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Top Management Programme (TMP 30)

When and where?
Friday 25 January 2013 Module info

Application Deadline: Applications have now closed for TMP 30

Orientation Day: Friday 25 January 2013
Week One: Monday 11 – Friday 15 February 2013
Action Learning: Tuesday 19 March 2013
Coaching: Tuesday 16 or Wednesday 17 April 2013 (either)
Action Learning: Tuesday 7 May 2013
Week Two: International Week (Washington DC, USA): Sunday 19 - Friday 24 May 2013
Coaching: May 2013 (TBC)
Week Three: Monday 24 – Friday 28 June 2013

£15,750.00 Member Price
£19,650.00 Non Member Price
  1. Overview
  2. Who should apply?
  3. Find out more and apply
  4. Programme directors
  5. Outcomes
  6. What they say
  7. More »

Application Deadline: Applications have now closed for TMP30

We run three Top Management Programmes per academic year, each starting in either September, January or June.

Below is information on how the Top Managament Programme :

Orientation Day
Week One: Strategic Responses to a Rapidly Changing Future
Week Two: International Week: Policy Power and Politics
Week Three: Leading the High Performing Organisation
Action Learning
TMP Themes

Orientation Day
Orientation introduces participants to the philosophy, ground rules, and design and delivery methods of TMP. Participants are also introduced to each other and encouraged to begin to consider themselves as team members within their TMP cohort. The ethos behind, and the benefits of, action learning and peer mentoring are also introduced as key elements in the TMP experience, with the groups meeting for the first time and being introduced to their action learning facilitator.

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Week One: Strategic Responses to a Rapidly Changing Future
This residential week is designed to address the issues associated with strategy, leadership, governance and change. The week will include presentations from organisations with experience of change management. Participants will also be briefed on System Level Leadership challenge, the 360-degree review process and fully introduced to the process of action learning. In subsequent weeks, participants will have several one day meetings of their action learning group and also meet for a coaching session.

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Week Two: International Week: Policy, Power and Politics
This residential element covers issues associated with trends in Government policy in the UK and also internationally. Depending upon the particular programme run and international location it may also include visits to UK Government departments as well as to international policy agencies and meetings and networking trips to universities in the countries visited. The international week may be a London/mainland European location or a destination outside of Europe.

You can read more about the aims and outcomes of the international weeks here TMP International Week Aims and Outcomes

This module is followed by an action learning session.

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Week Three: Leading the High Performing Organisation
This residential week addresses the essential elements of enterprise and financial management and how these key business concepts affect the future strategic direction of institutions. This module also provides time to discuss strategic HR and personal career management issues. There is an action learning session within this module.

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The first coaching session will be face-to-face and take place after Week One. Subsequent coaching session will take place by telephone, or where possible, online via Skype. The precise dates will be agreed between the delegate and their learning facilitator at the start of the TMP programme at the Orientation Day.

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Action Learning
This essence of action learning is: a group of peers, each seeking to bring about some change in the world, who meet regularly to discuss where they are each experiencing difficulty and then testing in action the ideas arising from that discussion.

Action Learning is usually practised through action learning groups. The group consists of up to 7 people, each working on a separate challenge, who meet regularly to discuss the problems they are each encountering with the objective being to learn with and from each other. At each meeting the time is usually split equally so that everybody can focus on the issues of each person in turn. It is important to note that (1) there is a clear structure to the set meetings, and (2) that the group meetings are only part of the process. The other part is the testing out of the ideas in action, which happens in the time between the group meetings. The group helps each individual in turn to reflect on the outcomes of their recent actions and develop ideas for overcoming obstacles to further progress.

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TMP Themes
TMP is regularly revised and refreshed to ensure that the content remains relevant, acknowledging the latest policy and economic changes that drive the sector. The programme also includes space for participants to shape and contribute as experts to particular sessions. The themes selected for TMP are those identified as valuable by previous cohorts, independent evaluation, and ongoing research. Themes chosen by participants also feature, as delegates are invited to make suggestions after they have been selected to their cohort of TMP.

TMP will cover the following ‘core’ themes:

The future of higher education - What will be the impact of the economic downturn, the increase in student tuition fees, with the following refocus on the student experience; globalisation and trans-national education, European integration and expansion and other macro level influences on higher education.

Strategic leadership -What is strategic leadership and how can you enhance your capabilities to deliver it? What changes might be needed in the form and structure of university governance and management?

Leading change - What helps and what hinders the process of effecting major strategic change? How do other organisations achieve sustainable change?

Strategic financial management - What financial and resources issues do you need to consider as a strategic leader? What data intelligence and key performance indicators (KPIs) do you really need to focus attention on leading an institution?

Strategic human resource management - What good practice exists that will enhance the culture and climate of higher education institutions? How do you get the best performance from all staff in the organisation?

Career management - What can you do to enhance your own career and the development of others?

Personal growth and development - How do you currently operate as a strategic leader? How might you enhance your current performance and develop your capabilities as a strategic and influential leader?

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Participants are individuals who are already leading a significant area of operation within their institution and who have been acknowledged by their institution as having the potential to reach the highest positions within, or indeed outside, the higher education sector.

Previous participants have included vice-chancellors/principals, cheif executives, pro vice-chancellors/vice-principals, executive deans with cross institutional responsibility, heads of university administration and directors of professional services.

We will also consider applications from deans who are undertaking a significant cross-institutional role.

To be considered for the Top Management Programme, prospective participants must have:

  • Experience and a track record of operating successfully at a strategic level in a higher education institution or other comparable organisation.
  • The personal commitment to extend their learning and enhance their career and to contribute to the development of a productive learning community within the programme.
  • The written support of their vice-chancellors/principal for their application to the programme.

TMP 30 Nomination Deadline has passed

Completed forms should be returned to Kyra Ingrao, Marketing Manager, 020 3468 4816

Nomination Process
The Leadership Foundation will use a range of criteria to match suitable candidates to the level and style of the programme and to create a balanced cohort of participants. These include:

  • Variety among strategic leadership and management roles.
  • Diversity of institutions/organisations and geographical spread.
  • Breadth and depth of experience at senior strategic levels.
  • Diversity of professional and cultural backgrounds.

Our aim is to promote fairness and equality in selection and to achieve a diverse group of participants who meet the selection criteria. The TMP is particularly keen to encourage applications and participation by women and ethnic minorities.

Participants are asked to present a personal statement (typically no more than two sides of A4) that outlines their range of experience of strategic management and leadership and of leadership development, as well as their motivation in seeking to join the programme. Their statement will be considered along with a supporting statement from the candidate’s vice-chancellor or principal. Both documents are essential parts of the selection process.

Each TMP run has a unique application deadline, please see above. But given the popularity of the programme, applicants are encouraged to apply well before this deadline.

Only completed applications with supporting documentation will be included in the selection process.

While we will confirm receipt of applications within two days of receiving the application, the Leadership Foundation cannot be responsible for applications that do not arrive. We would recommend that you contact Kyra Ingrao or call 020 3468 4816 if you have not received notice that we have your application.

Fees will only be charged to those individuals who are offered and accept a place.
The programme fee includes all costs associated with:

  • Workshop sessions
  • Materials
  • External speakers
  • Organised trips during the international visit*

*On the international visit delegates will meet the costs of their flights.


TMP enhances and extends the existing strategic skills of senior academic and professional services managers in higher education. Over six months, participants attend intensive workshops and work collaboratively with their TMP peers and skilled facilitators on a range of strategic and operational issues affecting institutions and the future of the sector. It is therefore important that participants have the agreement of their institution to be involved in relevant project work.

On completion of TMP, participants will have:

  • Received a tailored opportunity to enhance their knowledge, understanding and capabilities in strategic leadership and management.
  • Increased their awareness of their leadership impact, making them more effective leaders.
  • Examined a number of current and future strategic leadership and change agendas.
  • Acquired a range of external perspectives on strategic leadership and management.
  • Developed the tools to bring about institutional change from a senior management perspective, and be better equipped to deal with challenging strategic issues.
  • Gained access to an influential network of colleagues and contacts.

What will you remember most about TMP?

“I now know so much more about what I don't know - and I can do something about that. I have grown in confidence, realising that my woes are the same woes that concern others right across the sector.”
Dr Richard O'Doherty TMP 24
Assistant Vice-Chancellor: Business Change and Innovation, University of the West of England, Bristol

“TMP offers outstanding learning experiences for senior leaders in higher education. The balance between process and content is excellent, providing opportunities for personal growth as well as practical problem-solving in supportive groups and teams. I recommend it to any senior university leader at any point of transition in their career."
Professor Bill Louden TMP 24
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Australia, Australia

“It was utterly superb: fine education, self-analysis, practical experiences and engagement with a stimulating group of peers”
Professor Peter Mathieson TMP 24
Dean of Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bristol

“As a newly appointed Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor, TMP has given me the self-assurance to undertake strategic decisions with more confidence. I feel more empowered in my leadership. The networks built on TMP have given me critical friends for life!”
Professor Ruth Ashford TMP 24
Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business School), Manchester Metropolitan University

"TMP came highly recommended and it more than lived up to expectations. I find its benefit extends well beyond its content and beyond me as an individual."
Professor Sharon Huttly TMP 23
Dean of Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

"TMP has been an outstanding experience for me. It has been simultaneously affirmative and challenging and has provided me with new insight into higher education leadership and management during these volatile times."
Dr Neil Simco TMP 23
Dean of Arts, Humanities and Business, University of the Highlands and Islands

"TMP not only gave me the opportunity to develop my strategic skill set, but also provided me with the tools to develop the resilience needed for a leadership role in a modern HEI."
Professor Scott Davidson TMP 23
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching, Quality and The Student Experience), University of Lincoln

“An excellent investment in my future for myself and any organisation I work for.”
Professor Jane Lewis TMP 23
Dean of School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster

"Inspirational Leadership through Mythodrama was brilliant."
Dr Tony Rich TMP 22
Registrar and Chief Operating Office, University of Bristol

"My career until recently was outside of higher education, TMP has enabled me to understand the higher education sector better, whilst obtaining a great network of contacts to help in the journey ahead."
Stephen Wells TMP 22
Director of Estates and Facilities, London South Bank University

"The modelling exercise on Eastchurch was stimulating and bang up-to-date."
Professor Ian Harvey TMP 22
Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of East Anglia

“It's only week one and I already feel I've benefited hugely: it's like a hothouse bringing everything you wanted (and needed) to know about leadership into an incredibly concentrated and focused format. It's like a year compressed into a week."
Professor Naren Barfield TMP 18
Head of Research and Postgraduate Studies, The Glasgow School of Art

"Learning interesting things with a fascinating and entertaining group of people."
Dr Paul Greatrix, TMP 17
Registrar, University of Nottingham

"I'll remember the international study tour to Qatar. I hadn't been to the Middle East before and hadn't understood the completely different social paradigms, it was a real eye-opener."
Deborah Harry, TMP 16
Director of finance, University of Northampton

“A good thing in itself - TMP clearly is a badge of distinction, but it also gave me insights into the next levels of seniority which will stand me in good stead.”
John Simmons TMP 15
Executive Dean, Macquarie University, Sydney

“Friendship, early morning swimming and being advised to take my glasses off rather than hide behind them during an interview situation - this proved to be right and I got the job.”
Professor Mary Watkins TMP 15
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (academic and partnerships), University of Plymouth

"Comradeship - working together on task with delightful colleagues. A core group of us meet regularly on an informal basis to share experiences and update one another on the progress on our projects, and generally give mutual support. It's immensely precious to me."
Professor Nirmala Rao, TMP 13
Pro-director teaching and learning, School of African and Oriental Studies

"All the people and passion they bring to their work."
Professor Anne-Marie Rafferty, TMP 11
Dean of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London

"Laughter and learning, but particularly the Action Learning Sets; a group that I still look to for advice and solace."
Professor Gill Nicholls, TMP 10
Deputy vice-chancellor, University of Surrey

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        1. Additional resources - internationalisation
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        4. Governance of Scottish Higher Education Institutions: Consulative Paper on HE Bill
        5. Governance issues at Tesco
        6. Update to UK Corporate Governance Code
        7. Student visas
        8. Governance at the Co-op
        9. HE funding - IFS report
        10. HE Code of Governance
        11. Removal of student number control
        12. Governance issues in the private sector
        13. Governance at the BBC
        14. Reforms to how higher education in England is regulated
        15. HBOS & London Met: case studies in governance
        16. New IPPR report on HE
        17. Moocs are coming
        18. Increasing diversity
      3. Getting-to-grips
      4. Useful websites
      5. Codes of governance
      6. New research on governance in higher education
      7. Book reviews
      8. HE facts
    9. Governor Dialogues
  6. International
    1. International Associates
    2. Anglo-Swedish-Scottish Higher Education Policy Seminar
    3. Kazakhstan Networking Dinners 2014
    4. Umeå University, Sweden - Study Visit
What the LF can offer to...
  • You

    Providing different kinds of opportunities to support the development of new or refresh existing skills.

  • International

    Internationalisation is of central importance to higher education today, as the impact and implications of globalisation spreads into all aspects of institutions’ core businesses of teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange.

  • Your University

    The Leadership Foundation provides a dedicated service of support and advice on leadership, governance and management for all the UK’s universities and Higher Education colleges.

  • Governance

    Higher education governance has never been so high-profile. This site is a key resource for governors, council members and others interested in governance in higher education.


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Leadership Foundation for Higher Education
Peer House, 8-14 Verulam Street
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