The Arts and Humanities Alliance is a UK organisation that represents the broad span of Arts and Humanities subject associations and learned societies. The AHA exists to facilitate the exchange of views between subject associations and provide a coordinated voice with which to articulate the collective values and concerns of our disciplines to policy makers and public bodies. AHA currently represents 40 associations with a combined membership of more than 20,000.


The alliance was initially formed as the Arts and Humanities User Group (A-HUG) in 2008. It first emerged out of a joint intervention by the Council of University Classical Departments, the British Philosophical Association and the Society of Legal Scholars, when they voiced their collective concerns to the AHRC about the European Science Foundation’s European Research Index in the Humanities (ERIH). In its first years A-HUG’s role was principally to co-ordinate subject association meetings with one another and with the AHRC. Working across a range of subject associations we successfully encouraged the AHRC to withdraw from involvement with ERIH.

Our Work

We have addressed concerns such as: changes in RCUK and AHRC funding policies, REF and impact, open access, recruitment trends, graduate funding, and the status of British International Research Institutes. In 2016, the Alliance submitted a response to the Green Paper on Higher Education, Fulfilling our Potential. It is currently represented on the UUK Open Access Monographs Subgroup and is centrally involved in the British Academy Flagship Skills Project. In all these areas AHA articulates and defends the specific needs and practices of the arts and humanities.

Coordinators Past and Present

  • Susan Bruce, University English and Martin Halliwell, English Association (2016-2018)
  • Peter Mandler, Royal Historical Society (2012-2016)
  • Robin Osborne, Council of University Classical Departments (2008-2012)