Higher Education Governance
The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s National Academy, has submitted its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on proposals for a Higher Education (HE) Governance Bill.
It is right for the Scottish Government to expect consistently high standards of governance of Scotland’s higher education institutions (HEIs). But this will not be achieved by a prescribed ‘consistency of approach’ as set out in the consultation paper. The proposals risk undermining good governance by imposing inflexible arrangements that are not suitable for all institutions in this diverse sector.
The Scottish Code of Good HE Governance and the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013 have prompted recent and ongoing modernisation of practice across the sector. This, coupled with mechanisms through which HEIs are already accountable for the use of public funds, aims to strike the right balance between accountability and autonomy.
Scotland’s HE sector has long maintained an excellent reputation, nationally and internationally, for the quality and vitality of its teaching and research. Its success is underpinned by the autonomy of its institutions from political intervention and by respect for the rich diversity and history of the sector.