HEFCE Investigation Concludes With Calls For Greater Transparency

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A three-month long investigation by HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England), specifically in relation to the conduct of the remuneration committee and a meeting of the University Court in February, has ended.

The HEFCE investigation concluded that there was indeed mishandling in the proceedings of the Court meeting on the 23rd of February. At the meeting, a vote took place on the lack of transparency and accountability of the remuneration committee which was defeated 33-30. There was a lack of clarification as to who was eligible to vote or not, and had that been clarified the vote would have passed rather than being defeated.

The investigation also concluded that there “there is scope for much improvement” in the levels of transparency of the remuneration committee, as the minutes of the meetings are ‘insufficiently informative’ for the University Council to challenge the decisions made; especially in relation to the explanations and justifications of their decisions.

The report concludes with various recommendations of increased and improved transparency and the overall effectiveness of the remuneration committee. This would be done through an increased number of meetings throughout the year as well diversifying its membership to potentially include student representatives.

The University has since sent out an email from the Chair of the Council, Thomas Sheppard saying that the University has accepted the findings of the report and is open to its recommendations.

Ben Davies, the SU president stated that, “we welcome the recommendations from the HEFCE investigation. The recommendations reflect our long held views at the SU which we have campaigned on for years. We have continually called for greater transparency and student representation within the University governance, especially within the remuneration committee. We look forward to working with the University to effectively implement the recommendations of HEFCE in order to improve the governance of the University.”

The full report can be found here:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/media/HEFCE,2014/Content/Regulation/Staff,pay/University-of-Bath%20final%20governance-enquiry-report-nov17.pdf

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Alisha Lobo is the Editor – in Chief of bathimpact. She writes about international politics with specific focus on the Middle East and India. She also reports on the University of Bath and the Students’ Union. She was the former News & Comment Editor of bathimpact (2015/16).

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