Skip to main content

GDP: Student Governor (Winter)

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

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

Andrew McGettigan
Freelance higher education writer

Andrew McGettigan lives in London and writes on higher education, mathematics, philosophy and the arts. He is the author of The Great University Gamble: money, markets & the future of higher education (Pluto, 2013) and a HEPI pamphlet on student and accounting for Higher Education Policy Institute (May 2015). His writing on higher education has appeared in the Guardian, the Observer, Times Higher Education, Research Fortnight, and Radical Philosophy. He blogs on higher education financing and policy at

He is co-founder of the Fine Art Maths Centre at Central Saint Martins and teaches the history and philosophy of mathematics at City Literary Institute. He holds a doctorate from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy.

Andrew McGettigan

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

Find out more
Governance Brochure
Event sidebar info
Advance HE members benefit from discounted event prices. To see the price of this event for your institution please select from the list below.