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Top Management Programme for Higher Education

A development opportunity specifically created for those in an executive role in a higher education institution. Over 60 current and former UK Vice-Chancellors and Principals are TMP HE alumni, with many of the other past participants of TMP HE holding some of the most senior posts throughout higher education.


The challenges facing higher education both in the UK and internationally continue to grow in their scale and complexity; this emphasises the need for institutions to have confident, forward thinking and effective executive leadership with the agility and innovation to respond.

Executive leaders also need space and opportunity to think differently and build effective networks, skills and insights to sustain their roles and contribution for both their personal benefit and to be a fully contributing member of the Executive team.

Bookings for TMP HE 53 are now closed

If you're interested in future cohorts please request an information pack

Request an information pack

How is the programme delivered?

TMP HE is an open programme delivered in a cohort structure. There is a strong emphasis on ensuring that each cohort is a diverse peer group, enhancing the learning experience. The programme is split over three residential weeks with an impact day between each.

TMP HE's truly agile delivery method means that the programme content and delivery are shaped by its participants whilst ensuring the delivery of the defined curriculum. Providing timely value to the participants is achieved through continuous review and feedback.

The core content of the programme will include:

  • Orientation Day - Introduction to the Programme, Participants and the Process, Friday 14 June 2024
  • Week One - Leadership, strategy and change, Tuesday 9 – Friday 12 July 2024 (four days)
  • Coaching - Monday 23 and Thursday 26 September 2024
  • Impact group 1 - Friday 11 October 2024
  • Week Two - International Module: Europe, Monday 4 – Friday 8 November 2024
  • Impact group 2 - Friday 24 January 2025
  • Week Three - Institutional influence, political leadership and governance, Tuesday 28 – Friday 31 January 2025
  • Coaching - Final session, February 2025
TMP HE 53 Dates
TMP is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You will never get another chance to meet this many senior colleagues from across the sector, to immerse yourself into wicked challenges and problems, and to reflect on your practice and impact as a senior leader. The programme is designed to build and swerve in ways that will keep you engaged, and the facilitators and visiting speakers are hugely impressive. The facilitators, in particular, provide a level of insight and support both in group and individual settings that is second to none. I can't recommend it highly enough.”

Dr Stephen Graham,
Head of Arts and Humanities,
University of London 

Core Content:

Orientation Day (Online)

Introduction to the Programme, Participants and the Process

Week One

To explore leadership, strategy and change


Participants complete a 360 diagnostic designed specifically for higher education executive leaders; feedback and coaching connected to this is provided between Week One and Week Two

Impact Group

Participant's will come together in smaller groups for peer-to-peer learning and reflection

Week Two

To explore and compare how different higher education institutions operate and lead in their cultural and strategic context

Impact group

Participants will meet for a second time in their impact groups in-between Week Two and Three

Week Three

To explore institutional influence, political leadership and governance


Participants complete the programme with on final coaching session with their executive coach


In conversation with...


Top Management Programme in HE Programme Director, Louisa Hardman

We spoke to the programme directors to discuss the importance of high quality leadership in difficult times. 

Opening with what they describe as TMP’s defining characteristic “that [it] has always adapted to the changing context of higher education”, Louisa discusses the main challenges for executive leadership at present, how the programme is going to be delivered in these changing times and how the lessons from the programme stay with participants throughout their careers.

Leadership challenges

Louisa points to six key challenges as the backdrop for the programme: contextual, organisational, technical, relational, personal and political.


Resilience and courage

Louisa Hardman discusses the practice of reflection, resilience and courage, and the value of working with a peer group that offers genuine feedback.


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Developing senior leaders in higher education

Top Management Programme for Higher Education is designed to equip senior leaders, with the necessary skills to extend your thinking and practice, and to face the challenges of HE leadership.

  • The core curriculum of the programme is based on what makes an effective executive leader in HE
  • A truly agile learning experience drawn from exposure to new ideas and new ways of delivering innovation and change
  • Programme participants are a 'true' peer group, currently working as part of, or about to become part of, an executive or in a role with significant cross-institution responsibility
  • The programme supports innovation skill development in HE
  • Learning and development is placed within a real-time context, is immersive and the participants inform the learning throughout in a responsive and co-created approach
  • The international visit takes participants “outside” their immediate perspective on the sector, an opportunity to reflect on approaches
  • As a cohort of influential figures, TMP HE alumni and guest contributors begin to collaborate within the “cohort community”, influencing and shaping debate in the sector.
Man studying alone
It’s a great development opportunity and fantastic network to be a part of.”

Professor Marcia Wilson,
Dean of EDI,
Open University


Meet the delivery team

Louisa Hardman

Programme Director
Advance HE
Louisa Hardman
Louisa is a respected leadership consultant, coach and facilitator, working with international clients in the public and private sectors to achieve real learning and change. She was an early Key Associate with the Leadership Foundation, has contributed to TMP since 2009 and been Programme Director since TMP 32.

Dr Paul Gentle

Programme Director
Advance HE
Dr Paul Gentle
Dr Paul Gentle is an experienced leadership developer who helps teams in higher education to realise their full potential. His facilitative style challenges and supports leaders to become more engaging and more strategic in their work of managing people in universities of all sizes and mission groups.

Vijaya Nath

Programme Director
Advance HE
Vijaya Nath
Vijaya Nath was previously the director of leadership development at Advance HE (formerly Leadership Foundation for Higher Education). She brings over 26 years of experience in developing leaders in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors.

Professor Susan Lea

Programme Facilitator
Advance HE
Prof Susan Lea
Professor Susan Lea is passionate about the role of universities in transforming individual lives and positively impacting society through education, research and community engagement.
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What are the programme outcomes?

Successful completion of TMP HE benefits both the participant and their institution.

The institution benefits from the building of confident leaders who are nuanced and effective, to achieve improved performance, gain the tools to shape institutional strategy, position or culture and develop a reflective/strategic approach to supporting and challenging others to lead.

Participants develop the skills and experience to bring about change through engaging people, work through collaboration and diversity and gain experience by applying their learning through a personal leadership project which benefits the sponsoring institution as it develops the individual leader.

Participants will join the TMP HE alumni (currently over 900 members) and continue to benefit from a vibrant support network, informing and steering debate in the sector, developing collective leadership.

Woman working
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