Universities Scotland responds to announcement on university governance in today’s Scottish Parliament education debate

Responding to the Education Secretary’s announcement to set up a five-person panel to look at university governance, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland, said:


“We welcome this review and the opportunity it presents to work with staff and students on the important issue of university governance. Universities Scotland has already been talking very constructively with NUS Scotland and UCU Scotland about governance arrangements and the review is an appropriate way to take these initial soundings forward. We also welcome the Education Secretary’s decision that this review should take place at arms-length from Government. As autonomous institutions this is the right approach, though we fully recognise the Government’s obvious interest in ensuring that universities deliver high standards in this area.

“Staff and student representatives typically make up around 40 per cent of members on university governing bodies and it is right they should have this important role in university governance. As universities continue to face challenging times and difficult decisions over the next few years, it’s more important than ever that Principals, staff and students work together to address these challenges strategically and pragmatically.”



  • Mr Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, announced that a five-person panel would look into university governance. Led by Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of Robert Gordon University, the panel will include representation from students, unions and a Chair of Court. The panel will produce its remit before the summer recess of the Scottish Parliament on 1st July 2011.
  • Universities’ governing bodies are made up of staff and student representatives, lay members (drawn from the public, private and third sectors) and senior managers in university. On average, staff and student representatives make up about 40 per cent of all members of governing bodies across Scotland’s universities.