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GDP: Student Governor (Winter)

The Rembrandt Hotel, 11 Thurloe Pl, South Kensington, London SW7 2RS
County / Region
United Kingdom
Position on the Pathway
Governor's Pathway
Fellowship Category
Event Type
Networking Events
Start Date
End Date
Day two of two standalone days and webinar
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From

For new and returning Student Governors

For 2019-20 the Student Governor Development Programme will comprise of two standalone events and a webinar.

Programme structure

Day one took place on 10 September 2019. 

Day two will take place on 23 January 2020 will provide a chance for new Student Governors to reflect on their first 5-6 months on the governing body including their induction, first board meetings and end of year reporting. 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
  • Implications 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.

This event is for Student Governors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A separate 1 day event is scheduled for Scottish Student Governors.

Governors Pathway

"The event was great with engaging guest speakers who provided a truthful and insightful view on life as a Student Governor. After the session I feel confident going into Board meetings."

Geoffery Gulzar, Student Union President, Plymouth Marjon University

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GDP: Student as Governor Programme



09.30 Arrival: registration and refreshments

10.00 Welcome and introductions - Aaron Porter, Associate Director Governance, Advance HE

10.10 A new Code of Governance - Aaron Porter, Associate Director Governance, Advance HE

The Committee of University Chairs is consulting on a revised code for governing bodies. In this session Aaron will outline the major changes and participants will have the chance to help develop the new “Illustrative Practice Note” on student engagement.

10.50 A new government and a new agenda - Jim Dickinson, WonkHE
As the dust settles from the snap general election, there is term ahead packed full of challenges – a busy agenda of paused regulation from the Office for Students, a review of the NSS, subject-level TEF, new ministers and Government priorities and a new tertiary funder and regulator in Wales. This session will survey the landscape for student Governors and identify the issues that governing bodies will be grappling with in the coming six months.

11.30 Break

12.00 Teaching, TEF and the student experience - Kieron Broadhead, Director of the Student Experience, University of Southampton; Dr Michelle Morgan, Associate Dean of the Student Experience, Bournemouth University; Professor Sally Brown, Emerita Professor, Leeds Beckett.
The independent review of the Teaching Excellence and Outcomes Framework is likely to be published early in the new year with major implications fort universities. This session will consider the role that governing bodies are expected to play in monitoring teaching and its effectiveness, and consider evolving roles of academic governance, corporate governance and the student voice within it all.

13.15 Break

14.00 Student Governor Action Learning
This session will provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on their first few months in the governor role, with a focus on participation effectiveness and overcoming barriers. With working break.

17.00 Final remarks and close

Delivery team 

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

Jim Dickinson
Associate Editor, Wonkhe

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 AdvanceHE’s leadership skills for governance programme. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and an obsessive fan of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Jim Dickinson

Sally Brown, Emerita Professor at Leeds Beckett University

Professor Sally Brown is an Independent Consultant in Learning, Teaching and Assessment and Emerita Professor at Leeds Beckett University where she was, until 2010, Pro-Vice-Chancellor. She is also Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and formerly at the Universities of Plymouth, Robert Gordon, South Wales and Liverpool John Moores and at Australian universities James Cook Central Queensland and the Sunshine Coast.

She holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of Plymouth, Kingston, Bournemouth, Edinburgh Napier and Lincoln.

She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Senior Fellow and a National Teaching Fellow.

Sally Brown

Kieron Broadhead, Director of Student Experience, Southampton University

Kieron Broadhead is Executive Director of Student Experience at the University of Southampton. In this role he has responsibility for all of the non-academic student provision in the university, including international recruitment, relations, global mobility and student support. The role is also responsible for delivering the institutional strategy to drive forward the student experience at the university.

Kieron Broadhead

Dr Michelle Morgan, Associate Dean of the Student Experience, Bournemouth University

Michelle is extensively published in the area of supporting student diversity and improving the student learning experience at undergraduate and postgraduate taught level in, through and out of the student study journey. Her two edited books that revolve around her Student Experience Transitions Model (SET) are designed to help academic and professional service colleagues support students. She has developed a free portal for staff which provides a range of information and links for anyone interested in improving the student experience in higher education.

During her varied career, Michelle has been a Faculty Manager, Researcher and Academic. She describes herself as a ‘Third Space Professional’ student experience practitioner who develops initiatives based on pragmatic and practical research. Michelle has over 50 publications and has presented over 100 national and international conference papers (including 40 keynotes and 30 invited papers). She co-wrote and co-presented a 5-part Radio series for BBC China in 2011 on the student learning experience.

Dr Michelle Morgan

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

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