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 global networks of professionals, to foster innovation in higher education services and to drive professional excellence in higher education management.

The network aims to transform higher education into a dynamic sector open to the world, through the transformation of professional services with contemporary approaches for dynamic service delivery and what is needed in the academic enterprise of today. HUMANE helps universities thrive in the global world by empowering their senior professional service leaders and managers to strengthen professional practices and organisational development.

Our strategy is centred around connecting, developing, and empowering professionals in higher education, be it those in senior generalist positions (Head/Director of Administration, Registrar, Secretary-General, Chancellor, or Chief Operating Officer) or in more specialised ones (HR, finances, IT, estates, internationalisation, quality assurance, knowledge transfer and innovation).

To do so we offer a wide portfolio of professional development programmes and networking events that focus on contemporary trends in higher education and ways to address the challenges leaders and managers currently experience. We help leaders and managers of professional services find new solutions and deliver effectively for the university of the future by building capabilities in their institutions.

Membership of HUMANE provides a cost-effective means to:

  • expand professional networks both locally and internationally,
  • 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.  

For further information go to the Join HUMANE page, see our page “benefits of membership” and read our “vision, mission and strategypage. you can also contact us via email. The current HUMANE Newsletter (Summer 2024) can be downloaded: here

HUMANE Training Programme

Cultivating strong international strategic partnerships between universities:
Practising robust partnership evaluation

September 30 – October 2, 2024

Hosted by Leiden University (NL)

The programme will develop the management capacity of those involved in internationalisation, enhancing their skills to cultivate strong strategic international partnerships based on robust evaluation.

It will be structured around the following key components:

  • Understanding the current drivers in international partnerships and different responses by institutions based on their different contexts
  • Learning techniques, methods and practical tools to assess partnerships (working with value mapping, stakeholder register, power & influence methodology, KPIs)
  • Reflecting and considering best approaches to evaluate your own partnerships in your institutions.

The programme is available here. Save the date and register here to secure your place.

HUMANE Study Visit

Change and Stability: How Innovation works in Higher Education

November 27-29, 2024

Hosted by the University of Edinburgh (UK)

As a world leading research-intensive institution, the University of Edinburgh is pioneering in developing new approaches to innovation. A powerful research and innovation strategy aligns with the University’s 2030 Strategy to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges. This focuses on strengthening relationships both locally and globally through four key areas: people, research, teaching and learning and civic responsibility.

This Study Visit will showcase multiple good practices, institutional examples and success stories.

The programme is available here. Save the date and register here to secure your place.

HUMANE Summer School, Berlin

Change Management and Transformation in Universities

September 15-20, 2024

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 2024 Summer School will take place from September 15 to 20. For late applications contact the Secretariat.

HUMANE Winter School, Barcelona

Leading change in strategy and policy – Internationalisation

March 23-28, 2025

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.

Sign up to be kept informed about the 2025 Winter School 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.

The Transnational Partnerships School

Transnational partnership developments and delivery

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 Southeast region shows a great diversity of public and private initiatives. These are developed in the context of institutional strategies for internationalisation, and they are set in the context of national (and EU) agreements to pursue national and global agendas.

Developing talent and cutting-edge global research is on every university’s agenda. Transnational partnerships have become key drivers to solve the grand challenges of our times and contribute to Sustainable Developing Goals: climate change, dealing with the energy challenges, sustainable communities, poverty alleviation or healthy living.

The next edition of the Transnational Partnerships School is under development. Use the Keep Me Informed button to join the mailing list for news about the next edition.

The Professional Pathways Programme

Developing the next generation of senior professional leaders

  • 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.

The next edition of the Professional Pathways is under development. Use the Keep Me Informed button to join the mailing list for news about the next edition.

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).