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Higher Education Governance

Posted 29/09/2011

The RSE has responded to the independent review which has been commissioned by Scottish Ministers to examine higher education governance arrangements in Scotland.
The RSE has responded to a review commissioned by Scottish Ministers on the governance of higher education in Scotland, commenting that the value of autonomy in supporting the institutional vitality that is necessary if an HEI is to maximize its benefits to society cannot be overstated. Examples abound internationally whereby efficiency of the universities to react to opportunity and need are dramatically inhibited because of too direct an accountability to government.
The evolution of strong and effective governance practices in Scottish HEIs in recent years and the role of the SFC in providing democratic accountability for the use of public funds, does not justify the establishment of a supervisory council or forum as suggested by the Review. We see no added value in creating such a body in relation to governance.
A key issue for HEIs is how to balance "top-down" strategy and "bottom-up" aspiration and inspiration. It is important that there is a creative balance between the "top-down" perspectives of governing bodies and senior management on the one hand and the "bottom-up" perspectives of senates and student representatives on the other.

Read the full response here.

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