In Northern Ireland, Advance HE continues to work closely with the universities, university colleges and further education colleges, as well as key stakeholders and partner bodies. We have a dedicated Head of Membership for Northern Ireland, Laura Coutts.
Nick Skeet is our Director with responsibility for membership and your benefits. Our delivery teams, including associates across Ireland and internationally, are all committed to suitably contextualising training and consultancy offers to the higher education sector within Northern Ireland.
Advance HE membership in Northern Ireland
Advance HE’s membership offer for Northern Ireland is informed by institutional and sectoral priorities and is structured under our four strands of expertise – teaching and learning; leadership and management; equality, diversity and inclusion; and governance. Member institutions in Northern Ireland will have access to the full range of Advance HE member benefits detailed in our Membership 2023–2024 brochure.
These benefits include participation in themed programmes, access to our portfolio of resources (including reports, webinars and blogs), and access to our online networking platform, Advance HE Connect.
Northern Ireland Member Benefits
In addition to the UK member benefits, member institutions in Northern Ireland also have access to a suite of tailored member benefits themed around contemporary challenges facing the Northern Irish sector including:
- Tertiary Sector Evolution – continued focus with global perspectives
- A focus on cross-nations practice sharing and convening
- Linked events and resources for cascading to operational leads through our networks
Events and workshops
Getting to Grips with Principal Fellowship – for applicants
Date: 6 November 2023
Members had the opportunity to send up to 2 delegates to this free full-day workshop designed to support and guide them through PF requirements. This was a fully online workshop and was held on 6 November 2023.
Building staff belonging
Date: 29 November 2023, 9.00-12.00
This online workshop looked at building belonging in a hybrid environment and is aimed at all staff who lead teams. Took place on Wednesday 29 November 2023 9.00-12.00, provided a valuable space to discuss challenges and focus on the next steps to improve a sense of belonging within your team. This session aimed at those who support recruitment, induction, and retention activities across the institution.
We expect it to be of particular interest to those in HR/ODI and would encouraged attendees to share their experiences of the workshop internally with team leaders to help them embed belonging within their teams.
As well as the opportunity for discussion, we will also look at the following key areas:
- How is the institution being ‘sold’ to candidates, what is the USP and how does that fit with the expectations you are setting;
- How onboarding or staff induction and on-the-job training are handled in a hybrid working environment;
- The role of peer learning in building belonging;
- How do you manage retention – are there gaps in knowledge about the real reason people are moving roles?
- How have managers been supported to manage hybrid teams?
- What are teams at a local level doing;
- What can you do to help others bond with their teams, positively.
Understanding fellowships – for institutions and staff
This online workshop is designed to help staff interested in gaining Associate Fellowship, Fellowship or Senior Fellowship. A fully online workshop will take place in early 2024, with dates and more information to follow.
The Evolution of Tertiary
In parts of the world, post-compulsory education is experiencing national
system-level changes. Collaboration is at the core of shaping these emergent and developing tertiary sectors globally. Leaders in institutions big and small are forging new networks, navigating new systems and building flexible and inclusive learning and teaching models. Tertiary, in all its moving parts, is centred on the learner and their journey – often nonlinear and lifelong.
Advance HE appreciates that tertiary education is shaped differently across regions and we are committed to supporting sectoral and institutional agendas within the policy and regulatory context of Northern Ireland.
Advance HE will follow up our work in 2023–24 to bring leaders and practitioners together from across national and international contexts to share experiences and navigate a way forward together. We will use existing networks to convene targeted conversations, and wider member benefit themes to ensure best practice is shared and lessons are learned globally. Woven through our work is a commitment to build collaboration and develop change agency as a core skill in leaders as they work from within teams and across nationwide and international sectors.
Head of Membership (Northern Ireland) - Laura Coutts
Laura joined Advance HE in March 2022 as Head of Membership supporting member colleges and Universities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In her previous role as Senior Director of University Partnerships with CEG Digital, she specialised in the implementation, launch and delivery of online programmes with a host of UK partner universities.