About Us

About GuildHE

GuildHE is an officially recognised representative body for UK Higher Education, championing distinction and diversity in the sector. Our 55+ members include universities, university colleges, further education colleges and specialist institutions. Member institutions include some major providers in professional subject areas including art, design and media, music and the performing arts; agriculture and food; education; business and law, theology, the built environment; health and sports.

The strength of GuildHE – in contrast with university “mission” groups – is its position alongside Universities UK (UUK) and the Association of Colleges (AoC) as a formal representative body.

Our Vision

For GuildHE to be the advocate of choice for smaller and specialist higher education institutions. Our members will be acknowledged as a crucial part of a diverse higher education sector that drives cultural, social and economic development throughout the UK

By 2025 we want to see our members and the wider HE sector providing the skills, practical research and innovation that industries and individuals need in the changing world of work as well as enriching all our lives by nurturing creativity, critical thinking, scholarship and free expression. They will be outward looking institutions, environmentally responsible and a source of civic pride, helping the community to flourish and connecting their place to the rest of the world. We want students to have real choice of excellent teaching in a diverse range of learning environments whenever in life they want to access it. We believe diversity is the key to excellence. Our vision supports these goals – as an influential advocate for our members we will be constantly arguing for government policies that recognise higher education’s diverse strengths, fund it fairly and sustainably in return for proper scrutiny and hold it to account for its contribution to wide societal values not narrow economic returns.

GuildHE works with


Interacting through high quality political intelligence and briefing; direct support; and through networks that allow members and their staff to share and gain from each other’s experience and to shape and influence national policy positions.


Interacting through consultation and joint work with members, their students, students’ unions and NUS to celebrate and promote student engagement in institutions.

Higher Education Sector

Interacting through governance, co-ownership, and co- regulation.  GuildHE nominates member Vice Chancellors and Principals to the governing bodies of the QAA, HESA, AdvanceHE, the OIA, JISC, the Higher Education Careers Services Unit and UCEA.


Interacting through lobbying, research and policy influence; by developing collective policy positions in response to consultations; and through co-regulation and sector reform.

Working with partners in wider society to promote social, cultural, and economic benefits of a diverse higher education sector.