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Home Article ECU board agrees to merge with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE)

ECU board agrees to merge with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE)

Published: 21/12/2017

At its extraordinary meeting on 15 December 2017, the ECU board took the decision to approve a legal instrument of merger with the HEA and LFHE.

The merged agency was recommended in the Bell Review of sector agencies published in 2016. The agreement follows several months of preparatory work, including due diligence and engagement with the HE sector and other stakeholders.

Subject to approval from the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, the new organisation will be established on 1 February 2018.

An official statement from Prof Nigel Carrington and Alison Johns, respectively Chair and CEO-designate of the new agency, has been released in response to the decision by the Board to approve the merger agreement.

You can read this here.

The name of the new agency will be announced in early 2018.

David Ruebain, CEO of ECU, will take on a new role immediately in the merged agency as Interim Director of Equality Integration. Until 1 February 2018 this will be in addition to his CEO role at ECU and will focus on ensuring that good practice in EDI is harmonised and integrated across the new agency. He said:

“The merger will mark a new chapter for ECU’s mission, with exciting opportunities to take further our work on equality and diversity, to learn from the experience of the other two agencies, and to bring together our collective work to increase support and impact.

“The new agency will reinforce ECU’s work on equality and diversity across all four nations of the UK, including colleges in Scotland, as well as its international partnerships. Athena SWAN and Race Equality Charter will remain a key focus of these efforts, alongside the range of other support and guidance.

“I look forward to working with Alison, the ECU team and our new colleagues to bring together our work on equality and diversity in the coming months.”

Subscriptions for the new agency are expected to take effect from 1 August 2018. In the meantime, HE institutions in England and Northern Ireland are asked to show their continued support by subscribing to ECU as normal. Any overlap in subscription periods will be reflected in the amount institutions pay.