HR in HE

Welcome to the ACU HR in HE Community. This Community, formerly known as the ACU Human Resource Management (HRM) Network, is a forum for all university staff working in HR. It brings together colleagues from across the Commonwealth to share their knowledge and experiences, showcase ideas, and discover potential avenues for collaboration.

Organisations of all kinds often declare that ‘people are their most valuable resource’ – but motivating, rewarding and getting the best from employees, in an age of declining real resources and increasing competition between universities, has never been more complex.

Comparing good practice internationally plays a vital role in this process, and the HR in HE Community aims to support staff at ACU member institutions, from the most experienced human resources professionals to those looking to increase, expand or develop the HR function. Critically, the ACU has the means to harness information and share it among its membership. 

University HR functions have a unique responsibility: HR leaders must ensure that the best staff are recruited and developed, and that their efforts are aligned to the university’s strategic mission. Policies implemented by the HR function affect every staff member and the traditional role of HR remains unchanged, as the first point of contact for advice on a broad range of professional and personal matters, arbiter of disputes, and resolver of difficult situations. The growth of many institutions means that the HR function has become increasingly complex and staff need to be supported to grow with their institutions.

This is a space for members of the ACU to come together and discuss their work, share their initiatives and intentions, and debate the future of human resources within higher education institutions. 

The ACU HR in HE Community takes guidance from a Steering Committee, however the Community is designed for all members and we encourage all feedback.

This space belongs to you, the members, so please use it how you find most useful.Join the Community

The Member Communities team

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LinkedIn group

Please use our dedicated ACU HR in HE Community LinkedIn group to discuss any thoughts on your current work or ask questions about how fellow Community members may have handled an issue you are facing.

As a private group, the LinkedIn group is the ideal forum for members to connect, share information and events, ask questions, share best practice and get advice from peers across the Commonwealth.

Join the group by visiting the page and clicking on ‘Ask to join’. If you are already a member, the group has been created especially for the Community, so do get involved.

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The ACU's Librarian, Nick Mulhern, prepares a regular round-up of international news and details of the latest reports and studies to be published. This scan of news and publications is circulated as an email newsletter to all HR in HE Community members. If you do not currently receive this and would like to, please email

We welcome additional news from our members, particularly about events or activities which we may not otherwise hear about. Contact us at

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The Community organises regular events. Find out about our past conferences here.

HR Global UK Study Tour, 14-25 May 2018, multiple UK locations: Senior HR practitioners at member universities are invited to join a 12-day Study Tour in the UK. ACU members qualify for a discounted rate, including a discounted early bird rate if they register before 12 January 2018. We are also offering two bursaries to ACU members who are in the process of developing their HR function. Applications for bursaries close on 10 January 2018. Find out more

HR in HE Community conference, 23-27 September 2018, University of Waterloo, Canada: The eighth ACU HR conference will focus on the theme of ‘Universities of the Future: Global Perspectives for HR’. More information coming soon. Register your interest by emailing us at


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We publish regular Member Communities-themed posts on our blog. Recent HR in HE blog posts include a reflection from a Sri Lankan registrar who undertook a work shadowing visit to several Canadian universities, facilitated by the Community. Read more

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HR-related publications can be found in our publications database.

Human Resource Management in Commonwealth Universities was produced in advance of the third conference of the HRM Network, and provides an overview of human resource management in universities in a range of different Commonwealth countries.