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Higher education is not broken - it just needs to fix its diversity problem

Reviewing the past week's higher education news, Rachel Hewitt, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Higher Education Policy Institute, takes issue with claims that UK higher education is "broken" and sees encouraging signs that it is addressing issues over diversity.

New year presents HE sector with fresh challenges

Professor Malcolm Todd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (academic and student experience) at the University of Derby, comments on what he sees as the most significant higher education news and opinions making headlines in the first week of 2020.

Advance HE announces new board members

The higher education agency Advance HE has announced six new board members and the formation of a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.

New board members include Chris Sayers, Chair of the Committee of University Chairs and Chair of Northumbria University; Nicola Arnold, Director of Finance, St George’s University, London; Rose Wangen-Jones, Chief Executive, The Writer; Sam Parrett OBE, CEO and Group Principal, London South East Education Group; Helen Higson, Provost and DVC, Aston University; Helen O’Sullivan, PVC (Education), Keele University.

The new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, was conceived as part of the merger agreement between the Equality Challenge Unit, Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation which led to the creation of Advance HE.

The new EDI committee will initially comprise three Advance HE Board members: Geoff Layer (Chair), Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton, Janice Kay, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Exeter and Amatey Doku, Vice President for Higher Education, NUS, together with Sarah Guerra, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Kings College London who has been co-opted onto the EDI committee. Advance HE is in the process of appointing two further co-optees. The committee’s first meeting will be early February 2019.

Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Arts London and Chair of Advance HE’s Board said, “I’m pleased to welcome the new members to the Board. Together we will continue to develop Advance HE’s strategy, focusing on supporting institutions in delivering world-leading teaching, research and scholarship, civic mission and student outcomes in higher education.”

Alison Johns, Advance HE’s Chief Executive, said, “Our new Board members bring with them a wealth of diverse skills and experience. I look forward to working with the board in supporting institutions through our ambition to advance the development of practice and improve outcomes for the benefit of students, staff and society. The whole team is highly motived and excited to take up this challenge.”


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