Job Description: Policy Manager (Places and Knowledge Exchange)

Salary: in range £34,304 to £43,434  plus London Weighting

Working pattern: Full-time, Permanent (35 hours per week)

Pension: USS

Annual leave: 25 days plus bank holidays

Location: Based in central London but with occasional UK-wide travel and flexible working options

Reports to: CEO

Line management: TBC

Please note we are currently unable to provide visa sponsorship for employment 

Application Process

To apply please send a CV and cover letter to Angellique Woolery, Operations Manager, by Thursday 31 March 2022.

Interviews will be held online throughout the application process: Thursday 31 March and Tuesday 19 April 2022. 

Job Purpose 

GuildHE is the representative body for smaller and specialist universities and higher education institutions. We are recruiting a Policy Manager to support our members’ work to boost innovation and drive cultural, social and economic development.  

The Policy Manager will be responsible for leading, developing and evidencing policy areas related to place-based interventions, knowledge exchange (KE), skills and international opportunities. The Policy Manager will seek to influence governments, funders and regulators, convene sector and employer organisations as well as providing information and delivering supporting activities for members.

Specifically, this will involve engaging with relevant stakeholders (e.g. BEIS, UKRI, DfE, DLUHC, UUKi) to influence place-based policy relevant to higher education, knowledge exchange, skills and international policy discussions and to aid institutions in implementing these in their particular contexts. 

Job Function

Leading, developing and evidencing policy areas

The post holder will lead on the following policy areas:

1. Places

a) To liaise with and influence UK Government on place-based interventions related to higher education

     i) In particular in relation to regional development funding (such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

b) To actively participate in place-based and/or themed sector networks (e.g. Civic Universities Network; Yorkshire Universities; London Higher) to promote the contribution of specialist and smaller universities and college

c) To proactively develop and/or commission reports and activities relating to the place agenda and demonstrate the impact and importance of specialist and smaller universities and colleges (eg economic impact studies; member-led case studies).

2. Knowledge Exchange 

To lead GuildHE’s work on knowledge exchange, supporting member institutions and articulating on their behalf with activities including:

a) To be GuildHE’s representative on the Knowledge Exchange Concordat Operational Group

b) To liaise with and influence Research England on the development of Knowledge Exchange (KE) policy, especially relating to the Knowledge Exchange Framework and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)

c) To liaise with and influence HESA on the review of HE-BCI 

d) To manage relationships with KE funding stakeholders such as Innovate UK, Research Councils, BEIS

e) To manage and develop relationships with KE sector organisations such as NCUB, NCCPE, PraxisAuril and to convene regular meetings of the group

 3. Skills 

a) To be GuildHE representative on DfE and IFATE groups relating to skills including the DfE HE Apprenticeships Group

b) To lead GuildHE’s response to relevant government consultations and work with other GuildHE Policy Managers in developing our skills advocacy

c) To maintain and develop relationships with organisations such as Creative UK and the CBI relating to skills policy 

4. International

a) To act as a key link with UUK International so that GuildHE members receive regular updates on international matter

b) To work closely with the Deputy CEO on developing international policy

c) To review and develop relationships with key stakeholders such as DIT and the British Council.


Managing GuildHE Member Networks 

To support the development of evidence-based policy arguments and to facilitate communication, collaboration and the sharing of best practice between GuildHE Members, the role holder will manage and proactively plan the activities for the following networks: 

  • Innovation, Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange (IEKE) 
  • International Network 
  • Skills Network 


Supporting GuildHE Research and UKADIA 

The post holder will also need to work closely with GuildHE’s other Policy Managers to:

  • provide policy insight and support to GuildHE Research and the UK Art and Design Institutions Association (UKADIA) meetings and members
  • lead on place and knowledge exchange activities in relation to UKADIA and GuildHE Research


Advocacy and networking 

The post holder will need to:

  • seek opportunities to promote GuildHE’s members’ work through attending sector forums, events, responding to consultations, producing blogs and reports and other relevant activities
  • speak at sector events and wider conferences in relation to their policy areas.


Other duties 

The post holder will need:

  • To assist GuildHE members and the GuildHE staff team in understanding the challenges and opportunities in their policy areas 
    • This will involve with working the GuildHE Public Affairs Manager on parliamentary issues related to their policy areas
    • This will involve working with the Senior Communications Officer to ensure strong and consistent messaging in relation to their policy areas 
  • Draft briefings for members, including supporting the production of bi-monthly policy updates
  • Commission associated research, as well as analyse national data to find trends and support evidence-based policy development
  • To undertake any other reasonable duties as may be required.


Personal Specification 

Core Skills

  • Understanding of different policy environments and actors 
  • Influencing and advocacy skills 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Confidence in communicating with senior stakeholders, such as GuildHE Vice-Chancellors and Principals, UKRI Executive Chairs, government officials and Ministers 
  • Facilitation and convening skills would be advantageous 

Core Attributes

  • Ability to build professional relationships quickly and sustainably with members and a wide range of stakeholders
  • Able to meet deadlines with strong attention to detail
  • Be self-motivated and communicative with colleagues, with the ability to support the wider team when required in a flexible and dynamic working environment

Ideal Experience 

  • Knowledge and understanding of the higher education policy environment, in particular, related to places, knowledge exchange, skills and international policy 
  • Confident in synthesising complex data and/or ideas
  • Experience in developing policy positions and responses



About GuildHE

GuildHE is an officially recognised representative body for UK Higher Education. Our 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; the built environment; education; law and business; health and sports.


This post is within the small, dynamic and friendly team based in central London, which provides policy support to GuildHE’s members and promotes their interests to a wide audience. The office team also develops briefings, guidance and opportunities for members and their staff to share good practice.