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Five issues for HEI governing bodies

This article was previously published on the Leadership Foundation website.

As we move further into the current calendar year a number of matters affecting the operation and governance of higher education institutions are likely to come to the fore. These are expected to include:

  1. How the proposals contained in the HE green paper will be taken forward, including the potential impact on institutions of the development and implementation of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the establishment of the Office for Students.

  2. Whether the level of risk associated with the recruitment of the international students is increasing.

  3. Ensuring the effective implementation of the new PREVENT duty, which institutions are expected to discharge alongside protecting freedom of speech.

  4. Possible new responsibilities being placed on a governing body and in the eyes of some, eroding the line between corporate and academic governance, which could arise from the changes to the quality assurance framework for higher education

  5. The likelihood of the increased targeting of the remaining public funds for widening participation in England on institutions and geographies where there is the greatest likelihood of improving the recruitment and achievement of ethnic minority and disadvantaged social-economic groups, who are currently under-represented or under-achieving in higher education. Changes in this area are expected to reflect the increased attention being given to social mobility by the Prime Minister.

The list above is not definitive, but suggests that the year could once again see significant changes to the operating environment for higher education.  Governors will need to vigilant in understanding how the changing operating environment will affect their institution and ensuring appropriate actions are being taken to effectively position the institution in the light of the changes.

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