Housed at Bishop Grosseteste University, the Management of Small Higher Education Institutions Network (MASHEIN) is a national network of 41 small and specialist higher education institutions. Funded by the Leadership Foundation, MASHEIN provides leadership development opportunities specifically designed for those working in the small institution context.

Click here for a list of participating institutions - December 2015 


Small institutions share several key characteristics:

  • Most small institutions are specialist, with their students and academic staff located in just one or two subject areas
  • Small staff bases mean that staff take on strategic responsibilities quickly and are required to have a broad portfolio of roles
  • Senior managers typically retain greater operational responsibility than would be expected in a large institution
  • Smaller resource bases require institutions to have high levels of flexibility and adaptability to maintain necessary administrative and support roles.

The distinctive characteristics of small institutions mean that mainstream leadership development provision is not always appropriate. MASHEIN addresses this by providing tailored leadership development opportunities targeted at a range of roles. This targeted development takes as its starting point the assumption of a small-institution model.  

MASHEIN's Programmes and Activities

MASHEIN's programmes and activities support institutions in the areas of succession planning, change management, and responding to sector developments. This is achieved through three strands of activity outlined below:

Leadership Development Programme
MASHEIN runs Leadership Development Programmes for principals and senior managers and academic heads of department / school in alternate years. Programmes offer opportunities to examine leadership styles, develop organisational management skills and engage in career planning. The programmes create communities of practice across institutions, encouraging cultures of management development.

Key Issues Awareness Programme
The Key Issues Awareness Programme is a core component of MASHEIN's activities, offering leadership provision targeted to a variety of levels in the small institution. By offering stand-alone events on themed issues, the programme has developed role-specific networks amongst small HEIs in areas such as heads of institution, human resources, e-learning, research management, governance and marketing.

Mentoring / Shadowing Programme
This programme supports succession planning and change management within institutions and facilitates the sharing of best practice. Mentoring / shadowing is a staff development approach which is targeted specifically at the needs of participants and their institutional contexts. MASHEIN's programme provides participants with the opportunity to see how things are done at comparable institutions and to consider progression paths in their own roles and careers.  

Contacting MASHEIN

For further information about MASHEIN's programmes, activities and membership, please contact:

Becky Bull
MASHEIN Project Manager
Bishop Grosseteste University
Longdales Road

Tel: 01522 583719
Fax: 01522 530243
Website: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

Share this page