Diversifying Leadership

Diversifying Leadership: Advance HE's Leadership Development Programme for BAME leaders in HE institutions

The Diversifying Leadership programme is designed to support early-career academics and professional services staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are about to take their first steps into a leadership role. It explores themes of power and influence, demystifying leadership, cultural identity and cultural capital, increasing your visibility and authentic leadership and features leadership stories from high-profile HE leaders.

Who is this for? The Diversifying Leadership programme is designed to support early career academics, professional services staff, Lecturers and Senior Lecturers from BAME backgrounds.

Location: The course takes place over an orientation webinar, and four modules, over a number of months, in London.

Dates:  Dates for the 2020 sessions are:

This programme is run over 4 full days plus an orientation webinar.  The day usually starts with registration at approximately 8:45am and run till 16:30pm.  Please note that these times are subject to change.  There are pre-work set after each session, which would require some more time outside of the face-to-face days.  Participants must to attend all sessions. 

Cost: The costs, including course fees (£1,650), plus travel and expenses, must be funded entirely by the College/Service. 

Process:  Please complete your application form and forward to your line manager for their approval and supporting statement. Confirmed places will be funded by Colleges/Services, we therefore require approval from the relevant budget holder and confirmation of the cost code.


  • Oct 19 - University Wide Applications Open.
  • 28 Nov 19 - Applications deadline for University staff.
  • 14 Jan 20 - Diversifying Leadership cohort 10 Application deadline with Advance HE.
  • 19 Mar 20 - Diversifying Leadership cohort 11 Application deadline with Advance HE.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the University of Exeter Diversifying Leadership Nomination Form.
  2. The nomination form will be reviewed and you will be informed by People Development if your nomination will progress to the next stage.
  3. Successful applicants will be sent to programmes@advance-he.ac.uk for review.  However, given the limited numbers in cohorts Advance HE will make the final selection of delegates.
  4. Applicants will be informed of the outcome.


As part of the Diversifying Leadership programme, participants are asked to seek out a sponsor from within their institution who will support them throughout (and potentially beyond) the duration of the programme. The time commitment will be negotiated between the sponsor and the participant.

The Sponsor Toolkit is an additional resource for sponsors, consisting of web-based materials and interactive support. It has been made available to ensure sponsors have a better understanding of the specific issues facing BME early career leaders and are confident to carry out their role in championing them. The toolkit is informed by relevant academic literature and best practice on sponsorship and the experience and development of aspiring BME leaders.

Wider stakeholder groups such as mentors, line mangers, EDI professionals and senior leaders who play a complementary role in leadership development will also find the toolkit informative and are welcome and encouraged to access this resource as appropriate.

Supporting the programme

Once delegates have had their place confirmed by Advance HE, they will need to find a Mentor.  They should apply to either the One Step Beyond scheme (for academic staff) or the Professional Services mentoring scheme.  Sign up to the mentoring scheme here.

Find out more

Find out more about Diversifying Leadership on the Advance HE website.