Commitment to Excellence in University Governance

Topic: Response to the Review of HE Governance

Universities in Wales welcome the publication of the Independent review of higher education governance in Wales, Achievement and accountability.  The review was tasked to “ensure that the systems of national governance match the needs, expectations and future requirements of higher education in Wales”.

The Report makes some useful recommendations on improving the operation of current governance arrangements, and reforming the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

In response to the Review’s findings, the Chair of Chairs Higher Education Wales, Andrew Wilkinson said:

“We look forward to working with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales to evaluate how the recommendations in the Achievement and accountability report might be implemented. Welsh universities are committed to best practice in our governance arrangements. This was shown when we commissioned an independent consultant, to review the practices of the current HE governance arrangements in Wales. His findings were published in the report, Ensuring Excellence: Higher Education Governance in Wales, in the summer of 2010.  The implementation of the reports’ recommendations is being closely monitored”.

The Chair of Higher Education Wales which represents all the Vice Chancellors in Wales, Professor Noel Lloyd, stressed the importance of effective governance. He said:

“Universities make a vital contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of Wales. This is demonstrated by consistent delivery against the targets set by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Funding Council.

The HE sector shares the Welsh Assembly Government belief for the need for excellence in institutional governance. The review team has come forward with some innovative proposals to create a new higher education funding and regulatory body – Universities Wales – at a time when the sector itself is changing. We wish to work with WAG and HEFCW to evaluate how these new ideas might be implemented.

We would be concerned, however, if the legal basis of our institutions were to be affected such that it caused uncertainty for students and our partners”.

A link to the full review can be found on the WAG website.