Evolution in motion

Universities have shown great resilience in recent years and have moved quickly and collaboratively to respond to the challenges faced. Technology has enabled transformation to happen apace, with digital innovation top of the agenda for most institutions: it is innovation borne out of necessity to survive.

The pace and scope of change are unparalleled and this has required an enormous commitment from senior leaders within the sector, working closely with their teams and those of other institutions to sustain their academic and research capabilities, physical building assets, as well as support students at home and internationally, and of course continue to generate income.

Specialist leadership advisors to:

  • Alternative providers
  • Commercial education
  • Edtech
  • Research organisations
  • Specialist institutions
  • Universities

Our approach

Championing diversity, equity and inclusion

Our experience

We have worked collaboratively to support leadership roles for universities across the UK and internationally since our business began. Over this time, we have seen Higher Education institutions seek to innovate and diversify to ensure they are fit to operate in an ever-changing modern world.

Senior Higher Education leaders are shifting in their ways of working and the approach they are taking at Executive and non-Executive level: reassessing strategic priorities, continuously and proactively reviewing and tackling impacts on students and wider imbalances. This is a sector that was already making great strides in its evolution, and that is only showing signs of acceleration. This is a reality that must be embraced and moved forwards by its leaders – current and emerging – to support and nurture the bright young minds, and leaders, of tomorrow.

Meet our team

Bringing forward passionate and diverse Board Leaders

Senior board appointments require a highly targeted, personalised search to identify appropriately qualified senior leaders, and it is essential that each of them is then approached by an articulate and well-informed advisor. Through our dedicated board practice, we appoint over 250 chair and non-executive roles every year: our networks give us extensive reach across sectors, and deep insights into the challenges – and opportunities – faced by boards today.

Our Board practice

Developing high-performing boards

Saxton Bampfylde has the expertise and experience to provide chairs with the comprehensive insight they need to run an effective board, having led governance reviews at both executive and non-executive level. Our review process is designed to be relatively light-touch, allowing boards to comply fully with governance recommended practice and providing data and practical recommendations that can be used to improve board/team effectiveness, maximise strengths, and tackle weaknesses. Our view is structured around a tried and tested model, but can be adapted to specific organisational needs.

Find out more about our Board Review

Overseeing Overseas

International campus leadership and how to get it right

This report explores the international campus movement and takes a close look at expectations of and challenges for its leaders, and how universities can attract, retain, and develop the right talent. We have spoken to leaders across the sector to gain their insights and to understand their experiences and the challenges they have faced. Our conversations have addressed five principal areas:

  • What are the essential skills and experience needed?
  • How attractive are these opportunities? What are the key selling points?
  • Does it need to be an academic?
  • Knowledge of the institutional context vs country knowledge?
  • What comes afterwards?

Read more

Candidate Opportunities

The University of Manchester

Vice-President & Dean, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Closing date: Friday 26 Jul 2024

Let’s take it from here


+44(0)20 7227 0800


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