A review group to examine the current higher education sector agencies was established in February 2016. The group has been chaired by Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, and the review is due to publish its report early in the new year.
The sector agencies play an important role in supporting universities to deliver world-class higher education. However, the operating environment and policy landscape has changed significantly in the past few years. It was therefore timely to take stock of the future needs of the sector, and think about how the sector agency landscape may need to evolve.
Our shared objective is to ensure that sector agencies are able to continue meeting the needs of a diverse sector, and that they are sustainable and resilient in the face of challenges that lie ahead. Sir David Bell and sector agency leaders have worked together to help identify and understand these challenges, and to consider the opportunities that may present themselves in a changing landscape.
Universities UK, GuildHE and the sector agencies are committed to developing a collective and coordinated response to the issues raised by the review group. Any recommendations will need to be considered by the boards of relevant agencies, which will formally respond to proposals as necessary once the report of the review group is published early in the new year. It is important that there is stability as any next steps are formulated, to help ensure that all parties are able to continue meeting the needs of stakeholders, and that the functions currently delivered by the sector agencies continue without interruption.