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Growing the HE workforce of the future

This project explores how we grow the HE workforce of the future and considers the needs of the higher education system: what institutions, leadership, teams, and individuals need to thrive in the face of the constantly fluctuating landscape that the sector currently finds itself in.

The Advance HE 2023 leadership survey report highlighted some clear synergies and some startling divergences between the perspectives of ‘me as a leader’ and ‘my experience of being led’. This theme seeks to understand the systemic issues exposed by the survey and explores the resources, extent and scope for our institutional leadership and systems to develop the staff, well-being, and cultures required to address the challenges and withstand the pressures of 21st-century higher education.

These 'wicked’ problems can only be addressed through collaboration and an openness to explore. The three outputs for this theme seek to offer some new perspectives and evidence-based approaches that will enable novel thinking to support our institutions, leaders and communities to address these issues.

This project is relevant to: All members

Job functions: Academics, Lecturers, Tutors, Coaches, Programme Leaders, Learning Designers and Technologists, Middle Management and Senior Leaders.

Explore the individual projects


Decoding Pastoral Support

This work package delves into the systemic considerations of 'support' within HE environments. It considers how ‘support’ is accounted for, what it looks like and the impacts and value that it brings.

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Career Journeys for Professional Services

This member benefit seeks to better understand what (if anything) is needed by institutions and individuals to enable progression and accelerate careers. The output, and that of the Academic Leadership project in 2022-23 will inform future work about what the sector wants and needs in this area.

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Output - Thought Leadership Piece

Explore the current data on support and supporting. How do we quantify, value and measure this quality and it's impact on our institutions?
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Output - Focus Groups

A series of focus groups will run in March 2024 to gain an understanding of lived experiences of support and support in the sector.

Each focus group will run twice, bringing together colleagues from the same area in one session - Academics and Professional Services.

Monday 11 March 2024
Academic Group - 13:00 - 14:00
Professional Services Group - 10:00 - 11:00

Thursday 14 March 2024
Academic Group - 11:00 - 12:00
Professional Services Group - 14:00 - 15:00

If you are interested, submit the register your interest form and don't forget to include your session preference.
To express interest in attendance, submit the form

Output - Report

A summary report will be shared with the sector in June 2024.


Senior Consultant in Leadership, Organisational Development and Research
Advance HE
Sarah Hubbard
Sarah Hubbard is a Senior Consultant in the Leadership, Organisational Development and Research team. Sarah has held different leadership roles and has significant experience enabling and empowering change in several universities in England and Scotland, including in equity and inclusion, delivery of student services and organisational design and development.
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Output - Provocation

To be published in February 2024, this conversation starter seeks to evidence the need for further development of career pathways in professional services.

Output - Interactive Sessions

A series of interactive sessions will take place in April and May 2024 to explore the provocation and provide feedback and insights.

Output - Lesson Learned

A final lesson learned summary showcasing findings and outlining further questions will be produced in June.


Lead Consultant, Leadership, Organisational Development and Research
Advance HE
Fiona Lennoxsmith
Fiona Lennoxsmith is Lead Consultant, Leadership, Organisational Development and Research at Advance HE, where she leads a team of senior consultants to design and facilitate innovative leadership interventions, programmes and thought leadership for the Higher Education sector.

Senior Consultant Governance and Leadership
Advance HE
Kim Ansell
She has worked across higher and professional education providing support to groups at all levels including senior leadership teams and Boards, to facilitate change, strategic thinking, planning and performance improvement. Kim has recently led the Advance HE membership themed month on the topic of Transforming Organisations from student to board. 
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Discover more from Advance HE

The Knowledge Hub, our eNewsletters and Advance HE Connect are great ways to keep up-to-date on the work of Advance HE.

Knowledge Hub

The Advance HE Knowledge Hub brings together thousands of higher education resources covering a wide range of topics and themes all into one place. Search by keyword or use the search filters on theme, sub theme and content type to find resources relevant to you.

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An Advance HE member benefit

Member Projects are part of Advance HE's member benefits for the 2023-24 membership year. Click below to see the full range of benefits available.

See this year's projects