate director (governance) for Advance HE leading on engagement with governing bodies and governance across the UK, including leading reviews of board effectiveness. He has worked with over 75 universities both in the UK and overseas, as well as projects for national governments focused on higher education. Working within a portfolio of roles including as director of insights for the Hotcourses Group and as an external adviser to Civitas Learning.  He is a member of the governing council at Goldsmiths, University of London and is chair of the Board of Governance at Nelson College a specialist higher education college in East London.

He was previously served on the council of the University of Leicester, and the boards of a number of Higher Education sector bodies including Higher Education Funding Council for England, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the Higher Education Academy and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator. Outside of higher education, he has served on the board of directors for Endsleigh Insurance.

He was previously president of the National Union of Students in 2010-11, during the high profile debate on tuition fees, appearing extensively in the media including BBC Question Time, Newsnight and the Politics Show. He also co-chaired the Beer/Porter Student Charter group which reported to the higher education minister David Willetts in January 2011, and was a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Online Learning Taskforce and the review of External Examiners chaired by Dame Janet Finch both conducted in 2010-2011.

Outside of higher education he is a school governor in South London, a member of the education committee for the General Chiropractic Council, the members panel for the National Employment and Savings Trust and a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. He is also a qualified football referee and a keen follower of cricket.  In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Leicester in recognition of his contribution to higher education and the student experience.

Aaron Porter

Victoria Holbrook
Head of Membership, Advance HE

Victoria joined Advance HE in February 2019 from the Office for Students and previously HEFCE. As Head of Membership Victoria manages relationships to ensure members are supported fully by Advance HE’s work, enabling them to deliver for their staff and students by understanding their needs.  She also leads work to support good governance, bringing expertise and perspectives from her time at HEFCE and OfS, as well as from serving on the Boards of a Multi-Academy Trust (2014-19) and Plymouth Marjon University (2019-present).

Victoria Holbrook Head of Membership Advance HE

Catherine Baxter
University Secretary, Harper Adams University

Catherine was appointed to the role of University Secretary at Harper Adams University in September 2009 having previously worked in senior roles at both pre and post 1992 Universities in England and Wales.  She also has experience of setting up an overseas campus.  

Catherine’s role at Harper Adams includes being Secretary to the Board of Governors and its committees and Secretary to the HAU Development Trust (a separate charity established to raise scholarship and capital funds).  She also manages a range of teams including Estates & Facilities, HR, Legal, Data Protection/FOI; Catering, and Health and Safety.

Catherine Baxter University Secretary Harper Adams University

Alex Bols

Deputy Chief Executive, GuildHE & Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, University College of Osteopathy

Alex Bols is Deputy Chief Executive of GuildHE – one of the officially recognized representative bodies in UK higher education. He sits on various sector-wide groups including as a member of UK-wide Standing Committee on Quality Assessment, HEFCW’s Quality Assessment Committee, the Home Office’s Education Sector Forum and observing the QAA and Advance HE Boards.

He is Vice Chair of the Board at the University College of Osteopathy and has recently been appointed to the Board of Governors at Writtle University College. He is also Chair of Governors at Beacon High School and the Bridge Satellite School and is currently doing his Doctor of Education on student representation at UCL’s Institute of Education. He was previously Executive Director of the 1994 Group, Head of Higher Education and Assistant Director (Research) at NUS and Secretary General of the European Students’ Union.

Alex Bols

Dr Camille Kandiko Howson, PhD
Associate Professor of Education in the Centre for Higher Education Research & Scholarship (CHERS), Imperial College London 

Camille is an international expert in higher education research with a focus on student engagement; student outcomes and learning gain; quality, performance and accountability; and gender and prestige in academic work. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She recently evaluated the UK Office for Students’ £4million Learning Gain Pilot Projects. Formerly she was Academic Head of Student Engagement and Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at King’s College London.

Dr Camille Kandiko Howson

If you would like to find out more about our other governance events, please visit our Governance Development Programme page.

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Governance Brochure