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GDP: Governor Toolkit

De Vere Holborn Bars, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N 2SW
County / Region
United Kingdom
Position on the Pathway
Governor's Pathway
Fellowship Category
Event Type
Face to Face Networking Events
Start Date
End Date
One day
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From

For new, continuing and experienced Governors.

Each year we hold an event designed to provide an up-to-date toolkit that Governors and those supporting governance can use throughout the year. The day is based around seminars that reflect the transition and change happening in the HE sector to inform the work of Governors.

Key elements of the Governor role and governance challenges are brought together in this intensive study day where fundamental topics for the boards get a ‘fresh take’ in the world of HE. Participants have the opportunity to debate and discuss aspects of their roles with both the speakers and fellow participants.



09.30   Arrival: registration and refreshments

10.00   Welcome and introduction, Aaron Porter, Associate Director Governance, Advance HE

10.15   Understanding the student experience, Jenny Shaw, Unite Students       

11.00   The data agenda,  Alison Allden, Deputy Chair, Regents University London & Governor, Northumbria University (former CEO, HESA)

11.45   Refreshment Break  

12.00  The student voice: Q&A with student governor panel, Jacob Pepper, President, University of West London students' union and Eve Alcock, President, University of Bath students' union

12.50   Lunch

14.00   Financial sustainability in the sector, Mike Boxall, Senior Advisor on HE Policy and Strategy, PA Consulting Group

14.45   Table discussions

15.30   Closing remarks


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, and has led over 15 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. He is a member of the governing council at Goldsmiths, University of London, a non-executive director of BPP University and is chair of the Board of Governance at Nelson College a specialist higher education college in East London.

Aaron Porter

Jenny Shaw, Student Experience Director,  Unite Students

Jenny Shaw is Student Experience Director for Unite Students where she oversees an annual programme of research into the student experience. Prior to this she worked at senior level in the UK higher education sector to widen participation in higher education and open up new pathways to university for underrepresented groups. She has worked for the universities of Hull, York St John and Middlesex, and provided consultancy to the former HE Academy and the Equality Challenge Unit (now Advance HE) and also to Supporting Professionalism in Admission (SPA).

Jenny Shaw Unite Students

Alison Allden OBE, Member of the governing body, Northumbria and Regent's University London

Since retiring from her role as CEO of the Higher Education Statistics Agency Alison has pursued a non-exec portfolio and consultancy career. Recently Alison has become a member of the Bar Standards Board, responsible for the regulation and training of barristers and she is on the Board of Northumbria University and Regent’s University London. She previously contributed to HE at a national level, including the Jisc Board, HEFCE’s Leadership, Governance and Management Strategic Advisory Committee and eScience sub committees of the ESRC and AHRC research councils.

Prior to that Alison was on the senior executive of Bristol University, Director of IT at Warwick University and Director of Computing for Goldsmiths College University of London. She began her career as an archaeologist and then moved to the British Museum’s computerisation team and took an MSc at LSE in computing and management.

In 2016 New Year’s Honours she was awarded an OBE for services to Higher Education.

Alison Allden

Eve Alcock, Students’ Union President, University of Bath 

Eve Alcock is in her second term as President of the University of Bath’s Students’ Union. She was heavily involved in the appointment of Bath’s new Vice-Chancellor and Chair of Council, has pushed for governance reform and has secured wins for students around Buses, Accommodation and Inclusivity. She has a keen interest in HE Policy and has sat on the NUS’ HE Zone Committee, is a member of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment and recently spoke at the UUK Augar conference and Wonkfest about the TEF. She is passionate about women in leadership, access to HE and coffee.

Eve Alcock

Jacob Pepper, President and Chair of Trustees, University of West London Students’ Union

Jacob is the President and Chair of Trustees of the University of West London Students’ Union. He sits as a student governor on the board of governors for UWL as well as the national scrutiny council for the National Union of Students. His main body of work is centred around championing the voices of WP students and Students with learning disabilities. 

Jacob Pepper President and Chair of Trustees, University of West London Students’ Union

Mike Boxall, Senior Advisor on HE Policy and Strategy, PA Consulting Group 

Mike Boxall is a highly experienced consultant and commentator on policy and change in higher and further education, having worked with many UK universities and other providers, as well as advising government bodies and institutions in Europe and the Middle East.  His consultancy work has extended from national policy reviews to institutional strategy development, addressing issues ranging from national funding systems to department-level curriculum development.  His commentaries on current sector developments are regularly published in the national and specialist press and on social media sites, and he also runs and reports on PA Consulting’s annual surveys of UK vice-chancellors, now in their twelfth year.

Mike Boxall PA Consulting

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