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 eNewsletter can be downloaded: here

HUMANE Autumn Seminar, Trieste (IT), October 20-21, 2022

Where to from here? International partnerships in a post-pandemic world – Registrations now open

Hosted by the University of Trieste

International travel restrictions, slowdowns in student mobility and lab-based research collaborations unleashed an extraordinary level of innovation enabled largely by the shift to online education and research.

But how much of this innovation and experimentation with new ways of fostering partnerships and reaping their benefits will ‘stick’? What are institutions’ experience of dealing with the barriers to a more permanent adoption of these new models of international partnership? And how have geopolitical tensions which have occurred in parallel with the pandemic and its aftershocks, influenced our approach to longer term partnerships?

To answer these questions, our Autumn Seminar programme features a diverse array of speakers based in the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, the UK and the United States representing institutions ranging from very large, old research universities through to smaller universities focussed on the creative arts. The full programme can be viewed: here

HUMANE Sudy Visit, Zurich (CH), November 9-11, 2022

Developments in research and innovation management and support: strategy and operations challenges – Registrations now open

Hosted by the University of Zurich

Research and Innovation management in our universities is arguably one of the most complex and challenging areas to align with institutional strategy. The balance to be struck between proximity to an institution’s central leadership and the academic heartland when it comes to control of strategy and direction, definitely requires more art than science to get it right.

Functionally it also presents labyrinthine complexities, cutting across and engaging finance, human resources, audit, academic services, IT and public affairs departments to name a few. Processes can often be clunky, systems support from vendors vexed and inter-departmental relationships difficult to configure.

Our study visit will attempt to address these issues, and many others, by exploring the leadership and management response by one of Europe’s most highly regarded research universities.

The programme commences on Wednesday evening the 9th of November at an informal get-to-know-each-other dinner.

The full programme for 10th and 11th of November can be accessed by clicking here.

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).

HUMANE Winter School, Barcelona (ES), 26-31 March, 2023

Leading change in strategy and policyApplications now open

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.

Applications close on 25 November 2022.

Ukraine HEI information exchange

HUMANE members all around Europe are proactively helping HEI students and staff from Ukraine.

This page is a place for members to share information about initiatives, ideas and experiences. Members can have information uploaded and access the resources with the links provided.

HUMANE Summer School, Berlin (DE)

Transforming HE Professional Services

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 School is now full and we cannot accept any more applications for 2022.  If you are interested in our residential programmes, the 2023 Summer School will be from 10 to 15 September 2023; you may also consider our Winter School from 26 to 31 March.