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 announces a new Director General

HUMANE is delighted to announce the appointment of Nadine Burquel as Director General of our network.

Nadine has been involved with HUMANE since its foundation in the mid-nineties, and more recently as Executive Director of the Residential Schools. She brings a wealth of international experience in network management in higher education, working with governing bodies and engaging with memberships. She has significant knowledge of global trends and developments in higher education governance, leadership and management, and a strong track record in EU policy work in higher education.

Many of our members will already know Nadine, and there will be plenty of opportunities to interact with her during our HUMANE events in 2023.

The Bologna Professional Pathways Programme, 2023-24 edition

Developing the next generation of senior professional leaders

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

Hosted by the University of Bologna

  • 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 and apply to attend the 2023-24 edition.

HUMANE Spring Seminar

Bridging the past and future: developing the next generation of 21st century university leaders

23-24 March, 2023

Hosted by the University of Padova

As the demands of policy makers on higher education become ever more insistent.

As the communities served by universities urge them to demonstrate their relevance visibly.

And as universities’ societal role becomes more diverse and complex, leadership and management capability and capacity, has become a central preoccupation of their organisational development.

With a line-up of speakers from across Europe, our Spring seminar will explore the big issues and challenges in leadership development, share institutional practice, and provoke participants’ thinking about how to improve their leadership development strategies and practices.

As well as heads of administration and directors of HR, our seminar will be relevant to anyone engaged in organisational development, including directors and heads of organisational development, strategy, finance and strategic planning.

Save the date and register here to secure your place.

HUMANE Annual Conference

Leading together: academic leaders and professional service leaders addressing global societal challenges

In partnership with the European University Association (EUA)

14 – 16 June, 2023

Hosted by the ESCI-UPF, Barcelona

The World Economic Forum sees climate failure, growing social divides and a volatile economic recovery as the highest risks of our times. The world has never changed at such a pace, with technology and Artificial Intelligence driving major transformations. This demands massive upskilling for the green and digital economy and significant research and innovation to adapt to the fourth industrial revolution.

Universities have the potential to be major players in these changes and support economic and societal growth. Yet to do so they need extensive leadership capacity, as well as highly skilled academic and professional leaders to steer strategic agendas and create sustainable societal impact.

The Conference will look at external and internal challenges, the drivers to leverage change, new governance, leadership and organisational models. These will be illustrated by cases of institutional journeys in universities.

The programme will be available shortly on our event page but in the meantime save the date and register here to secure your place.

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

Leading change in strategy and policyFor late applications contact the Secretariat

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.

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 Summer School, Berlin (DE), 10-15 September, 2023

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.

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.