Heads of University Management & Administration Network Europe

Summer School

Hosted by the Freie University Berlin        

2019 Edition dates: September 15-20

Transforming Higher Education Professional Services 


Universities seeking to be competitive in a global higher education market can’t afford to provide sub-optimal professional services. This is true at every level of service provision: in departments, schools/faculties and “the centre”; as well as every service area.  Traditional models for services delivery are no longer adequate. Services are often duplicated, inefficient and fragmented. Clarity of accountability is often poor and professional services staff are far too often not sufficiently empowered to utilise their many talents. Student numbers growth, research expansion, new forms of teaching and learning, and the heightened expectations associated with anytime anywhere technology pose major management challenges for institutional leaders. 

Acute as the need is for radical change, the institutional capability to lead and manage such systemic change is often in short supply, meaning that far too often transformation programmes either stall or simply fail. 


The aim of the HUMANE-EFMD Summer School is to develop the leadership potential of senior managers in higher education involved in major transformational change programmes in their institutions by making them fully aware of:

  • The critical success factors associated with the re-design of professional services operating models for future growth; and approaches to overcome the challenges associated with the design and delivery of these programmes
  • The methods and options available for achieving cross-boundary process transformations to develop flexible and modern professional services.


The programme is highly intensive and team-based.  It has been conceived as a transformational, experiential learning experience for the participants. It includes plenary sessions followed by intensive practical teamwork in small groups throughout the week.

Each team of participants is allocated one of two case studies to work on over the course of the week.  Both case studies (the University of Helsinki and the University of Bordeaux) demonstrate an ambition to achieve transformational change, although each has deployed different methods and approaches to achieve their aims.   The programme also exposes participants to the analysis of major transformations in other industry sectors including the public health sector.  These in-depth case studies of contrasting approaches to achieving transformation change aim to give participants a body of knowledge and skills to apply in their own institutional settings. Participants are also encouraged to bring examples from their institutions to feed into the discussions.

The working language is English, with facilitators used to dealing with various levels of language proficiency.

School Themes

The key themes of the Summer School programme are:

  • the leadership and management of transformational change for institutional competitiveness
  • the redesign of core cross-institutional processes, going beyond organisational silos to improve the quality, efficiency and value of support services
  • making informed choices and decision-making processes for transformation programmes in European universities
  • a ‘learning by doing’ approach.  The Summer School uses the experience of HUMANE and EFMD to give unique insight into general problems and to ensure that discussion builds on examples from a wide range of different national higher education systems.


The target audience is senior middle and senior managers (managers directly below a head of administration or business school dean), as well as senior managers either directly involved in a significant transformation programme or aspiring to be part of such a programme. These may include the transformation of tightly scoped services (e.g. student support services) or the broader reshaping of professional services (e.g. in faculties or academic departments).

Heads of administration will also be interested in attending such a programme, particularly if they have been tasked to orchestrate a major institution-wide transformation programme.  The programme will also be of interest to senior middle and senior staff working in HE funding and regulatory agencies.

Applicants should be nominated by their own heads of administration, their deans of the business school, or the equivalent in their organisation’s leadership hierarchy.  Applicants are ultimately selected by an HUMANE-EFMD panel with wide experience of leadership and management development programmes.

Application criteria

Applicants should provide the following when applying for a place on the Summer School:

  • A one page statement describing their qualifications and why they are interested in this Summer School
  • A one (or maximum two) page curriculum vitae
  • A letter of support from their head of administration or equivalent senior manager

Applications for the 2019 edition will open in the Spring.