Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe

Our participants in recent Winter Schools: Views and experiences

Networking among peers
Discussing the case
Listening attentively

Honorata Kaczykowski

Executive Director School of Finance, University of St.Gallen

“Attending the 2024 Winter School was an enriching and transformative experience. The speakers were real experts in their fields who fostered an environment of intellectual curiosity; they covered a diverse range of topics catering to the various interests of the participants. The interactive sessions and case studies challenged me to think critically and creatively. I gained a deeper understanding of key concepts, practices, trends, and challenges in higher educational institutions.

Moreover, the School provided a platform for meaningful connections with fellow participants from around Europe. The exchange of ideas and perspectives and social events were truly inspiring.

I highly recommend the Winter School to anyone seeking a dynamic and immersive learning experience with professionals from Higher Education.

A special THANK YOU to the entire HUMANE team for an unforgettable experience. They made a difference by providing a collaborative and encouraging atmosphere.”

Will Chicken

Director of Professional Services, University of Edinburgh Business School

“The 2023 HUMANE Winter School in Barcelona was without a doubt the best leadership programme I have participated in. The experience of networking with people doing a variety of professional roles across Higher Education, from across Europe, really was quite unique. HUMANE do a wonderful job of facilitating that network through a number of formal activities but also through the social events that happen over lunch and in the evening. The hospitality offered by Nadine and the team is exemplary – they have really thought about how they can make the experience as memorable as possible and help you get a real feel for the local cuisine and culture. The case studies bring a real sense of purpose to the groups and help you to bring together all of your learnings from the week into a coherent, practical outcome. I am so pleased to be able to leave with a strong network of other European Higher Education professionals that will help and support me in my career in the future.”

Oliver Schmidt

Head of Department, International Cooperation and Projects, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

“The 2022 HUMANE Barcelona Winter School was a wonderful experience! Not only to meet people from all over Europe who work in the same field of higher education and share similar experiences and bring in different perspectives and backgrounds, but also to work on real case studies and to discuss them with peers was enriching. What an inspiring and intense week!

Jan-Willem Timmerman

One of the many great Winter School Teams in 2023

Managing Director Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Twente

“Participating in the 2022 Humane Winter School was a great experience! Working in an enthusiastic international group enriched my view and brought new insights. Because of the diversity in background and experience, I learned to approach strategic questions from multiple sides.

And on top of that, the excellent guidance by Ian, Nadine and Cecilia made it an unforgettable week and provided me of a great group of new friends!”

Mark Pen

Head of Research Affairs, Academic Affairs Office, Utrecht University

“The Barcelona Winter School is highly recommended for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the strategy and management of internationalisation. In an intensive training, all aspects of governance, strategy and management are addressed. And not unimportantly: the training is excellently organised with plenty of room to network with colleagues from all over Europe. It was not only a very interesting week, but also a lot of fun.”

Working on the case study

Lilith Wanner-Mack

The intensive nature of the Winter School programme and the expectations of the participants can mean very long working days – and evenings.

Head of Subdivision Personnel Developement, Human Resources, Freie Universität Berlin

The Winter School was a great opportunity to make new international contacts and to reflect together university strategic issues away from everyday life.

Wonderful people, challenging tasks and interesting impulses. I can only recommend it warmly.

Jon Powell

Head of Enterprise and Innovation Services Research and Enterprise Services Lancaster University

“The Barcelona HUMANE Winter School 2021 was an amazing experience. A great balance of international networking, stimulating content and a challenging real-world experiential brief. The team worked tirelessly to ensure the experience flowed seamlessly and ensured the energy levels of the group were maintained through a great balance of breaks, experiences, food and great conversation. I would thoroughly recommend the School to all budding senior managers in HE.”

The class of 2022 getting down to work.

Samantha Walbrugh-Parsadh

Head International Affairs, University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa

“Attending the Winter School was an exceptional learning and networking experience, working in multicultural teams with from cross-functional division professional staff from higher education institutions. Speakers and panellists were exceptional.

For the 20th Anniversary of the Winter School in 2023, our Alumni made a video

Ana Granberg

Strategic Advisor on Education – Quality Management and Teacher Support, Abo Akademi

“I had the pleasure to spend one week in March 2023 with the most inspiring group of people at the Humane Winter school in Barcelona. During the week we worked collaboratively on real cases, got input from thought provoking speakers and learned a lot from each other.

The week far away from home, gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own work whilst mirroring it to the other participants’ stories. The result was that I felt empowered and concluded that we have common challenges in our universities and that we can learn from each other. Sometimes in professional services our work can be rather challenging but the School really got me to understand what an important work we all do for the higher education.

A great thanks to the organisers for a splendid work, the programme, the venue, the food, the weather…everything was perfect! I carry with me a new network of people around Europe that I can ask for ideas and peer-support. Thank you!”

Sarah Kohlhammer

Manager, Leadership Support, Personnel Services, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Even with the demanding workloads, participants always find time to enjoy the sights of Barcelona and to build new friendships.

“The HUMANE Winter School was an amazing and unique learning experience. This week provided me with an exceptional opportunity to meet and connect with other professionals in higher education institutions from all over Europe and beyond. The well-balanced mix of plenary sessions, group discussions and case work definitely changed my way of strategic thinking and my understanding of global challenges facing my own institution. Working in small international groups with senior managers from different types of institutions, different positions and management styles was at the same time a tremendous challenge and a lot of fun!”

Robert Salvén

Senior Manager, Digital Communications, Aalto University

“Transitioning from a traditional stock listed company to the exciting world of higher education has definitely not been without its challenges for me. Every day is exciting, full of breakthroughs and inspiring student achievements but understanding and navigating the complexity and decentralized ecosystem that is a University has at times been frustrating. Attendance at the HUMANE Winter School gave me a variety of lenses with which to look at different scenarios and therefore to better understand how decisions are made and how they can be influenced. I am very grateful for the fantastic program and feel that I am much better equipped for excelling in my work.”

In conversation with one of the case presenters