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Shaping the future of worldwide higher education

Oxford Brookes University’s Head of Global Partnerships, Dr Sara Hannam, is helping to shape the future of worldwide higher education – as a member of the Advance HE Global Perspectives Strategic Advisory Group.

Advance HE is a global organisation, with 390 member institutions including Oxford Brookes, improving higher education for students, staff and society.

Dr Hannam, who was appointed to the voluntary role following a highly competitive process, is joined by 11 colleagues from institutions around the world. They will shape Advance HE’s approach to global challenges that require a sector-wide response.

The diverse group of experts is brought together by Advance HE at a pivotal time for higher education, as institutions seek to adapt to social and political changes.

Dr Hannam says: “As we recover from Covid-19 and start to look at what higher education is going to be in the future, Advance HE becomes increasingly important as it focuses on a number of strategic areas for the sector. I think Advance HE will be at the forefront of helping us define how students learn and how we offer more flexibility in professional development opportunities for colleagues.”

Driving inclusivity and innovation

Advance HE runs a number of equality charters, including Athena Swan which addresses gender inequality and the Race Equality Charter. Among its priorities in enabling higher education to meet the evolving needs of society, are to address systemic inequalities and to drive greater inclusivity in the sector.

Dr Hannam is committed to these issues, “I’m a mentor for Athena Swan and a sponsor on the Diversifying Leadership programme. I think the work they do to support the professional development of colleagues from under-represented groups is exceptional.”

By working with other forward thinking and progressive institutions, she will be able to build on progress made at Oxford Brookes and bring back fresh ideas and ways of doing things.

“As well as shaping global strategy, this is an opportunity to share best practice and vision between diverse institutions.”

Global Perspectives is one of Advance HE’s five strategic areas – the others are Equality and Diversity, Governance, Leadership and Management, and Teaching and Learning. Inclusivity is a key theme to Advance HE’s strategy in all areas.

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