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GDP: Student Governor 2 (Online)

County / Region
United Kingdom
Position on the Pathway
Governor's Pathway
Fellowship Category
Event Type
Virtual Networking Event
Start Date
End Date
Day two of two stand-alone days
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From

"I felt the event was incredibly well organised, with great, experienced and engaging speakers. As a second year governor I wasn't sure how beneficial this would be to me but I will definitely be taking the new tips and tricks I learnt during this day, back to the governor meetings."

Eleanor Lewis, Chester Students Union President, University of Chester 


For new and returning Student Governors

The Student Governor programme is split into two separate events. They can be booked separately and are stand alone, but we strongly recommend that participants are booked on both sessions (you will receive a discount by booking on both). 

Programme Structure

Day one took place on 9 September 2020 and equipped incoming Student Governors with the skills to thrive in their new role as well as providing an update and networking space for returning Student Governors. 

Day two will take place on 27 January 2021 and will allow new and returning student governors to reflect on their year to date, provide further skills development and network mapping as well as preparing them for their end of year handover.

The event will build on the day one event in September and provide participants with a space to reflect and share their experience as well as look forward to how they can maximise their impact in the second half of the year.

For returning Student Governors there is a dedicated strand of activity and content with a chance to reflect on the experiences of the previous year with expert facilitation and advice to maximise your contribution in your second year.

This will be a highly participative event, with case studies and discussion groups and will provide many opportunities for delegates to debate and discuss. The programme will feature a number of nationally-known keynote speakers, interactive exercises and an opportunity for participants to network with other Student Governors.

By the end of the event, student governors will explore:

  • reflections on the year to date;
  • action plans on how to develop skills further;
  • network mapping (consider which relationships have been developed so far & which can be developed further);
  • consider transition and handover;
  • Iimplications of the changing policy landscape.

The event will feature a number of nationally-known keynote speakers, interactive exercises and an opportunity for participants to network with student governors from other institutions across the UK, and to subsequently use these contacts to share matters of concern and seek guidance. This conference complements the acclaimed NUS summer training programme.

Governors Pathway


10.00am  Introduction and Welcome: Aaron Porter, Associate Director Governance), Advance HE

10.15am   Element 2: Sustainability (and Academic Standards) Douglas Blackstock, CEO QAA

A long standing supporter of the student movement, Douglas led QAA's work on student engagement for a number of years, and was a member of the NUS & UUK-led Student Charter Group and subsequent Framework for Partnership Group. Here he will reflect on the sorts of discussions and papers that governors ought to be seeing at governing body level on academic matters and quality, and will offer perspectives on the role that students should play in quality both within the governing body and across the institution.

10.45am  Break

11.00am  Understanding the new HE Code of Governance and Tackling Element 1: Accountability Paul Greatrix, Registrar, University of Nottingham

Paul will reflect on the context of the new code, and will focus specifically on the actions behaviours that we should expect to see under “Element 1”. What have student governors experienced so far, and where they have doubts, are they founded and what could be done to address them?

11.45am We are where we are - higher education policy in 2021: Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor, Wonkhe

12.30pm Lunch

1.00pm Element 4: Equality, inclusivity and diversity Jess Moody, Senior Consultant, Advance HE

Many SU reps have agendas and concerns in both the equality, inclusivity and diversity space, and also in the access and participation space. These are also responsibilities of university governing bodies - but are they really concerns? Here the panel will reflect on the discussions that should be taking place at this level on these agendas, and what student members should be doing if they are not.

2.15pm  Element 5: Effectiveness and Engagement  Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE, Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor, Wonkhe, Jacqui McKinley, Chief Executive, Centre for Public Scrutiny

In this session participants will draw on their experience of Governance across both higher education and wider public settings and discuss what effective engagement should look like, as well as share tales both of effective governing bodies, and dysfunctional ones - with things for student members to look out for.

3.00pm            Closing remarks


Jim Dickinson

Jim Dickinson is an Associate Editor at Wonkhe where he takes a particular interest in students, governance and higher education regulation and leads on our work with students’ unions.

Jim is a former long standing director at the National Union of Students, where he led on students’ union development, campaigns and political strategy, student engagement and governance.

He was also CEO at the students’ union at UEA in Norwich, acting as the lead staff member on behalf of the elected student officers of the union providing strategic management for the union’s charitable and commercial vehicles and policy support for the officers.

Jim has served as a Governor in both further and higher education and the voluntary sector, and is a regular contributor to Advance HE’s Governor Development Programme. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and an obsessive fan of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Dr Paul Greatrix

Dr Paul Greatrix - Registrar and Secretary, University of Nottingham 

Dr Paul Greatrix is Registrar at the University of Nottingham, a post he was appointed to in January 2007. Prior to this he was Deputy Registrar at the University of Warwick. Earlier positions at Warwick included Director of Student and Ancillary Services, Acting Registrar, Interim Director of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and Senior Assistant Registrar with responsibility for quality issues. Before joining Warwick in 1998 he was at the University of East Anglia for six years, where he also worked on quality matters, and Staffordshire University.

As Registrar he is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for the academic administration of the University. As well as being Secretary to the statutory bodies of the University and a member of University Executive Board, the Registrar manages the provision of a broad range of professional services for prospective students, current students and staff. 

Paul read English Language at the University of Edinburgh, and holds a PhD from the School of Education at the University of East Anglia.
He blogs regularly for Wonkhe as Registrarism.

Jacqui McKinley

Jacqui McKinley - Chief Executive, Centre for Governance and Scrutiny

Jacqui McKinlay is chief executive of the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS). CfGS is a national charity with a track record of innovative research, policy and practical support on all aspects of democracy, governance and scrutiny. 

Since its launch in 2003, CfGS has worked closely with local government, alongside its work in health, housing, education, national government, co-operatives, the voluntary, private and co-operative sectors. It seeks to champion accountability, transparency and involvement in decision-making, opening up governance to work for those most affected. It works with leaders and policy makers, nationally and locally, to design new ways of working, alongside those looking to reset following a crisis. 

Jacqui is also a Trustee of The Advocacy Project and Board Member of the New Local (previously the New Government Network (NLGN). She has career spanning the full range of public services starting as a graduate trainee in the civil service and working in health, sport and local government.

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

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