Date Name

Women in wonkery speak

To mark International Women’s Day, seven women from across different parts of HE life share their experience about the barriers they faced in their careers and the best advice they received to help them get ahead.

Peacock or perish? Prestige and gender in academia

Exploring findings from research with 30 mid-career academic women at universities in London, Camille Kandiko Howson considers why women only progress in higher education to a certain point.

Women and wonkery: marking International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day tomorrow and we’re marking it all week here on Wonkhe. Louisa Darian sets out what’s in store over the coming few days and explains why we’re refreshing our focus on women and wonkery.

Governance of UK universities: what’s going on?

Good governance of universities has never mattered so much, but it never seems to be high on the agenda. Today we announce a new research project aimed at understanding governance in HE and helping the sector improve this vital part of university leadership.

Governance of HE: Gender balance of university boards

The first results of our university governance project – the gender balance on governing bodies – some surprising results and hopefully some lessons for senior leaders in their work to achieve a better balance.

People in higher education: Maddalaine Ansell

Maddalaine Ansell joined the higher education sector as the CEO of University Alliance this January. On an unseasonably hot day in April, Emily Lupton sat down in her Whitehall office to discuss her career.

HE Power List: the election effect

Following the General Election results, it seems a good time to revisit our Power List. What impact has it had on the politicians in our top 50 and what prospects do they have for next year’s list?

The rise and rise of executive pay

Sue Shepherd reflects on what lies behind the increase in the salaries of vice chancellors and other executive team members over recent years and what this tells us about trends in management of universities today.

General Election political panel #2 – manifestos

The second political panel of the 2015 General Election campaign. In this edition, our three political wonks respond to the party manifestos and what they have to say about universities.

General Election political panel: #1

In the first Wonkhe General Election political panel, three higher education wonks with links to the three main UK parties discuss and debate the policies, parties and personalities.

People in higher education: Tricia King

In the first in our series profiling people in higher education, Emily Lupton sits down with Tricia King, Pro Vice-Master and Director of External Relations at Birkbeck, University of London, to discuss her career in university marketing which spans two decades and several universities.

HE Power List: Haldane, Robbins & Dearing

Reinterpreted, Revisited and Rebooted. Celebrated and definitely remembered. Andy Westwood remembers three giants of higher education and explains why they made it on the 2015 HE Power List.

HE Power List: under the influence?

As we launch the HE Power List, Mark Fuller asks who holds influence? There is no concrete, scientific way of quantifying influence over policy – policymaking is an inherently messy affair of compromise and accommodation. But we’ve done our best, and Mark explains why.

Professor Sir David Watson (1949 – 2015)

An obituary of Professor Sir David Watson – a giant figure in higher education who has died aged 65. Written by his friend and colleague Rob Cuthbert.

Introducing the Higher Education Power List

Wonkhe is teaming up with corporate communications consultancy Linstock to compile a list of the 50 people most likely to have an influence over HE in the next year. Here we introduce the project and give details of how you can get involved.

Balancing the deck

From ‘personality’ vice chancellors, to faltering governance structures, senior leadership teams in universities have plenty of internal challenges. However, balancing the team based on an honest appraisal of strengths and weaknesses will likely provide a solid foundation to build on.

Policy advisers research – your help needed

Vice Chancellors are increasingly looking towards professional policy advisers to help them navigate the changing higher education landscape and implement reform within their own institution. Richard Brabner is conducting some new research in to this emerging profession for the Leadership Foundation, and needs the assistance of wonks across the UK in responding to a survey to better understand these roles.

Speaking a common language

As UK universities gird themselves for publication of the first Research Excellence Framework results, Stevie Upton reflects on the difference between US and UK approaches to policy making and thinking and how academics write for policy makers – with lessons to learn for wonks on both sides of the Atlantic.

The international search: competing in a global marketplace

Universities are competing in a global marketplace and are keen to cast the net wide when looking to fill important senior roles. But seeking global talent comes at a price. Kerry Shepherd takes a look at the usually hidden world of international search.

Managing your career in HE administration

Surprisingly, ‘Managing Your Career in Higher Education Administration’ is possibly the first book in the UK covering careers in university administration. And as these careers evolve and grow in a changing sector, it’s unlikely to be the last. Paul Greatrix reviews the book and reflects on the state of the profession, how it is thought about in the sector and the pitfalls of searching for status rather than focusing on delivery and innovation.

Searching for gender balance at the top

Responding to recommendations in the latest Leadership Foundation report in to leadership and gender, Ben Tucker takes a look at his own industry – executive headhunters to unpick the experience of women in applying for senior jobs. With an unacceptable gender imbalance remaining, Ben looks at how and why people apply for jobs in the sector, as well as how panels make their final decision.

What is a wonk?

The question ‘what is a wonk?’ has come up many times since Wonkhe was launched three years ago. But in three years, understanding has come a long way. As the higher education sector in the UK has accepted if not embraced the term, there is still some clarification to be done. In this piece, Mark Leach looks at who the HE wonks are and draws lessons from other countries and other sectors.

Diversity at the top

As student populations have diversified, progress has not been matched in leadership and management across UK higher education. Randall Whittaker looks at the dire state of diversity at the very top, shares some shocking examples of recent intolerance that he has faced on UK university campuses, and calls for urgent action to tackle this problem.