HUMANE, Europe’s international network for Higher Education professionals

Driving professional excellence

HUMANE, the Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe, is an international association whose aims are to build international networks, to foster innovation in higher education services and to drive professional excellence in higher education management.  

Uniquely, HUMANE supports both the professional development of current executive leaders within the HE sector as well as organisational development through the provision of programmes to promising senior staff. 

Building international networks

Membership of HUMANE provides a cost-effective means to:

  • expand professional networks both locally and internationally,
  • continually develop the skills and expertise that you need to succeed,
  • stay up-to-date on key issues and trends,
  • have the opportunity to work with HE leaders who have first-hand experience of the ever-changing challenges within HE.  

Over the coming year, HUMANE is offering its members a wide range of networking and development events in various European locations and beyond.  

For further information go to the Join HUMANE page or contact us at contact(at) The current HUMANE Newsletter can be downloaded: here

HUMANE Autumn Seminar

Driving developments in enterprise and innovation in European universities

26 – 27 October, 2023

Hosted by the Toulouse School of Economics (FR)

The pandemic and current geopolitical tensions have reinforced the importance of “connectedness” to accelerate innovation in the 4th technology-driven industrial revolution. Our seminar will discuss successful frameworks and partnership models to transform universities into modern innovation-friendly environments to support wide innovation:

  • Showcasing examples of knowledge co-creation processes to generate broad societal impact: new ways to harness academic research, expertise, people, structures
  • Looking at approaches to support the academic enterprise, delivering innovation for the knowledge-based economy and an inclusive society
  • Exploring partnership models to develop new forms of Teaching and Learning to stimulate the development of innovation.

Wide-scale innovation requires regional and global connectedness and partnerships between all stakeholders, competence, talent and capital. This is at the heart of EU policy and the New European Innovation Agenda, for Europe to be a key player in the global innovation landscape: a place where multiple collaborations between stakeholders from governments, civil society, industry and academia in Quadruple Helix approaches are the critical successful factors to scale up innovative capabilities.

Save the date and register here to secure your place.

The Transnational Partnerships School

Transnational partnership developments and delivery

November 12-17, 2023

Hosted by the University of Nottingham Malaysia (MY)

With a young and expanding population of 660 million, ASEAN is the world’s fifth-largest economy after the US, China, Japan and Germany. Despite the pandemic, research production has grown significantly in the last few years and there is a strong appetite for higher education.

The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus opened in September 2000, the first branch campus of a British University outside the UK. Since then many international partnership initiatives have developed in Malaysia and in Southeast Asia.
Malaysia (and Kuala Lumpur in particular) is one of the three main transnational education hubs in the world, being home to a highly diverse and accessible higher education offer from public and private providers.

Malaysia was one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to support the development of International Branch Campuses, with the Ministry of Education inviting foreign universities to Malaysia. The 2015-2025 national Higher Education Blueprint ambitioned to target 250 000 international students by 2025. For further background, check: here

For late applications – contact the Secretariat.

HUMANE Winter School, Barcelona (ES)

Leading change in strategy and policy

March 17-22, 2024

Hosted by the UPF Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona (ES)

The HUMANE Winter School aims to develop the leadership potential of talented Senior Managers by making them fully aware of:

  • The concepts and practices of strategic management in a European context;
  • The importance of integrating academic matters, finances, human resources, governance, leadership and communication strategy in the elaboration of university strategy.

The Winter School focuses on leadership skills and the “big picture” of management (how to identify and implement necessary changes). Throughout the week participants work on a case resolution on the internationalisation strategy of a University. The context of university life and the developing scene across Europe provide a unifying thread – this is not just “yet another” management course.

The Winter School is designed for talented fast-rising managers of administration or services, some of who might become heads of administration. The typical candidate will be someone who has the potential to become an influential senior manager and/or head of administration in the future but who at this moment may not be a deputy or senior colleague. Candidates may be an expert or a specialist with the potential to broaden responsibility and move in due course to a senior management position. Applicants are nominated by their own head of administration, their dean or equivalent in their organisation. They are selected by a HUMANE panel with extensive experience of leadership management development programmes.

HUMANE Study Visit to Australia

Strategic transformations of Australian universities: Practice, successes and challenges

September 24-28, 2023 – registration is now closed

Hosted by the Australian Catholic University (ACU) (AU)

Australia’s universities are among the most innovative in the world. They are often praised for their global engagement strategies and practice. How have Australian universities shaped solid strategies, transformed and redesigned their operational services, physical and digital infrastructures to support major changes.

Our HUMANE programme comprises study visits to three very different types of institutions in Sydney. It focused on strategic transformations and delivery in the context of global engagement.

The programme will involve hearing from senior speakers from each institution; it will be highly interactive to facilitate genuine knowledge and experience exchange and networking.

There will be a seminar with HUMANE’s counterpart, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors Corporate Group (under Universities Australia), which will provide additional opportunities for good practice exchange, discussions on key trends in higher education, big challenges and future developments, and a platform for international networking.

The programme is available: here

Twenty Years of the Winter School

Since 2003 the Winter School has been offering an active learning experience for participants to experiment in a safe space, focusing on personal and professional development.

The School nurtures impactful leadership, supporting professional development and organisational transformations in universities. It provides individuals with knowledge and skills to grow in future leadership roles, develop open mindsets to understand multiple viewpoints, (inter)cultural awareness and cross-cultural leadership agility.

HUMANE Summer School, Berlin

Transforming HE Professional Services

September 10-15, 2023

Hosted by the Freie Universität Berlin (DE)

The Summer School focuses on achieving sustainable change in relation to universities’ operations. Participants use professional services transformation programme case studies and other material to explore global best practice in this area.

The programme content focuses on the wide variety of contrasting approaches to meeting the challenge of effecting policy and strategy change. Topics such as globalisation, strategic change management, strategic financial management, human resource management and strategic communication are covered over the course of the week.

We are looking for applications from fast rising middle to senior managers, keen to learn more about the art and science of leading and managing large-scale changes in operations and support services. Applicants must be open to non-hierarchical, flexible, agile management approaches, including approaches deployed in other industry sectors. Typically, they will be able to demonstrate the potential to move beyond their current roles irrespective of whether they are already working in operations management, or come from a specialist technical, or policy background. Applicants are nominated by their own head of administration, their dean or equivalent in their organisation. They are selected by a HUMANE panel with extensive experience of leadership management development programmes.

The Bologna Professional Pathways Programme, 2023-24 edition

Developing the next generation of senior professional leaders

16-19 April, 2023 and 18-20 February, 2024

Hosted by the University of Bologna (IT)

  • Have you recently been appointed or are on the cusp of becoming a head of administration?
  • Are you eager to fast track your knowledge and understanding of the global mega-trends impacting higher education?
  • Are you looking for a way to extend your personal competencies to become an even more effective leader?

Then HUMANE’s pathways programme for senior leadership development could help you to make that next big step to be the most senior administrative professional in your university.

Our programme is designed to be an intensive, immersive professional development experience where you will work in multi-disciplinary teams over a period of 10 months.

Click here to learn about the programme.

University governance, leadership and management in higher education

Major transformations have occurred in the governance of public higher education institutions in the last decades. Universities often have been granted more autonomy from state control to set their own strategic agendas, decide on their governance and manage their own affairs. Yet at the same time new forms of quality control and performance contracts have emerged under which the state is demanding accountability from its universities.

HUMANE carried out a Survey to gain a better understanding of the profound changes in the position of Head of Administration, understood as a generic term to refer to directors of administration, general directors of services (as in France), registrars or clerks (as in the UK), vice-presidents for administrative affairs, kanzlers (as in Germany).