On 31 January, Universities UK published a report of the review group on UK higher education sector agencies. The report is available in its entirety here: http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/report-of-the-review-group-on-uk-higher-education-sector-agencies.aspx
Its most significant recommendation is a proposed new body that will bring together the functions of the ECU, the HEA and the LFHE, leading to the creation of a new body to provide development services in areas of strategic importance. This body is intended to enable reduced aggregated subscription.
A new framework of sector agencies
- A New Body to Support Institutions in Key Strategic Areas
- The new body will comprise the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE).
- The timetable for delivering the new body is September 2017, and for a new subscription model to be in place for September 2018.
- A New Partnership to Coordinate Data Function and Services more effectively
- A strategic delivery partnership to be formed between the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU), Higher Education Statistics
- Agency (HESA), Jisc and UCAS in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of data-related functions and services.
- A New Model for HECSU
- Extending the Benefits of Operational Cost-Sharing
Enhancing governance, oversight and coordination
- Establishment of a forum for chairs of sector agencies with senior representation from UUK and GuildHE.
Shared objectives to enhance the institution-agency relationship
- A call for agencies to embed more effective engagement and consultation with their members; deliver more effective interagency working and co-ordination of activities between agencies; offer greater choice and flexibility; demonstrate value for money to members; enable and support access to sector-developed assets and resources.
Implementing the recommendations of the review
- For the establishment of a transition group to help coordinate the delivery of the proposed merged body to consist of the chairs and additional nominated board representatives of ECU, HEA and LFHE, plus representation from UUK and GuildHE and o report to the UUK and GuildHE boards.