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GDP: Induction to Higher Education Governance for new Governors (Online)

County / Region
United Kingdom
Position on the Pathway
Governor's Pathway
Fellowship Category
Event Type
Virtual Networking Event
Start Date
End Date
4 hours and 15 minutes
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From

Next event 11 May 2021

The next Induction to Higher Education Governance for new Governors event will take place on 11 May 2021. Find out more and book your place.


This one-day event provides an opportunity 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.

Governors Pathway

Three key lessons for new governors

Ahead of our ‘Induction to Higher Education Governance for new Governors’, Rachel Hewitt, HEPI’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, shares three key lessons for new governors to help navigate the policy environment.

Read the blog
Rachel Hewitt HEPI

Induction to Higher Education Governance for new Governors     

10.00   Welcome,  Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE
10.15   Policy landscape, Rachel Hewitt, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Higher Education Policy Institute
11.00   Students' experience, Dr Camille Kandiko Howson, PhD, Associate Professor of Education in the Centre for Higher Education Research & Scholarship (CHERS), Imperial College London     
11.45   Break
12.00   Governance in HE,  Aaron Porter 
12.30   Governing well with HE regulation, Victoria Holbrook, Assistant Director (Governance), Advance HE 
13.00   Lunch     
13.30   Discussion Panel,  Alex Bols, Deputy Chief Executive, GuildHE & Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, University College of Osteopathy, Alison Allden OBE, Member of the governing body, Northumbria and Regent's University London, Victoria Holbrook, Assistant Director, Governance, Advance HE
14.15   Close


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. His portfolio of roles includes 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 has 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. 

He was previously President of the National Union of Students in 2010-11, during the high profile debate on tuition fees. He also co-chaired the Beer/Porter Student Charter group which reported to the Higher Education Minister, David Willets, in January 2011.

Aaron Porter


Rachel Hewitt 
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Higher Education Policy Institute

Rachel joined HEPI in November 2018, as Director of Policy and Advocacy. Prior to joining HEPI, Rachel held a number of roles at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), focused on data policy and governance and gathering requirements for information that could be met from HESA data. Rachel also lead on the review of data on graduate destinations and designed and implemented the new Graduate Outcomes survey. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Bath, where she also briefly worked with the careers department.

Rachel Hewitt

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

Victoria Holbrook
Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

Victoria joined Advance HE in February 2019 from the Office for Students and after 11 years at its predecessor the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). As Assistant Director, Governance she leads the development and delivery of Advance HE’s approach and work to support good governance to ensure it meets the needs of its members and clients in their rapidly evolving operating environments. In doing so, she brings expertise in higher education policy and regulation from her time at HEFCE and the OfS, as well as perspectives from serving on the Boards of a Multi-Academy Trust (2014-19) and Plymouth Marjon University (2019-).

Victoria conducts governance effectiveness reviews and speaks at national conferences and events on governance and leadership. She has a keen interest in global developments in governance practice across the public, charity and corporate sectors including action to achieve board diversity and inclusive leadership. 

In her role at HEFCE as Regional Consultant, Victoria cultivated relationships and resolved regulatory, funding and policy matters with senior teams at institutions across the South West. She also oversaw national work to support good governance in the English sector, working with a range of stakeholders including CUC and AHUA. For OfS, Victoria led the development of its first strategy for student information and undertook complex registration casework, gaining insights into the functioning of the new English regulatory framework at both sector and provider levels.
She has a wide range of experience from fifteen years of devising and implementing policy and projects across areas including research policy, widening participation and health education. Prior to HEFCE, she worked at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, European Parliament and in local government. Victoria achieved BA(hons) Law and French at UWE Bristol and later gained MSc Public Policy from the University of Bristol. 

Victoria Holbrook

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

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

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

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