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Women in HE Conference 2021

Academic Governance in Higher Education

Providing assurance about academic governance – the oversight of teaching, learning and research -  is a core function of the governing body.

“The governing body must actively seek and receive assurance that academic governance is robust and effective."

CUC HE Code of Governance 2020

Members of governing bodies in all HE providers need to have confidence in their academic governance, especially given their duty to provide academic assurance, which requires members to rely on the institution’s academic governance arrangements.

Victoria Holbrook
Institutions are delivering considerable change in teaching and learning not least due to Covid-19, digital advances and meeting the skills needs of today and tomorrow. Effective academic governance is key to giving students, staff and wider stakeholders confidence in the system and innovating well."

Victoria Holbrook

Assistant Director - Consulting, Governance and Insights, Advance HE

Want to know more about Academic Governance?

The information pack for Academic Governance contains links to all the resources and content available on this page plus more.

Request a pack
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Reviewing Academic Governance in higher education: a framework

This Framework sets out some key factors for the consideration of academic governance effectiveness and is intended as a tool to support higher education institutions (HEIs) and Further Education Colleges (FECs) delivering higher education in their own effectiveness reviews. It draws on work by Advance HE and Committee of University Chairs (CUC).

The Framework has been developed to guide managers and governing bodies as they seek to review the effectiveness of academic governance. Members of governing bodies in all higher education providers need to have confidence in academic governance given that they now have a specific duty to provide academic assurance – an assurance that requires members to rely on the institution’s academic governance arrangements.

Download the framework

Academic Governance Reviews

Our framework is the basis for our Academic Governance Reviews. We provide an external perspective for institutions looking to undertake a review of their academic governance provision.

Find out more
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Academic Governance reports, publications and resources

Advance HE has curated a number of resources to support the understanding of the role of Academic Governance in a higher education provider. These cover guides to support those new to Academic Governance, practical advice for boards, and insights including case studies and are available to download below.

An introduction to Academic Governance in Higher Education for new Governors

This brief guide intends to help new Governors acclimatise to some of the language, acronyms and terminology relevant to academic governance in UK higher education. Download the guide.

Governance Effectiveness Projects: Academic Assurance

This is collaborative member benefit project between Advance HE, UUK, CUC and GuildHE which aims to convene the sector to understand shared challenges and approaches to academic assurance. Explore the resources.

How to think about academic governance in Higher Education

This guide overviews the essential requirements for a successful set of arrangements in the development of a culture within the leadership team of openness, trust and respect. In our view, there needs to be an integrated and embedded culture that understands and accepts different duties in that part of institutional life where corporate and academic governance meet. Download the guide.

Practical advice to support the governing body with academic assurance

The points included in this advice may be helpful for lay or external Governors, especially those new to higher and further education understand academic assurance. They may also be helpful to staff and student Governors, governing body Secretaries and Clerks and senior managers. Download the guide.

Insight Guide

We published the Insight Guide on governing body responsibility for academic governance in September 2017. Download the guide.

Insight Guide - Case Studies

The Insight Guide includes selected cameos of institutional good practice drawn from the full set of case studies from our fieldwork. Download the case studies.

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