APPENDIX B BRADFORD COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD FEASIBILITY STUDY REPORT This appendix provides some case studies of federal and merged institutions with a commentary on some issues and outcomes. It also illustrates two alternative models of federal structures. Finally, it includes a paper on some of the key issues and background in considering governance in a new institution. Case Study A (UK) Medium-sized old university merges with a large mixed economy FE/HE Institute (majority HE) and a large NHS College of Health (majority HE Sub-Degree), itself a merger of five colleges. The FE/HE institute is next door to the University, the NHS college campus is between 3-15 miles from the university main campus. The university doubles in size with approximately 10% of its provision in FTE’S becoming FE and 30% of its provision being sub degree. The old University Charter was retained, albeit amended by Privy Council and the governance arrangements and management style of the old university were adopted, e.g.; bicameral (Senate/Council), Senior Academic Posts HoD’S, Deans, PVC’s taking on responsibility allowances for fixed periods. All academic staff have full academic contracts with workload models used to differentiate teaching, research and administrative loading. Since merger the university has further developed its FE/HE consortium with local schools and colleges which provided an academy of prospective students with excellent conversion rates helping the university to meet its home undergraduate target. Full-time FE has contracted, part-time provision has grown in both FE and HE. The 2001 RAE out-turns were considered satisfactory with contributions of two grade 4’s and one 3A from the newly merged institute’s subject base. The benefits are reported as significant with sustained growth, savings on central administrative costs, wider portfolios of provision, more flexible learning (part-time, work-based, virtual learning environments) and a greater civic engagement through targeted continuing professional development for local SME’s and service industries1. Case Study B (UK) A small new university with difficulties in recruiting full time home undergraduates, proposed a merger with a number of FEC’s including two large mixed economy colleges with significant numbers of full-time HE students. All but one small FE College with insignificant numbers of HE students withdrew. The resultant merger involved two institutions 30 miles apart with few similarities of provision or mission. The university continues to struggle to recruit home undergraduates and maintain its limited RAE income. The proposed benefits were lost at the early stages of merger discussions; the now perceived benefit is an attractive greenfield site for the University1. Case Study C (UK) A small old University with an excellent research reputation entered into a federal relationship with two specialist HEIs with modest research pedigrees but no FE students. The two specialist HEIs gave up their degree awarding powers but retained their autonomy in all other respects. The three campuses are almost 25 miles apart. The assumed benefits are, collaborative third mission; sharing of good practice; and widening the brand image to a greater portfolio of provision. Early concerns have been about ‘damage by association’ in terms of research. There are no intended savings from a rationalisation of administration but improved surpluses are expected from shared benefits in new business opportunities. 1 Patterns of higher education institutions in the UK, Universities UK 2001 (Ramsden Report) Case Study D (UK) Five small specialist HEIs merge in terms of creating a single institution with degree awarding powers and responsibilities for drawing down monies from funding councils, HESA returns and quality assurance. In all other respects they operate as a loose confederation of autonomous colleges separated by considerable distances. Benefits are perceived as a strong united brand image e.g. prospectus, opportunities for collaborative third mission work (they have a successful spin-off company) and economies of scale in administration and governance. The HEI has over 3000 fulltime FE, 5000 part-time FE and 10,000 FTE HE students and is growing faster than the norm in all aspects of its work. Case Study E (Overseas) A small old university with a strong research pedigree especially in medicine and law next door to a medium size technical college (TC) with 50% FE and 50% HE. The TC used the country equivalence to the CNAA to validate its HE awards. The HE part of the TC (three Faculties) enters into collaborative arrangements with the University to run joint degrees (of the University). This is perceived as a success and the TC and the University consider Federal relationships. After protracted negotiations the University Senate rejects the proposal (mostly on brand image and research grounds). The TC seeks degree-awarding powers in its own right and becomes a new University. The new University grows significantly, competes with the old University for one third of its portfolio and has developed strengths in part-time and distance learning provision. The old University has shown no growth but has retained its strong research reputation. The new University continues to grow particularly in vocational HE and applied research. Case Study F (Overseas) A large old University develops a loose federal relationship with three other medium sized polytechnic-like HEIs each with modest FE numbers. The ‘polytechnics’ give up their degree awarding powers and agree to develop a overarching strategic academic plan with complementarity of provision. Considerable distances separate the institutes, they defaulted on the principle of strategically agreed academic plans and now compete with each other. Benefits were perceived as strong branding and growth in VLE provision. Weaknesses are self-inflicted competition. The research reputation of the host University is intact and FE provision is dwindling in the expolytechnics. Case Study G (UK) Although there are relatively few examples of either mergers or federal arrangements between the further and higher education sectors, there are lessons to be learned from the integration of colleges of health from the NHS into HE which have occurred in three phases since the late 70’s and were concluded in 1996. These colleges typically contained a mixture of further education provision (NVQ’s, cadet schemes and apprenticeship programmes) and HE provision, the majority of which was at subdegree level (DipHE Nursing). The NHS colleges were hierarchically managed as quasi-trusts with chief executives and functionary directors. Less than half of the academic staff had higher degrees and less than 5% of the staff doctorates. There was little or no research activity that could be measured in RAE terms, and very little in the way of external grant acquisition. Staff were effectively on teaching only contracts with recognition of scholarly activity and professional updating. A significant number of these NHS colleges integrated/merged with the old university sector and many into universities with medical schools. Issues around damage to brand image and research excellence were fiercely debated at their Senates, but all of them eventually proceeded and succeeded in their competitive tendering. At this time there was very little evidence of similar mergers available to help these universities assess the risks and guide their management and governance approach to such new provision. There were some international examples where similar business had been successfully integrated. The most widely cited was the University of Linkoping in Sweden, where a failing medical school due to be closed, broke the mould of medical education in Sweden by opening its doors to all health professions, including their further education programmes, developed a new university-wide teaching strategy which used problem-based learning and invested considerable time and money in library resources and personal tutoring. They also restructured their research units into thematic inter-disciplinary research areas2. Linkoping is now the most successful medical school in Sweden attracting the highest percentage of applicants in the country, and is ranked equal third in its own research ratings. There are now other international examples where this approach has been adopted, particularly in Australia, Canada and Norway. In the UK, two-thirds of these NHS college of health integrations had taken place by 1992. Some were integrated directly into faculties of medicine, e.g. Nottingham and Southampton, some became separate faculties or schools, e.g. Sheffield, South Bank and the University of West of England, and some joined existing schools of social or human sciences, e.g. Salford, Northumbria and Huddersfield. Several universities who were particularly concerned about research, put the academic staff on academic related contracts which were in all respects other than protected research time, identical to a full academic contract. This was partly an attempt to protect the universities in the 1996 RAE and partly to cope with the teaching workload, which often spanned 42 weeks of the calendar year. Although it is true that the percentage number of research-active staff returned in these universities was affected and this was further evidenced in 2001, in the round there is little evidence that any were damaged and some have been remarkably successful, e.g. Southampton, Nottingham and Sheffield from the old universities sector and De Montfort, City and Plymouth from the new sector. Those that integrated these colleges of health directly into medical faculties or schools are also now perceived to be at the leading edge of medical education, e.g. Southampton, and are associating their brand image positively around their ability to integrate the student learning experience and shared learning across subjects and levels of education. All these NHS college integration contracts identified significant start-up costs – not all were honoured in the final contract. Where successful, a substantial part of these costs related to building research capacity and supporting targeted staff development, e.g. pursuing higher degrees. This was a significant contributor to bringing about parity of esteem. This however was time-limited to five years. We also see in these universities, and Bradford is amongst them, that proper career pathways are emerging for those with workload that major in curriculum development and teaching. The lessons learned are that it is possible with good governance and enlightened human resource management to integrate further and higher education within universities, and at the same time develop not only strategies for protecting research excellence but developing strategies to cultivate research and scholarly activity. Although the brand image may have changed, the branding is still strong and applies across a greater range of provision. We now have 77 universities with provision from the ex-NHS colleges. We have over 100,000 FE students in UK universities and nearly 5,000 FTE academic staff teaching on FE courses with academic contracts that usually differentiate their contribution using workload models. 2 Learning Together to Work Together for Health. World Health Authority Organisation Study Group: Technical Report 769 (1988) References Patterns of higher education institutions in the UK, Universities UK (2001) (Ramsden Report) Learning Together to Work Together for Health. World Health Authority Organisation Study Group: Technical Report 769 (1988) Federal (A) Tight Overarching degree awarding powers, could also involve some or all of the following: Centralised Administration HR Management Resource Allocation Model Academic Services including QA Student Support Services A B C Autonomous Institutions, Principal/VC and Senior Management Teams, devolved budget management and course management responsibilities. Could separate FE/HE/Adult Education by Institute, or integrate, and accept new federal members (?C) Federal (B) Loose Overarching Degree Awarding Power A B C Autonomous Institutions, Principal/VC and Senior Management Teams, drawing down their resource entitlement directly from Funding Councils etc, responsible for all institutional matters of governance, management and resource allocation. Can opt to share risks, collaborate on teaching and third mission and accept new federal members (?C) Federal A This model has some examples in HE, mostly abroad, and is close to a merger outcome. It would be unique if applied to contiguous institutions. Federal B This model has some examples in HE and across HE/FE both home and abroad and is sometimes described as a confederate or collaborative model. It is usually applied where HEIs are separated by considerable distance and has similarities to existing arrangements between the College and University. A halfway house would put say half the central powers to the degree awarding institution and retain half within the autonomous institute. This model adds an additional level of beaurocracy and adds to central administration costs. There are a few examples of such arrangements in the educational sector and there are one or two new initiatives across FE/HE that are being proposed with this shape e.g. the Multiversity in Doncaster which is seeking an overarching degree awarding institution to support an FE/HE infrastructure with new buildings funded by PFI. Models of Merger Rosalind Pritchard (1993) defines an educational institution merger as ‘an amalgamation in which two or more component institutions give up their legally independent identities in favour or a new identity’ (p81). She goes on to identify the following definitions of merger. These are by no means exhaustive but may offer some useful context: Vertical A merger involving an institution concentrating on one sector of post-compulsory education provision with an institution concentrating on another e.g. a specialist FE College with an HE institution (Bretton Hall and University of Leeds). Horizontal A merger of institutions operating within the same post-compulsory education sector e.g. all FE colleges (Sheffield College created out of all the FE colleges in Sheffield) Conglomerate A merger between institutions offering very different types of courses and at different levels e.g. a private institution such as a language school merging with a college or university. Unitary A federation, described by Prichard as ‘a form of government in which power is distributed between a central authority and a number of associated units which surrender their individual authority to the central authority whilst retaining limited powers of self government (p83) e.g. University of Wales. Holding Company Similar to a federation but with more commercial overtones. The dominant institution forms the holding company and the other institutions act as subsidiary companies. The institutions involved retain wide managerial discretion and their individual identities and all partners are represented on the ‘Main Board’. Symmetrical A merger between institutions of similar position/strength e.g. Colleges of Art and Design Asymmetrical To date, the most common form of merger where one institution is dominant by virtue of position, hierarchy, reputation etc and is often described as a ‘take-over’ where one institution has ‘acquired’ another e.g. a specialist FE College and HEI (Leeds Metropolitan and Huddersfield College). Interestingly, she includes federal arrangements in her definitions of merger where as, for the purposes of the feasibility study, these institutional organisations have been separated out into different options. For the purposes of this paper, merger will be taken to refer to both the federal relationship and merger options. The decision to pursue merger can arise for a number of reasons. In educational terms. political drivers are common and the external environmental factors driving the relationship between the University and College are set out in detail in the two landscape papers. What is evident from the literature is that merger can not be driven by anticipated short-term financial savings. As Fielden and Markham (1997) point out there are no instant economies of scale and strategic and academic benefits rather than financial gains must therefore lead merger. Similarly, Rowley (1997) includes an enhanced academic portfolio as a key benefit of merger. Palfreyman, Thomas and Warner (1998) have, rather helpfully, identified a list of the most common reasons for merger. More than half of these (3-10, 13-14, 18-20) could be said to apply to Bradford and are highlighted as reasons for considering closer collaboration, up to and including merger, in the joint vision ‘Looking Further and Higher’. Palyfreyman et al go on to discuss in more detail 5 key factors for merger, these being environmental trends, government pressure, self-preservation, opportunism and mutual interest. Again, these could arguably be said to apply to the Bradford case. Reasons for Merger 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. When an institution is in serious financial difficulty. Indeed, the merger might be prompted, or even required, by the appropriate Funding Council. A clear example is the merger of University College, Cardiff with University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology in the late 1980s. When an institution has serious quality problems with its main academic activities which might result in the withdrawal of approval by a relevant agency (for example, in relation to teacher training). To increase educational opportunities by creating ladders of access To be more efficient and save money. Big is Beautiful (related to number 4 but less rational and more instinctive) Complementarity in subject areas. Problems in recruiting students, in the context of declining market share Overlap in subject areas. To share physical resources and services. Geographical proximity prompts the obvious merger. To gain a ‘halo’ effect for one institution by joining with the other more successful and prestigious operation. When an institution has serious managerial problems. Where there is a political agenda set externally. When there is a wish to create a new sort of institution. When there are constraints on further physical development of an institution and the other institution has under-utilised space. When an institution is threatened with losing its site or key building, possibly because leases are running out. Too much HE or FE provision in one geographical area. If there is a political decision to change the map of education. Parts of institution may merge to form a critical mass for future growth. A political decision to provide a planned provision of HE and FE. Private sector institutions seeking merger with public sector institutions. Acquisition of asset/property. References Bradford College and University of Bradford (2001) Looking Further and Higher Bradford College and University of Bradford (2002) FE and HE Political Landscape papers Fielden J and Markham L (1997) Learning Lessons from Mergers in Higher Education ACU London Palfreyman D, Thomas H and Warner D (1998) How to manage a merger…or avoid one HEIST Leeds Pritchard RMO (1993) Mergers and Linkages in British Higher Education, Higher Education Quarterly, 47 (2) 79-102 Blackwells Oxford Rowley G (1997) Mergers in Higher Education: A Strategic Analysis, Higher Education Quarterly 51 (3) 250-263 Blackwells Oxford Feasibility Study Governance and Management: Key Issues 1. The main characteristics of the University’s government and management structures are defined in its Charter and Statutes. For the purposes of the feasibility study, the major factors for consideration include the following. a) The Council is the incorporation of the University. It has 31 members (if all co-option clauses are used, as they are), of whom 18 are lay. It is responsible for all legal, financial, property, and employment matters. While the word is not used in the Statute, this is taken, reasonably, as meaning that the Council is responsible for the planning process and the strategic plan. Statute 17 (15) is of particular relevance: ‘To review the work of the University and, subject to the powers of the Senate, to take such steps as it thinks proper for the purpose of advancing the interests of the University, maintaining its efficiency, encouraging teaching, the pursuit of learning and the prosecution of research therein, and providing for the welfare of students and staff.’ b) The Senate has 54 members, drawn mostly from the academic staff. It is, in the words of the Statute, ‘the supreme academic authority of the University’. It is accordingly responsible for the institution and conferment of awards, the approval of courses and programmes of study, etc.. Statute 20 (24) requires the Senate: ‘To advise the Council on the allocation of resources for teaching and research.’ This includes recommendations on the establishment of academic posts and the appointment of academic staff. c) This is an example of the bicameral structure found in most of the pre1992 Universities. It reflects notions of collegiality and of checks and balances in decision-making. The perfect example of this is perhaps the mechanism for the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor (Statute 5 (1)). ‘The Vice-Chancellor and Principal shall be appointed by the Council. The Council shall not, however, make such an appointment except on the recommendation of the Senate and after considering a report from a Joint Committee of the Council and the Senate.’ The advantage of such a structure is that when it works well (as it does with rare exceptions) it minimises dissent and it apportions responsibility appropriately. The incorporated body must be responsible for financial matters, and thence resource allocation. However, resources have to be allocated against plans which, given the character of the institution are primarily academic in nature. The disadvantages are twofold. First, there is obviously a potential for conflict between both bodies, and, even where this can be resolved without too much upheaval, considerable time and energy may be spent on achieving no great advance. Secondly, it is in the nature of systems which place primacy on collegiality and checks and balances that they will tend to diffuse responsibility: it is harder in an old University than a new one to say who is accountable for what. d) The Vice-Chancellor’s responsibilities are defined in relation to both the Senate and the Council. ‘The Vice-Chancellor and Principal shall have a general responsibility to the Council and the Senate for maintaining and promoting the efficiency and good order of the University.’ The significant point here is perhaps not so much the dual responsibility as the position of the Vice-Chancellor vis a vis the Senate (compare paragraph 2 (b) below). 2. e) The Vice-Chancellor is supported by Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Deans, all typically holders of senior academic posts (and often with academic responsibilities alongside these roles). While there is no limit set to the number of years they may serve in such positions, the Statutes stipulate a maximum term of office of three years, which may then be renewed. The permanent support is provided by professionals in Finance, Estates, etc., whose position might be said to be analogous to that of the Civil Service. f) Academic staff (a term which, apart from the obvious categories includes any member of staff so designated by the Senate) and students are defined as members of the University. This gives them certain rights. Thus, for instance, academic staff may be removed from office only in accordance with the provisions of Statute 29 (imposed in 1988 and due – not to say overdue – for revision imminently). Students have the right of appeal to the University Visitor in matters of dispute (including academic disputes) with the University. The Visitor is the Queen, though in practice the work is done by the Lord Chancellor’s Office. There is an outstanding question about whether the Visitor’s jurisdiction is consistent with the Human Rights Act. More pertinently for the current purpose, it should be borne in mind that the provision implicitly sees students as full-time adults. It is not entirely clear whether an occasional Continuing Education student would have this right, and the potential diversity of the student body is a significant consideration. The College operates under its Instrument and Articles of Government most recently revised to take effect from 1 April 2001. The major factors here are as follows. a) The College is governed by the Corporation. This is a body of 18 members, of whom 14 are lay. Its powers are in many respects comparable to those of the University Council, with one crucial difference. The Corporation is responsible (Article 3 (1)(a): ‘for the determination of the educational character and mission of the institution …’ The significance of this provision is underlined in Article 5 (7)(a), which prevents the Corporation from delegating this power. b) The Academic Board has 30 members. It occupies a position equivalent to that of the Senate. It is, however, constitutionally very different. Its function (Article 3 (3)) is to advise the Principal ‘… on the standards, planning, co-ordination development and oversight of the academic work of the institution …’ The Academic Board’s role is, then, ultimately advisory to the Principal, whereas the Vice-Chancellor is, in particular spheres, accountable to the Senate of the University. 3. c) The Principal is appointed by the Corporation and is accountable to it. Under Article 3 (2), the Principal’s role as Chief Executive is explicit. d) The Principal is supported by permanent academic and non-academic managers. e) There is no equivalent to the ‘membership of the University’ for staff and students. Staff matters would be covered simply by the relevant internal procedures and employment law. Student matters, similarly, would be covered by relevant education law and contract law. The key issues from the perspective of the current state of developments would seem to be as follows. a) Does the University’s Charter and Statutes or the College’s Instruments and Articles of Government offer the more appropriate model for a new institution? There are more similarities than differences between the College’s Instruments and Articles and those of a post-1992 University. Unless there is a will to create an entirely new form of government structure, the strategic choice is as between these two models. The advantages and disadvantages of both are rehearsed above. It should perhaps be pointed out that there are two slightly different considerations in relation to the Charter. While in many ways it may appear an archaism, it still provides some (increasingly vestigial) safeguards of autonomy in the face of increasing control from governments or their agents. The second is that a degree of status, whether justified or not, still attaches to it. The issue of the status of a new institution is one that has to be accepted. b) Does the role of the new institution indicate that the structures should be based on those of the University (where the bicameral structure reflects the view that a University is still to a considerable extent ‘a self-governing community of scholars’) or those of the College, which emphasises the role of the Corporation? Essentially the choice here is between a bicameral structure, high levels of participation in decision-making, systems of checks and balances on the one hand and clear responsibilities at the Corporation, a capacity for more efficient decision-making processes, and clearer lines of responsibility on the other. c) What should the position of the head of the institution be in relation to the Council/Corporation and the Senate/Academic Board? The Principal’s role as chief executive is explicit. The Vice-Chancellor’s position is more ambiguous. Depending on the view taken in relation to (a) above, this may be an issue which has to be addressed explicitly. d) Would a new institution be best served by a rotation of senior academic managers (as in the University) or substantive appointments (as in the College)? e) What should the position of staff and students be in terms of the entitlements attached to the notion of ‘membership of the institution’? Is a Charter appropriate to an academic institution with very high numbers of short course and sub-18 (and indeed sub-16) year old students?