Gender Programme

The ACU Gender Programme supports the recruitment and retention of women in higher education leadership and management, and promotes gender equity as an integral institutional goal.

The programme – established in 1985 – aims to improve the management of higher education institutions in the Commonwealth by:

  • Increasing both the quantity and quality of trained women leaders and managers in higher education institutions in the Commonwealth
  • Introducing a range of gender equity training strategies and materials that are replicable, or may be adapted for use, in all Commonwealth countries
  • Making these training materials easily and widely accessible
  • Providing gender equity training opportunities and support for the development of trainers and consultants at national and regional levels
  • Building a support network of women professionals who are already, or who have the potential to be, leaders in higher education

Ongoing activities

  • Training resources: we created and developed a wealth of free, user-friendly training materials, written by women in universities all over the Commonwealth. These carefully developed resource materials – divided into nine training modules – aim to promote and enhance leadership and management skills, as well as teaching the importance of gender equitable policies and practice.
    The training modules can be adopted or adapted for educational purposes anywhere in the world. Those working in university management, HR, or staff development may opt to use the materials as the basis of a comprehensive staff development programme, or may select particular modules to top up existing staff development programmes.

  • Gender workshop grants: As of September 2016, the Gender Programme offers annual grants to help member universities to meet the costs of organising workshops promoting gender equity in higher education. The grants of up to GBP 1,000 will be awarded annually on a competitive basis.

Completed activities

  • Reports: a series of reports was commissioned to review data from the 1998 and 2003 surveys of Commonwealth universities, which looked at the representation of women in higher education.

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