This year, Advance HE is celebrating 20 years leading and supporting effective governance in HE. Culture is the key factor that underpins effectiveness no matter what the operating context throws at higher education providers. With that in mind, the 2023 conference will look at board culture through the lens of navigating policy, politics and people. We will reflect on what the past twenty years has sharpened our focus on, as well as look ahead to the prospect of further governmental and regulatory change in order to stimulate thinking on how healthy board culture can thrive to benefit all.
We will be joined by high profile speakers from the world of politics, higher education and looking beyond to other sectors for a series of keynotes, panels and interactive sessions. The conference is an ideal opportunity to connect with fellow Governors in higher education, Governance Professionals or Executives and learn about developments across the higher education sector with a focus spanning higher education in the UK and internationally.
Evolving higher education governance brochure
Our new Evolving higher education governance 2023-24 brochure details our support for boards, governance professionals and individual governors. Find out more about our consultancy and enhancement services, the dates for our Governor Development Programme 2023-24 and upcoming exclusive content and projects for Advance HE members.
Plan your professional development for 2023-24 using our NEW Development Planner
Whether you are looking to enhance your practice, share insights or identify the next step in your professional development, by answering only a few short questions our new Development Planner will guide you to a range of development opportunities that meet your requirements. Try it today.
On the day
Keynote from Julia Gillard
Governance today and tomorrow: New Challenges and New Opportunities
‘In this address, former Prime Minister Gillard will draw on her experiences in Australian politics and in her current role chairing the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust, to canvas contemporary governance challenges, including meeting the new expectations of the workforce and the community, addressing climate change and focussing on equity, diversity and inclusion. On EDI, former Prime Minister Gillard will canvas the research work of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London.’
Keynote from Susan Lapworth
We will explore the higher education regulatory environment in the context of the conference theme, governance: people, politics and policy. We will consider the extent to which the promise of proportionate and risk based regulation is being delivered upon and what further changes may be ahead of us and what this means for governing bodies. The session will also reflect on the review from the Parliamentary Industry and Regulation select committee inquiry to consider their main findings and how the recommendations may impact policies and people in the governance eco-system. We will also consider lessons learned in navigating the changing regulatory and policy environment which will enable governing bodies, particularly in respective nations, to prepare for ongoing change in the content of a higher education sector increasingly under the spotlight.
Keynote from Jane Hamilton
Culture and people enabling policy and compliance
Higher education is a ‘people’ business and if the people and culture aren’t right your compliance will only ever be a tick list. Jane Hamilton will share her insights and experience about the key factors enabling a healthy board culture, which goes beyond policy and compliance to creating the right conditions for challenge, change, innovation and readiness to face the turbulent sector environment with which our universities are grappling.
Jane Hamilton is Chair of Council and the ‘People Supporting Strategy’ Committee at the University of Essex, and Chair of the CUC. During her career, she has been involved in talent development and a champion of diversity in the workplace. Jane will offer insights into her:
- experience of implementing an integrated approach to strategic oversight of people, for the governing body, beyond financial considerations, and
- reflections on how the governing body navigates politics and policy from a people perspective.
Policy: How do you develop a new regulatory approach?
Chair: Aaron Porter
This session will explore how the changing policy environment is impacting the higher education sector, individual institutions and how this is impacting the discussions and oversight which governing bodies need to undertake. In the context of an upcoming general election, the session will consider the extent to which higher education policy is under the spotlight, what a future government may bring for the sector and what the sector would want to see from the next government.
Politics: What do we want future government to focus on for HE?
This panel will explore the current and likely future direction for political interest in higher education with a discussion on how governing bodies are responding to the governments priorities for higher education and where this influences strategic direction. The panel will draw upon their own experience in Parliamentary politics and having held ministerial positions in government to explore the trends of what governments expect from universities and higher education institutions. The panel will seek to examine and explore with delegates what the higher education sector would like future governments to prioritise for higher education and how this may align with the agendas of current and future governments and what changes and developments may be required.
People: Navigating board dynamics – Lessons from other sectors
In this session we will explore the themes emerging across sectors in the quest to improve both board diversity and inclusion. What do the best boards do? How can you avoid the inclusion gap? What could higher education boards be doing differently? Our two contributors will bring a wealth of insights from the corporate, arts and education sectors to lend a fresh perspective on this issue.
Established in 2009, Peridot Partners is a values-led company committed to developing the leadership of socially focused organisations through executive and board recruitment. The strength of our organisation comes from our cross-functional networks, our exceptional research team and our experience of attracting people from all sectors. In the Education Practice, we provide a bespoke and personal approach towards the recruitment of executive, academic and professional services leaders and non-executive directors across the higher education sector. Visit our website to find out more.