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Home Article Progress update on Bell Review recommendation on new higher education sector agency

Progress update on Bell Review recommendation on new higher education sector agency

Published: 19/05/2017

Statement on the implementation of the recommendations of the Bell Review.

Today, Friday 19 May 2017, Universities UK, GuildHE, the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) released a joint statement on implementation of the recommendations of the Bell Review.

To summarise the statement:

  • Plans are progressing well under the leadership of a transition group with good progress being made on key issues concerning the proposed merger. This includes looking at the development of a sustainable business model, the corporate form of the agency, and the process for appointing its senior leadership team.
  • The transition group has received legal and financial due diligence on each of the three agencies, and wishes to make clear that the merger is not based on a move to a single geographical site.
  • Meetings with stakeholders and the other sector agencies across the UK have been arranged to ensure that the focus and priorities for the merged agency meet the requirements of future subscribers, funders and clients. The core functions of the existing three agencies (concerning the promotion of excellence in learning, teaching and professional standards, leadership, management and governance, equality and diversity) will be at the heart of the mission of the new organisation.
  • Agency boards will be invited to formally authorise the merger by agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this summer. Following the MoU, a Shadow Board comprising board members of the three agencies, will take over the planning of the new agency. The Shadow Board’s main objectives will be to address:
    • the mission, vision and purpose of the new agency
    • the appointment of a Chief Executive-designate
    • the business and operating models of the agency
    • discussions with and involvement of staff and those directly associated with the agencies
    • the branding of the new agency, including its name

The Boards of the agencies will continue to operate during this period, working closely with the Shadow Board.

A staff engagement and communications plan will be put in place as a priority to ensure proper consultation with colleagues in the three agencies during this crucial period.


The full statement can be viewed on Universities UK website.