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 via email. The current HUMANE Newsletter (Autumn 2023) can be downloaded: here

HUMANE 2024 Programme

Join us in 2024 to discuss new trends and practices in higher education:

  • What will universities look like in the future? People, values, organisation
  • How can we attract and retain the talents we need for our institutions?
  • Leading change in strategy and policy for internationalisation
  • Artificial intelligence and data governance
  • Innovating in higher education
  • Leading change management and transformation

Click here and save the dates!

HUMANE Spring Seminar

New business models for universities: exploring Artificial Intelligence and Data Governance

April 11-12, 2024

Hosted by the University of Groningen (NL)

Throughout their history, universities have always relied extensively on data to drive decisions and shape academic strategies. Today digital innovation offers many new ways to make data-driven decisions. These advancements have profound implications for data autonomy and they pose real risks to universities.

The seminar will explore the benefits and (legal) risks of analytics for teaching and learning and the use of artificial intelligence; both are transforming the educational sphere. Participants will gain a better understanding of these latest developments and associated challenges to shape the future of European higher education.

More information will follow shortly. In the meantime save the date and register here to secure your place.

Residential School Alumni Network – Call for Action 2024

The HUMANE Residential School Alumni Network invites alumni to be part of our 2024 programme.

  • Are you Interested in Organisational Development in Higher Education?
  • Would you like to discuss with European colleagues approaches to attract people and talents to professional services in universities?
  • How can universities develop and retain their staff?

Share your ideas, best practices and solutions; we are looking for cases, examples and speakers for our webinars and our half-day event attached to the Annual Conference on 12-14 June at the University of Amsterdam.

Details of our Call for Action are available here. The due date for the submission of interest is 15 December 2023.

We look forward to hearing from you. Do not miss this opportunity to amplify your stories in the Residential School Alumni network!

HUMANE Winter School, Barcelona

Leading change in strategy and policy – Internationalisation

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.

You can apply to attend the Winter School: here  Applications close 30 November.

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

Change Management and Transformation in Universities

Dates to be confirmed

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 22-27. Applications will open in the spring of 2024. Use the Keep Me Informed button to join the mailing list for news about the 2024 edition.

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 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 2023-24 programme.

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).