HR in HE Community

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The HR in HE Community is a forum for all staff working in HR, from the most experienced professionals to those looking to increase, expand or develop their institution’s HR function.

The community provides a space for colleagues from across the Commonwealth to share their knowledge, experience and good practice, showcase ideas, and discover potential avenues for collaboration. Members can also keep up-to-date with the latest trends and opportunities and promote the work of their team and university.

University HR functions have a unique responsibility: HR leaders must ensure the best staff are recruited, developed and retained, and that their efforts are aligned to the university’s strategic mission. The growth of many universities means the HR function has become increasingly complex and staff need to be supported to grow with their institutions. The HR in HE Community champions the importance of the strategic positioning of HR in higher education institutions across our membership.

HR in HE Community Grants

Open to staff at ACU member universities working in the area of human resources, the grants support the essential work of HR within universities and the aims of the HR in HE Community.

Applications are currently open and will close on 13 August 2024, 3PM UTC.

Find out more
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Our communities are spaces where knowledge, capacity and resources can be shared. Crucially, they are practical, with activities that have a direct impact on the personal development of individuals, on university practice and on the wider world. Benefits include:

  1. Collaboration with community members, resulting in outputs that can be shared with the wider network and beyond. These collaborations may be supported by ACU grants
  2. Brokerage activities to create introductions between members, potentially resulting in new research connections, international guest lecturers, co-supervisors, virtual-mobility relationships, COIL relationships, or mentoring matches
  3. Attending or presenting at the community's events
  4. Advocacy on important issues for the community. Through the accredited status that the ACU holds, the community can help influence change in the higher education sector
  5. Quarterly newsletter – a round-up of international news, opportunities, and the latest reports and publications
  6. LinkedIn group – a private space for members to connect, share information, ask for advice and learn about opportunities

Join the community

There are two main ways to be part of the community:

Community member

The community is open to all staff members and students at ACU member universities - with over 400 member universities in 40 countries, that’s a potential group of 10 million students and more than 1 million academic and professional staff.

Whether you are a professional, academic, vice-chancellor or student at an ACU member university, by joining you will instantly become part of a global collaboration with a diverse set of potential partners. You can join as many ACU networks and communities as you like, at any time. 

Join the community

Steering committee

The steering committee sets the vision, strategic direction and delivery plans for the community. Some committee members also lead a thematic group that focuses on a mission-oriented or subject based theme for the community.

  • Jennifer Ellis, Consultant and ACU HR in HE Community Steering Committee Chair, Jamaica
  • Karen Mather, Director, Academy Affiliation and Organisational Development, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Marilyn Thompson, Associate Provost HR, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Kgomotso Kasonkola, Senior Director: Human Resources, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Teresa Nmadu, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), University of Jos, Nigeria 
  • Dr Navroz Surani, Director Human Resources - Talent Development, Aga Khan University, Pakistan
  • Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General,  Association of Indian Universities
  • Ayana Gloudon, Assistant Registrar – Recruitment, University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Paula Cottrell, Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development, Staffordshire University, UK


  • Elizabeth Baré, Honorary Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute
  • Alison Johns, Chief Executive, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education
  • Taiwo Folasade Ipaye, Former Registrar & Secretary to Council, University of Lagos

Country Liaison

  • Dr Sally Jackson, Chief People Officer and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Diversity and Inclusion), Sheffield Hallam University, UK

We have a selection process for recruiting Steering Committee members when vacancies arise. We will announce when there are opportunities to join on this page.

More information

To find out more, email