All aboard: introducing Wonkhe Professional


This week sees the launch of the final piece in the jigsaw for Wonkhe’s professional development offer. We now have a series of opportunities ahead for the coming academic year – some delivered in partnership and one delivered just by Team Wonkhe.

Learning to Wonk Before You Can Rant

We have developed in-house a new course Learning to Wonk Before You Can Rant which will provide a fun and engaging introduction to HE policy. We know that not everyone will want to write for Wonkhe, or feel able to, but we are convinced that everyone has a right to an opinion about how the sector is designed, organised and regulated. We will use the Wonkhe article format as the basis for engaging delegates with policy and, hopefully, fire up their critical thinking skills for the workplace.

Training workshops and professional development programmes are areas where Wonkhe has a lot to offer the sector: we have our own expertise and specialisms, and we have excellent partners to work with in areas where working together results in an offer worth more than the sum of its parts.

Learning to Wonk joins our two existing products to form the Wonkhe Professional suite of programmes for 2016-17:

The Inside Track

In the summer, we launched The Inside Track with Ranmore. Tom Kennie and colleagues at Ranmore have extensive experience working with senior leaders across higher education in the UK and internationally. They’re the perfect partner for our programme which is all about engaging directly with the political and policy-making processes in HE.

We’ll be based in Church House in the heart of Westminster for two days in December and will combine policy sessions with small-group interviews with civil servants, journalists, commentators and others directly engaged in the business of universities and research policy. We’ll also have a private round-table dinner with Shabana Mahmood MP, former Shadow HE Minster, to understand the effectiveness – or otherwise – of university lobbying efforts.

In March 2017, we’re taking The Inside Track to Brussels for the European leg: we want to make sure that senior leaders in UK HE are armed with the tools they need to engage with the UK government and with the complexities at Europe to make sure that they are able to help their universities to thrive in the current political and economic climate.

Leading Reputations

With experts at Chalkstream Communications, we’re hosting a one-day workshop called Leading Reputations. For this session, we’re going to look at practical ways in which staff in universities – in leadership positions across a wide range of functions – are able to manage their institutional reputations to best effect. This topic is ever more important for universities in an increasingly competitive environment.

Wonkhe Professional will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the sector. If you’re interested in learning more about what we’re offering, how we can help, or if you have suggestions for areas we could offer something new and engaging, please get in touch with my colleague Ant Bagshaw.

Forthcoming opportunities in full:

7th December 2016: Leading Reputations with Chalkstream Communications

14th & 15th December 2016: The Inside Track with Ranmore

17th February 2017: Learning to Wonk Before You Can Rant

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