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GDP: Rethinking Governance - Online

County / Region
Position on the Pathway
Governor's Pathway
Fellowship Category
Event Type
Online training
Start Date
End Date
5 weeks
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From

COVID-19 update

This online programme is still currently planned to start on the date shown and is open for bookings.  You can view details of the current status of all our upcoming conferences, events and programmes here. You can also view our coronavirus (COVID-19) updates page for the latest information and advice.

Exploring the programme structure with Programme Director Ellen Roberts, University of York


For new and continuing Governors, non-executive board members, Clerks and Secretaries.

Rethinking Governance is an online programme run in conjunction with the University of York that runs over the course of five weeks. The course allows participants to improve their understanding of the context of HE, and explore some of the key issues demanding the attention of senior leaders and Governors. Participants will analyse public service reform trends including the influence of business-focused values and techniques, and then relate these themes and issues to the HE context while debating some of the ‘big questions’ for public service delivery.

Through exploring the current context for public service organisations, Rethinking Governance will enable you to develop knowledge and understanding, helping you to operate more thoroughly and effectively in your role.

Access to the course materials and additional resources is via a virtual learning environment. Led by tutors from the University of York, a series of discussion fora allow participants to engage and exchange with your peers in order to examine and discuss key issues.

The course is intended for members of governing bodies and for others in governance-related roles, regardless of whether you are new to the role or have been in the role for some time. 

Governors Pathway


  • To explore the current context for public service organisations.
  • To analyse public service reform trends including the influence of business-focused values and techniques; performance management and accountability; and networks, partnerships and collaborative working.
  • To debate some of the 'big questions' for public service delivery.
  • To relate these themes and issues to the HEI context, and to consider their implications for leadership, governance and management.


You will be able to:

  • Understand why and how certain key themes have been shaping the public sector environment both in the UK and internationally.
  • Appreciate the implications and consequences of these themes and pressures.
  • Understand how these implications and consequences impact on the role and strategic leadership of HEIs.
  • Debate and draw conclusions about these issues, with the support of the course tutor and with a group of their peers.
  • As a result, be able to provide a deeper level of challenge within their institutions.

Structure and content

The course consists of five weekly 'Units', as follows:

  • Unit 1: Induction and orientation: an introduction to the course and to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
  • Unit 2: Public service reform: the ‘big picture’ and the implications for HE leadership, governance and management
  • Unit 3: Measuring and managing performance
  • Unit 4: The role of collaboration and partnerships in HE
  • Unit 5: The 'big questions' for leadership, governance and management in HE.

Who is delivering the programme?

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

Find out more