2017 EFMD-HUMANE Summer School

Hosted by: Freie Universität Berlin

The event will start on: 27 Aug 17 15:00
And will end on: 01 Sep 17 15:00

Location: Berlin, Germany


Transforming Higher Education Professional Services

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Universities that seek to be attractive in an increasingly competitive and international higher education market can no longer afford to provide sub-optimal professional services. This is true at every level of service provisions in institutions: departments, schools/faculties and “the centre”. There is an increased drive for efficiency and institutions are seeking to deploy innovative practices from other sectors to improve both cost efficiency and service quality. Technology raises expectations of accessing service anytime and anywhere, increasing the pressure to provide high quality and flexible services.

In this context traditional models for professional services in higher education institutions are no longer adequate. Services are often duplicated, inefficient and fragmented across institutions. Clarity of accountability is often poor and professional services staff are far too often not sufficiently empowered to utilise their many talents. Student numbers growth, research expansion and new forms of teaching and learning pose major management challenges for the delivery of professional services in all areas but including finance services, HR, IT, research management, admissions, student services and education programme quality management.

The aim of the EFMD-HUMANE Summer School is to develop the leadership potential of senior managers in higher education involved in major transformational change programmes in their institutions by making them fully aware of:

  • The critical success factors associated with the re-design of professional services operating models for future growth; and approaches to overcome the challenges
  • The implications of cross-boundary process transformations to develop fit for purpose, flexible and modern professional services

The programme will be highly intensive; it has been conceived as a transformational experiential learning experience for the participants. It will include plenary sessions and intensive practical teamwork in small groups all through the week.

Two case studies will be used during the programme, one from academia and one from another sector. Participants will also be encouraged to bring examples from their institutions to feed in the discussions. The working language will be English, but facilitators are well used to dealing with various levels of language proficiency. The programme will include the in-depth study of contrasting contemporary approaches to dynamic professional services being taken across Europe in support of strategic growth in institutions.

School Themes
The Summer School will focus on the leadership and management of transformational changes in professional services that is critical for institutional competitiveness. It will focus on the redesign of core cross-institutional processes, going beyond organisational silos to improve the quality, efficiency and value of support services that is now at the heart of institutions’ organisational strategies. Participants will gain experience in making informed choices in decision-making processes for change programmes. All ideas are firmly based on the context of University life across Europe. The Summer School uses the experience of EFMD and HUMANE to give unique insight into general problems and to ensure that discussion builds on examples from a wide range of different national higher education systems.

The target audience is senior middle and senior managers (managers directly below a head of administration or business school dean), as well as senior managers either directly involved in a significant transformation programme or aspiring to be part of such a programme. These may include the transformation of tightly scoped service domains (e.g. student support services) or the broader reshaping of professional services (e.g. in faculties or academic departments).

Heads of administration will also be interested in attending such a programme, particularly if they have been tasked to orchestrate a major transformation programme.

There may be some prospect of this programme being of interest to senior middle and senior staff working in HE funding and regulatory agencies. Applicants are nominated by their own heads of administration, their deans or equivalent in their organisation’s hierarchy. They are selected by an EFMD - HUMANE panel with wide experience of leadership management development programmes.

Application criteria
The Summer School is designed for senior middle and senior managers (managers directly below a head of administration or business school dean) and heads of administration.

Applicants must during application provide:

  • A one page statement describing their qualifications and why they are interested in this Summer School
  • A one (or maximum two) page curriculum vitae
  • A letter of support from their head of administration or equivalent senior manager

The number of participants is limited to 30. Applicants will know whether their application has been successful in the beginning of June 2017.

Please apply here for the 2017 EFMD-HUMANE Summer School. The deadline for applications has been extended to 30th June of 2017.

More Information

Preliminary Programme

Sunday, 27 August 2017

15:00 – 15:45

Welcome and pre-programme briefing on the Summer School:

Welcome to the Summer School and introduction to the Freie Universität Berlin

  • Dr. Matthias Dannenberg, Executive Deputy Director of Administration and Finance, Freie Universität Berlin, (DE)

Summer School programme briefing
1. Summer School programme aims and objectives
2. Small group membership, leadership and conduct over the course of the week
3. Team tasks and deliverables to be submitted at the end of the Summer School

  • Ian Creagh, Strategy Consultant for HUMANE, (UK)
  • Nadine Burquel, Summer School Director; Director Business School Services and EU Policies in Higher Education, EFMD, (BE)

15:45 – 17:45

Workshop session: working in a multi-national team; fast tracking intercultural competence

  • Nannette Ripmeester, founder & CEO of Expertise Labour Mobility

17:45 – 18:30

Welcome reception


Summer School Welcome Dinner at the hotel

Monday, 28 August 2017

Theme: Contemporary practice in the transformation of professional support services in higher education institutions and systems: lessons from the trenches

09:00 – 10:45

Lessons from the trenches, part one:
What will higher education look like in 2040?

  • Professor Bert van der Zwaan, Rector Magnificus,Utrecht University (NL)

Lessons from the trenches, part two:
Getting to grips with the contemporary context of professional support in HE: the necessity for change and overcoming obstacles to achieving it

  • Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost Education, UCL, (UK)

10:45 – 11:15

Coffee break

11:15 – 12:15

Lessons from the trenches, part three:
Alternatives to transformational change? The competitive costs and benefits of transformational and incremental change

  • Professor Koenraad Debackere, General Manager of University Services, University of Leuven, (BE)

12:15 – 12:45

Plenary panel session: lessons learned and lessons to learn over the course of the programme
Panel speakers:

  • Professor Bert van der Zwaan, Rector Magnificus,Utrecht University (NL)
  • Professor Koenraad Debackere, General Manager of University Services, University of Leuven, (BE)
  • Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost Education, UCL, (UK)


  • Ian Creagh, Strategy Consultant for HUMANE, (UK)

12:45 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

Case study one: The University of Bordeaux: transformation through merger

  • Cynthia Espinosa, Director, Internal Consultancy Unit, University of Bordeaux, (FR)

15:30 – 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 – 18:00

Summer School team task, session 1: assigning team roles and role rotation, agreeing team behaviours and team procedures & methods; clarifying team objectives and the week’s work programme; designing a framework for self-assessing team performance

18:00 – 19:00

Short walking tour of the main FUB campus to early evening drinks reception
Free evening for participants

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Theme: Defining, designing and delivering an institutional transformation process: leadership, governance, management and method

Learning from where others have gone before us… the eHealth transformation agenda in Norway

Speaker and workshop convenor: Grete Kvernland-Berg, PA Consulting Norway, (NO)

09:00 – 10:00

Workshop part one:
Processes for defining a transformational strategic model: visioning a future state, clarifying requirements and benefits, and setting objectives

10:00 – 10:15

Coffee break

10:15 – 11:15

Workshop part two:
Designing the new operating model: making difficult choices, meeting challenges and dealing with organizational dilemmas.

11:15 – 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 – 12:30

Workshop part three:
The tactics of executing a strategic organizational transformation: power, politics and action…and watch-outs for the uninitiated

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:00

Case study two: Rising from the Ashes. Re-imagining university functions after a financial crisis

  • Esa Hämäläinen, Director General, University of Helsinki, (FI)
  • Antti Savolainen, Director of Administrative Services, University of Helsinki (FI)

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee break

15:30 – 18:00

Summer School team task, session 2: applying the day’s learning sessions to the case studies, identifying gaps in understanding, commence giving shape of team outputs


Bus transfer from the hotel to the restaurant


Berlin Summer School Dinner


Bus transfer to the hotel

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

09:00 – 11:00

Transformation and creativity: lessons to learn from the cultural sector’s experience of business transformation; key lessons of stakeholder engagement

  • Professor Anne Gombault, Kedge Business School Bordeaux, (FR)

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 – 13:00

Strategic organisational change communications: the enabler of the transition plan

  • Kristi Lehmusto, Director of Communications, Community Relations and External Engagement, University of Helsinki, (FI)

13:00 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

The politics of the business case: the social, economic and financial process of making the case for change

  • Marianna Bom, CFO Aalto University Finland, (FI)

15:30 – 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 – 18:00

Summer School team task, session 3: applying the day’s learning sessions to the case studies, identifying gaps in understanding, first draft of team outputs to be agreed by team


Team(s) working dinner at the hotel

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Theme: Organisational development and culture

09:00 – 10:30

Guiding principles for achieving cultural change: connecting individuals’ beliefs to organisational results

  • Speaker to be confirmed

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Tools for assessing the cultural landscape & transitioning to the future state

  • Anna Lees, Director of Organisational Development, King’s College London, (UK)

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 18:00

Summer School team task, session 4: team’s outputs to be finalised; board memo to be submitted by no later than 18.00; presentations to be lodged by 08:00 on Friday


Bus transfer from the hotel to the restaurant




Bus transfer back to hotel

Friday, 1 September 2017

09:00 – 10:30

Parallel Sessions: Teams present their work and receive feedback

  • HUMANE and EFMD representatives

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:00

Parallel Sessions: Teams present their work and receive feedback

  • HUMANE and EFMD representatives

12:00 – 13:00

Plenary Session Feedback to all teams from the panel

13:00 – 13:30

Closing Plenary Session and certificate presentations

13:30 – 14:30

Closing lunch

Practical Information


More information in the brochure