Date Name

Assessing the legacy of Leighton Andrews

Leighton Andrews, the former Welsh Government Education & Skills Minister resigned on Tuesday in a shock move. The former Minister has long been a divisive figure, hitting national headlines with his Welsh student support package, the reconfiguration agenda and his qualifications spat with Michael Gove. But despite negative headlines and plenty of arguments, the Minister has rarely been on the back foot. Indeed, he has reshaped the landscape and topography of Welsh higher education – far reaching policies that are likely to reverberate for many years to come. As we wait to learn the future of the Welsh Government’s HE policy, we look at the legacy of Leighton Andrews and his controversial policy agenda.

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.

Dispatches from a wonk’s nightmare

Imagine, fellow wonks, if you will, your vice chancellor or chief executive coming to you one day to be briefed on the latest impenetrable funding council communiqué. Deciding what your institution’s or organisation’s opinion should be will involve speaking with experts and respected colleagues, reviewing research, thinking about how the media might tell the story and second-guessing your competitors. It probably includes waving a finger in the air to test which way the political winds are blowing.

It almost certainly does not involve handing the decision over to a thousand-strong student rabble with a three-day hangover. Who know significantly less than you do about any given policy issue in higher education. For a body of professionals hired and valued for our expert knowledge base, NUS National Conference must surely seem to wonks to be the worst idea ever concocted.

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.

Edtech? It’s all about policy!

At the 2017 #ALTC conference Wonkhe’s David Kernohan talks to Liverpool Associate Pro-vice-chancellor and co-chair Helen O’Sullivan, and ALT CEO Maren Deepwell, about the current state of edtech at Liverpool and beyond.

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.

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.

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.

HE Power List 2016: An introduction

Launching the 2016 HE Power List, Editor Mark Leach introduces the top 50, our approach to the judging, as well as some reflections on the turbulent year just passed.

HE Power List 2016: Influence of alternative sector grows

A ‘new wave’ of advocates for the alternative provider sector have come into this year’s Power List. Richard Brabner contextualises the judges considerations of this new source of power and influence in the HE world.

HE Power List 2016: The Brexit big hitters

The odds and ends of Brexit will define the fate of the UK higher education sector in the coming years. Jonathan Simons examines the key players who hold the power and offers advice on how they can be influenced.

HE Power List 2016: The death of the Osborne Supremacy

George Osborne was top of our 2015 Power List, but is now nowhere to be seen. David Morris considers the rapid demise of the former chancellor’s hegemonic project, and asks whether the new government have learned the lessons of his story.

HE Power List 2017: People power

Power List judge Judy Friedberg discusses – from the election to the NSS boycott – the rise and rise of student power.

HE Power List 2017: The void

Power List judge Robin Middlehurst looks deep into the echoing emptiness at the heart of higher education policy.

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: 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?