Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe

Twenty Years of the Winter School

Nurturing impactful leadership: supporting professional development and organisational transformations in universities

When the Winter School was launched in 2003, HUMANE’s purpose was “to develop a cadre of professional senior university administrators and encourage them to network across Europe“. Senior leaders and managers must have the ability to understand the global challenges that face their institutions and acquire the necessary skills to lead them through complex developments.

Today strong leadership and management have never been more important. The pace of global change is very fast, new technologies are transforming higher education and geopolitics place major challenges on institutional developments.

No birthday is complete without a cake! School Director Nadine Burquel cuts the cake with the class of 2023.

The Winter School has been offering annually an active learning experience for participants to experiment in a non-judgmental space, focusing on personal and professional development. 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.

Learning by doing participants grasp the concrete implications of global trends for their institutions and career development, becoming reflective practitioners. They learn about balancing academic freedom with resource allocation, top-down drive with bottom-up engagement.

There is no single model to steer a university. Institution-specific strategies and their leadership, governance and management models all exist in rich regional, national and international ecosystems, along strategic aspirations.

This is the approach the Winter School has been taking for 20 years, developing annually 30 to 35+ participants and by doing so also supporting organisational development in universities in Europe and beyond.

We invited alumni to share their experiences about the Winter School and what they learnt on leadership. View our short YouTube video and written testimonials from our alumni, including a longer piece by previous Winter School and Round Table Chair, Phil Harvey.