Minutes of the 109th Board meeting

Confidential. Shaded sections exempt from publication
Minutes of a HEFCE Board meeting held on
28 January 2011 at 10.00 in Centre Point, London
Professor Madeleine Atkins
Mr Robert Douglas
Professor Malcolm Grant
Professor Ruth Farwell
Dame Patricia Hodgson
Sir Alan Langlands
Mr René Olivieri
Professor Shirley Pearce
Mr Tim Melville-Ross
Mr Anil Ruia
Professor Paul Wellings
Mr John Widdowson
Professor Sir Tim Wilson
Chief Executive
Professor Sir Adrian Smith
Mr Alastair Balls
Mr Mark Batho
Mr Fergus Devitt
Professor Phillip Gummett
Mr Ed Smith
Mr Jeremy Coninx
Mr Dale Hall
Mr Martin Fairburn
Mr Aaron Porter
Mr Steve Egan
Ms Heather Fry
Mr David Sweeney
Ms Jessica Trahar
Deputy Chief Executive
Director (Education and Participation)
Director (Research, Innovation and Skills)
Clerk to the Board
Mr Roger Grinyer
Mr Ian Gross
Ms Yvonne Hawkins
Mr Ian Lewis
Ms Kate McAlister
Mr Christopher Millward
Mr David Noyce
Mr Toby West-Taylor
Head of Corporate Communications
Head of Governance
Associate Director
Head of Finance
Assistant to the Chief Executive
Associate Director
Associate Director
Head of Funding
Known interests are shown on the cover sheet of each paper.
Confidential. Shaded sections exempt from publication
Chair’s introduction
The Chair welcomed Adrian Smith to his first Board meeting as BIS Assessor.
The Chair congratulated Adrian Smith and Tim Wilson on their knighthoods in the
New Year honours. The Chair also congratulated former Board member, Ann Tate on her
The Board approved the minutes of the meeting held on 9 December 2010.
Starred items
The Board received the following papers without discussion:
Operating and financial performance
Strategic Development Fund Annual Report
JACCUC Annual report
Use of delegated authority
Date of next meeting
Chief Executive’s report (B11/3)
In presenting his report, the Chief Executive highlighted a number of recent
developments to Board members:
a. The Chief Executive had recently visited the University of Manchester to
celebrate the achievements of Nobel Prize winners at the institution. The Chief
Executive said that such achievements demonstrate the continuing strength
and excellence of the UK higher education sector.
b. The development of the White Paper is progressing and is currently due to be
published by mid-March, in advance of the budget and the pre-election
exclusion period. We expect the paper to focus on articulating a statement of
principles for the future of the HE sector, and positioning students at the heart
of the system. The following three areas are central to the White Paper:
Access; Student experience; Research (including links to the growth strategy).
The processes for setting fee levels and managing student numbers, whilst
maintaining flexibility in the system, are still under discussion. The Chief
Executive and Deputy Chief Executive have attended a series of meetings and
workshops on the development of the White Paper. As yet, there is no firm
indication regarding the future of HEFCE, however the Government have
indicated their desire for a single, coherent regulatory framework, and HEFCE
is continuing to work closely with other regulatory bodies, such as OFFA during
the transitional period.
c. The Chief Executive has recently made changes to the Chief Executive’s Group
in order to broaden the membership base and to increase delegation of
operational business to other parts of the Council. The group has changed
name to the HEFCE Executive. A separate stream of meetings of the HEFCE
Executive will be set up to ensure the continued quality of Board papers.
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d. An internal transition co-ordination group has also been established to oversee
the transition process as it progresses. The group will be chaired by the Chief
Executive and will be made up of staff from around the Council. The lead coordinator of the group is Chris Millward (Associate Director, North).
e. HEFCE is continuing significant engagement with external stakeholders,
particularly institutions in ensuring that transition from the point of view of
institutions is understood. HEFCE is also working closely with the Student
Loans Company (SLC) – the respective Chairs and Chief Executives of HEFCE
and the SLC met recently and HEFCE’s Head of Assurance will be working
closely with the SLC in order to synchronise the work of both organisations
during the change period.
The Board:
a. Emphasised the concern in the sector regarding uncertainty surrounding
conditions for the setting of fees. A key concern is the critical timing between
the intended publication of the White Paper, and guidance from OFFA for
2012-13, both of which arise at a time when institutions are preparing new
access agreements for submission to OFFA. The short timescale for decisions
to be made with regard to fees may result in institutions setting high fee levels
in order to attempt to mitigate risks associated with the uncertain funding
b. Emphasised the need to have clarity on the detail of the National Scholarship
Programme (NSP) as soon as possible in order for institutions to plan in line
with the requirements.
c. Agreed to delegate authority to the Chief Executive to agree the outcomes of
submissions under the second Capital Investment Framework.
The Board received the report.
Funding overview (B11/4)
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this paper which summarised how the
three funding papers that followed (B11/5; B11/6 and B11/7) fitted together and the key
assumptions that underlie the recommendations on funding for 2011-12. The Deputy Chief
Executive highlighted that due to the inclusion in one financial year (FY) of two academic
years (AY) there are significant reductions in grant for teaching and research funding for
the 2010-11 AY. We have received indicative funding figures from BIS for teaching funding
for two years and research and HEIF for four years. The outlook for funding in 2012-13
remains uncertain and could be challenging depending on the outcome of the White Paper
with regard to fee income and student number controls, and the demands on the teach out
funding for students under the current system.
We are providing as much information as possible to institutions to enable them to
plan effectively for the coming years. We will issue a circular letter in the week following
the Board meeting to institutions, providing detailed information on the decisions taken by
the Board.
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BIS funding announcement for 2011-12 (B11/5)
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this paper which provided an analysis of
the recent grant letter from BIS, dated 20 December 2010. The paper provided an
allocation by academic years and thus a starting point for more detailed decisions
concerning how funds should be distributed across our recurrent and non-recurrent
programmes. The paper highlighted a number of key policy steers from Government as
detailed in the grant letter:
a. To support a smooth transition in the sector.
b. A continued focus on social mobility, fair access and WP.
c. Encouraging selectivity in research.
d. A renewed emphasis on teaching.
The Deputy Chief Executive highlighted that the reduction including the removal of
the one year funding for the University Modernisation Fund amounts to 11.3 per cent in
cash terms for 2011-12. Reductions for research sit within a flat cash settlement for
science, but with minor variations in the allocations within the science and research
budget. A reduction in the 2010-11 academic year is necessary as the reduction in the
2011-12 financial year spanned two academic years. The funding recommendations
protect funding for widening participation and retention in line with the policy steer in the
grant letter.
In discussion, the Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that the decision to pro-rate
reductions over four months from April to July 2011 is in line with previous practice. The
decision to split the (assumed) spread of funding across financial years in the 2012-13
academic year to 55 per cent and 45 per cent (from 60 per cent and 40 per cent) in each
financial year stems from grant reductions being off- set by increased graduate
contributions. To maintain the 60:40 split would have led to a disproportionate reduction in
funding for the 2011-12 academic year.
The Board:
a. Noted the main policy priorities of the Secretary of State in the 2011-12 grant
letter and the accompanying activities to be delivered by HEFCE.
b. Noted the overall settlement values and the decrease in grant available for
2011-12, and the indicative figures for 2012-13.
c. Agreed the total grant to be distributed for the 2011-12 academic year should
be £6,507 million.
d. Agreed that in respect of funding for the 2010-11 academic year: recurrent
teaching funding should be reduced by £122 million; recurrent research funding
should be reduced by £28 million; the reductions should be on a pro-rata basis;
and should be implemented through reductions in grant payments for April to
July 2011.
Non-recurrent funding for 2011-12 (B11/6)
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this paper which sought decisions on the
distribution of non-recurrent grant (made up of special funding and earmarked capital) for
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the academic year 2011-12. The paper recommended, in line with decisions taken by the
Board at its meeting in January 2010, that some reductions to capital funding made for the
2010-11 year be restored. This will include an increase in the Strategic Development
Fund, support for online learning, and a small increase to the Revolving Green Fund
(RGF). The remaining funding for the Teaching Capital Investment Fund and the
Research Capital Investment Fund will be allocated to institutions following decisions that
will be made by the Board at its March meeting.
The following comments were made in discussion:
a. Members highlighted the uncertainty in the sector, particularly given that some
of the announced funding figures remain indicative.
b. Members supported an increase in funding for the RGF and requested that
HEFCE officials explore whether the funding available for this activity could be
increased further.
The Board:
a. Agreed budgets for special funding of £207 million and earmarked capital of
£223 million for the academic year 2011-12, and the indicative budgets for
2012-13 as set out in Annex B of the paper.
b. Agreed that £107 million should be allocated over 2011-12 and 2012-13 to
meet the commitments from the first Teaching Capital Investment Fund and to
make the initial allocations for a second Teaching Capital Investment Fund.
c. Agreed that £549 million in total should be allocated to a second Research
Capital Investment Fund for the four years 2011-12 to 2014-15.
d. Agreed that a proposal for further funding for the RGF should be brought for
consideration by the Board at their March meeting.
Recurrent funding for 2011-12 (B11/7e)
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this paper which sought decisions on the
distribution of the Council’s grant for 2011-12, and for adjustments to grant for 2010-11.
The figures are provisional and will be confirmed at the March Board. The Deputy Chief
Executive confirmed that the sector as a whole has stayed within the designated student
finance budgets, however some institutions have over-recruited and some have fallen
outside of the tolerance band.
A number of institutions are subject to funding adjustments following the outcome
of data audits, and in light of over-recruitment.
Recurrent funding for 2010-11
The Board:
a. Noted the provisional adjustments to teaching grant in Annex C of the paper
arising from institutions’ student numbers in 2010-11.
b. Confirmed that formulaic adjustments to mainstream teaching grant should be
effected as set out in institutions’ funding agreements and HEFCE 2010/22
(‘HEFCE grant adjustments 2010-11’).
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c. Agreed to delegate authority to the Chief Executive to vary the adjustments to
grant in individual cases in the light of institutional appeals.
d. Agreed that a reduction to recurrent grant for academic year 2010-11 of
£150 million should be implemented as a pro rata reduction of 1.7 per cent
(£27.6 million) to all allocations of recurrent research funding, and the balance
of £122 million as a pro rata reduction of approximately 2.8 per cent to all
elements of recurrent teaching funding with the exception of funding for
widening participation and improving retention, but that moderation funding for
2010-11 should not be recalculated.
Recurrent funding for 2011-12
The Board:
a. Agreed that £30 million should be set aside for moderation funding for 2011-12.
b. Agreed that the total recurrent research funding for the 2011-12 academic year
should be set at £1,558 million and that total recurrent teaching funding for
2011-12 should be set at £4,339 million.
Funding for teaching
The Board:
a. Agreed that, after making provision for the adjustments to 2010-11 teaching
grant summarised in paragraph 59 of the paper, each element of teaching
grant, with the exception of funding for widening participation and improving
retention, should be subject to a reduction of approximately 4.3 per cent.
b. Agreed to set aside £5 million from within the total funding for WP and TESS to
allow for changes to allocations between the March and July grant
announcements arising from corrections to institutions’ underlying student data.
The Director (Research, Innovation and Skills) presented the proposals regarding
funding for research to the Board. He highlighted that the settlement was positive given
the current climate, although it will still result in a reduction to research funding in real
terms. The settlement includes a reduction to funding for four of the Research councils
and QR in order to support international subscriptions and increased support for Health,
Physics and the Arts & Humanities. We have received advice in our grant letter to fund on
the basis of internationally excellent research, and to protect funding for the next
generation of researchers. This clearly implies that the Council should now move to cease
counting activity at 2* level in allocating mainstream QR grant. The paper proposes that
this change should be phased over two years.
The paper proposed a consultation with the sector, to be launched following the
March Board meeting, on proposals for grant allocations to be made with effect from
2012-13, particularly for funding to support the next generation of researchers.
The following comments were made in discussion:
a. The staged removal of the weighting for 2* activity over two years needs to be
clearly communicated to the sector.
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b. In removing weighting for 2* activity in the future, there is a possible risk in
terms of the behaviour of panels in the REF. HEFCE will attempt to mitigate
c. Although HEFCE has not been specifically asked to increase the concentration
of research funding as an end in itself, such an increase is likely to be a natural
consequence of the decision to remove the weighting for 2* activity.
d. It was noted that the reduction and eventual removal of the weighting for 2*
activity will affect institutions of all kinds.
e. The impact on the protection of grant for STEM disciplines is relative to the
proposed reduction rather than protecting an absolute sum.
The development and nurturing of new researchers is critical, and this may
arise as an issue in future discussions with regard to volume and concentration
of research across institutions.
Funding for research
The Board:
a. Agreed that within the total recurrent funding for research, £1,085 million should
be provided for mainstream QR (including London weighting), £205 million for
RDP supervision funding, £198 million for the QR charities element, £64 million
for the QR business element and £6 million for national research libraries.
b. Noted the advice in the grant letter that 'HEFCE should take forward funding
both for research and for support for the next generation of researchers, by
selectively funding on the basis of only internationally excellent research'; and
the clear implication that, in implementing this by 2012/13, activity rated at 2*
should no longer be counted in allocating mainstream QR grant.
c. Agreed that the quality-related weighting scale within mainstream QR funding
for 2*, 3* and 4* activity should be revised from 1:3:9 for 2010-11 to 0.294:3:9
for 2011-12.
The Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that the system for controlling student
numbers will roll forward from 2010-11 to 2011-12. An additional 10,000 FTE entrant
places are being made available in line with the 2011-12 grant letter from the Secretary of
State. The suggested approach to the distribution of numbers is an uplift to all institutions’
student number control of 2 per cent. This approach is deemed the fairest, least
burdensome approach that will result in the least turbulence for the sector.
The Deputy Chief Executive highlighted that in the future, student number controls
will need to be different to the current system which claws back from institutions £3750 for
each student that they over recruit – this is a lower figure than the possible income that
institutions could gain from future fees. In light of this, institutions will not be able to under
recruit after 2011-12 in order to address over-recruitment from the previous year. This
means clawback will apply as teach out funding flows through the system. The circular
letter to institutions will contain a general warning that institutions should not expect to
benefit from over-recruitment next year in the future design of the T-funding system.
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The need for institutions to have clarity on student numbers was reinforced by
Members noted that any future student number control will also apply to part-time
students in the future (as referred to in paragraph 73c of the paper).
Student numbers for 2011-12
The Board:
a. Agreed that provisional student number control limits for 2011-12 should be
calculated as described in Circular Letter 02/2011, but incorporating also an
uplift of 2 per cent.
b. Agreed to delegate authority to the Chief Executive to finalise student number
control limits for 2011-12, including in light of any appeals submitted by
Higher Education Innovation Funding 2011-2015 (B11/8e)
The Director (Research, Innovation and Skills) introduced this paper which
provided an update on the achievements in our policy of HE innovation funding (HEIF) and
presented for approval from the Board, a method for the distribution of HEFCE funding for
HEIF for the next Spending review period (2011-15). The Director highlighted the
widespread support for the fund from both institutions and businesses. He also
emphasised that the CSR settlement for HEIF and the continued support of the Coalition
for the policy demonstrates the success of the HEIF funding stream.
The Director highlighted that the Coalition’s policy focus for HEIF is based on
efficiency, effectiveness and rewarding performance, and the proposed changes to HEIF
reflect this. The changes also reflect the direction of travel for HEIF in recent years which
has been consistently communicated to the sector. The proposed changes will have an
inevitable impact on funding levels for some institutions, but do reflect a clear policy
decision from government as highlighted in our 2011-12 grant letter. The Director
highlighted that the overarching policy decision does not require consultation, however we
do intend to consult on the process for implementing the changes.
The following points were made in discussion:
a. Members welcomed the continuation of HEIF and emphasised the success of
the programme.
b. Members agreed that although the regional impact of funding changes was not
significant, it should be monitored and flagged to BIS. A similar concern was
raised over the impact on SMEs, where members also agreed that any
disproportionate impact should be fed back to BIS.
c. Members welcomed the recognition that the US was looking to the UK for good
practice in this area.
d. The tension between a formula allocation juxtaposed with a maximum cap on
funding was highlighted, and further to this, the need to explain the policy
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The Board:
a. Agreed that HEFCE should consult on the proposition that higher education
institutions (HEIs) that are not able to achieve a HEIF allocation of £250,000
through their performance compared with the rest of the HE sector should get
no allocation at all.
b. Confirmed the following additional elements to the HEIF method for 2011-15
based on the method, policy and direction of travel indicated in HEIF 4:
The staff (capacity-building) component to be discontinued
Allocations to be based solely on performance, using KE income as a
proxy for impact
The basket of KE income metrics to be drawn largely from the HE-BCI
Survey (contract research, consultancy, use of facilities and equipment,
regeneration funding and IP licensing), together with HESA Non-Credit
Bearing CPD income and data from the Technology Strategy Board on
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Income from SMEs to be double-weighted
A maximum cap to be placed on allocations to any HEI of £2.85 million
The maximum decrease in allocation to any HEI to be limited to 50 per
cent and the maximum increase to 50 per cent
Allocations to be released against an acceptable high-level institutional
KE strategy and plan for use of HEIF
HEIs to have flexibility to use funds for any KE activities that deliver
economic or social impact, including activities not included in the
formula; and to vary from plans over the period, with light touch HEFCE
c. Agreed to give the Chief Executive delegated authority to agree the weightings
to years of data to be used in calculating final HEIF allocations for 2011-15.
d. Agreed to give the Chief Executive delegated authority to finalise the method
following consultation and to approve the consequent institutional allocations.
e. Noted the commitment of £113 million pa over the SR period 2011-15 from the
science and research ring-fence to HEIF.
Agreed to commit £37 million pa for 2011-15 from HEFCE funds to HEIF.
g. Noted the timetable and process for making and approving allocations and
institutional strategies.
Leeds College of Art – transfer to the HE sector (B11/9e)
The Director (Education and Participation) introduced this paper which provided an
analysis of the proposed submission to the Secretary of State from Leeds College of Art
(LCA) for transfer into the HE sector. The paper incorporated the College’s proposed
submission and an analysis of the submission against HEFCE’s broad principles for
transfer into the sector.
The Director highlighted that LCA meets the minimum requirement for transfer to
the HE sector. The final decision rests with the Secretary of State – HEFCE’s role is to
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provide a thorough assessment and an objective view of the evidence. The submission by
LCA must be placed in the context of the likely future general volatility of the sector. Within
this context, HEFCE has taken a number of extra steps to examine the case before
providing advice to the Secretary of State. BIS will also receive information and advice
from other organisations such as the Skills Funding Agency and the Young People’s
Learning Agency.
Exempt minute.
Exempt minute.
Review of JISC (B11/10)
The Director (Education and Participation) introduced this paper which presented
the final report of the JISC Review Group. The review was commissioned by the Board in
January 2010, and a Review Group chaired by Sir Alan Wilson was subsequently
established, comprising members from the main UK funders of JISC and including two
HEFCE Board members, Rene Olivieri and Shirley Pearce, and the Deputy Chair of JISC,
David Baker. The Review was carried out by HEFCE staff due to the current restrictions
on commissioning external consultants. The Director highlighted that JISC services the
whole of the UK and the FE and HE sector, and during the review, significant consultation
had taken place with key stakeholders and input had been received from across the HE
and FE sectors.
The Director reported to the Board that HEFCW had considered and endorsed the
review report at its meeting of 27 January, and had emphasised the need for the change
process to be initiated quickly. The JISC Board will be meeting on 3 February and will be
pivotal in launching changes. The paper is embargoed until 8 February pending the
meeting of the JISC Board – following this date the changes will be communicated to JISC
The following comments were made in discussion:
a. The scale of change proposed is likely to be difficult and complex to manage,
however members agreed that despite this, the momentum of change must be
b. Members agreed that the starting point will be ensuring that a new governance
system is in place quickly, and a funding model will follow.
c. Members noted that the responsibility for implementation does not solely lie
with JISC, although internal drive from within the organisation will be critical.
The Board:
a. Received the report of the JISC Review.
b. Noted the wide regard in which JISC is held.
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c. Noted the interest of JISC staff, the other UK funders of JISC, and the HE and
FE sectors in this report.
d. Endorsed the direction of travel of the recommendations arising and the
desirability of commencing implementation soon.
e. Noted that implementing the recommendations will need to be partially linked to
the changes taking place in the HE and FE sectors generally and will also
require collaboration with JISC’s stakeholders.
Noted that implementing some of the recommendations will be complex and
require further investigation to determine the best way forward.
g. Noted the need for clear and co-ordinated communication about potential
changes to JISC.
h. Agreed to receive progress reports in late 2011 and periodically thereafter
through the Chief Executive’s report.
The Board approved the following immediate actions, which are in part subject to
agreement of a response to the report with the other JISC funders:
a. The JISC Board should be refreshed and primarily tasked with taking forward
the recommendations set out in the report.
b. Steps should be taken to recruit to the position of the JISC Executive Secretary
at the appropriate time, should the current post-holder choose to retire,
reflecting changes to the organisation as appropriate.
c. To secure resources for the development of SuperJANET6.
d. To rationalise JISC’s services and projects, and review the status of JISC and
its related bodies.
Research Excellence Framework – impact (B11/11)
Exempt minute.
Exempt minute.
Exempt minute.
Exempt minute.
Protocol for the Quality in HE Group (B11/12)
The Director (Education and Participation) introduced this paper which contained a
draft protocol relating to the Quality in HE Group (QHEG). The QHEG is jointly ‘owned’ by
Universities UK, GuildHE, HEFCE and DELNI and is chaired by Professor Phillip Jones,
Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam. The proposed protocol will provide a framework for
decision making by the QHEG regarding minor changes in the new quality assurance
method, and for agreeing each year the subject(s) of the ‘thematic element’ of review.
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The aim of the protocol is to enable a more responsive review method to operate from
Since the Board paper was written, a minor change had been made to the wording
of paragraph 7 of the protocol, which the Director described to members.
The Director reported that GuildHE has endorsed the protocol, and UUK will
consider it at their next Board meeting. The Director also confirmed that there is no legal
requirement to consult on the protocol.
The Board approved the protocol as set out in Annex A of the paper.
Museums and Galleries (B11/13)
Anil Ruia declared an interest in this paper due to his position on the Board of the
Arts Council.
The Director (Research, Innovation and Skills) introduced this paper which
proposed a revised process for establishing eligibility for funding for university museums,
galleries and collections from 2011-12. The paper put forward a number of criteria in order
to judge the eligibility of such ‘university museums’ for funding. Such
institutions/collections would be considered by a specially convened panel (including
Board membership) which would make decisions on eligibility for funding.
The Board:
a. Approved the process for establishing eligibility for funding for 2011-12.
b. Approved the proposed eligibility criteria.
c. Agreed that the Chief Executive acting under delegated authority should make
individual allocations based on the outcomes of the review of eligibility.
Revised scheme of delegated decision making (B11/14)
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this paper which set out a revised scheme
of delegation, aimed at ensuring that the current delegated decision making process is
strengthened and improved in its presentation and robustness. The Deputy Chief
Executive noted that in future elements of the ‘use of delegated authority’ Board paper
would be reported through the Chief Executive’s report and the institutional risk paper. It
was also noted that instances of referral to the Charity Commission are likely to be rare
but may require immediate action when they do occur.
The Audit Committee has also considered the paper and is satisfied with the
proposed progress.
The Board:
a. Agreed the revised scheme of decision making, as detailed in Annex A of the
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b. Agreed to delegate to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chair,
decisions as to when it is appropriate to ask the Charity Commission to
consider the need to exercise its powers.
Institutional risk update (B11/15e)
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this paper, giving an updated assessment
of institutional risk. He highlighted that the position was unchanged since the last Board
meeting with no additional HEIs deemed as at higher risk. It is anticipated that the number
of institutions at higher risk will remain the same for the next year, however the
composition of those institutions may change as institutions move in and out of the risk
categories. The number of institutions forecast to be at higher risk is forecast to remain the
HEFCE has now received all actual financial results from institutions but will not
have a complete understanding of the forecast position until April, by which time all
institutions will have submitted their forecasts. A report will be made to the Board once the
forecasts have been analysed. The financial results for the previous year suggest that the
sector returned a 3.3 per cent surplus overall, with HEIs actively cutting their cost base in
response to the changing financial situation.
The Deputy Chief Executive highlighted the forthcoming report by the NAO on the
financial health of the sector – this will be the subject of a public accounts committee
(PAC) hearing on 30 March 2011, at which the Chief Executive will be examined. The
report is due to be published shortly before the PAC hearing.
The work of HEFCE in encouraging institutions to be undertaking scenario
planning and being realistic in their forecasting was highlighted. A significant level of
dialogue is undertaken by Regional Consultants and Associate Directors with all
institutions on a daily basis. The financial results from the sector demonstrate that they are
responding realistically and prudently to the financial situation.
It was highlighted that some banks were now defining and treating HEIs as midsize commercial enterprises. In addition, there have been changes to the style of
covenants which could trigger an earlier risk warning for banks. The Deputy Chief
Executive reported that he is in discussion with the main banks regarding risk definitions
and clarifying the position on this between HEFCE and the banks. HEFCE will highlight
this point to the NAO in the context of their report.
This paper is exempt from publication because it contains commercially
confidential information.
The Board received the report.
Annual report on HEFCE’s Equality Scheme (B11/16)
The Deputy Chief Executive introduced this paper which provided the annual
statutory update to the Board on HEFCE’s Equality Scheme. There have been small
improvements to a number of areas but key issues still remain in the representation of
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BME, female and disabled staff at senior levels; the disclosure of disability, and the
representation of men in HE.
The following comments were made in discussion:
a. In designating faith on campus as a discussion issue, the definition of this topic
must be clearly articulated. There should also be a clear distinction between the
work being undertaken by UUK, and the focus of the Board in this area.
b. The continued diversity of staff by ethnicity will be impacted on by the UK Border
Agency’s restrictions on overseas visas and the report should reference this in
future. This issue is also highlighted in the HE Workforce Report.
The Board:
a. Agreed that the following two issues should be discussed further throughout
Faith on campus (subject to a clear definition).
Ethnicity and degree attainment.
Strategic advisory committee report (B11/17)
The Teaching Quality and Student Experience (TQSE) strategic advisory
committee had met since the last Board meeting and had submitted a report on the
outcome of the meeting.
The Board received the report.
Date of next meeting
The Board noted the date of its forthcoming planning event and next meeting on
2-3 March 2011, location to be confirmed with members shortly.
The meeting ended at 12.50.