With all the current student finance fun, you could be forgiven for forgetting that we have a whole new sector agency ready to be born. But The New Agency (TNA) – as it is called around the sector at the moment (though less catchy, we prefer The Post-Bell Untitled Mega Agency) will early next year draw together staff and remits from the Leadership Foundation, Equality Challenge Unit and the Higher Education Academy.
The three predecessor agencies all have a long history.
- The Leadership Foundation (LFHE) incorporated elements of the Higher Education Staff Development Agency (HESDA) and the short-lived Sector Skills Council, Lifelong Learning UK.
- The Higher Education Academy drew together the Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN), the Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILTHE) and the Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund National Coordination Team (TQEF NCT). We need hardly add that the LTSN can trace a lineage, via the much-missed subject centres, to the late 90s Computers in Teaching Initiative (CTI).
- On the other hand, the Equality Challenge Unit has always been the ECU, though it was established by one Nicola Dandridge (now of OfS).
The Leadership Foundation’s CEO-designate Alison Johns (formerly of HEFCE, where she was responsible for the development of both ECU and LFHE) clearly has many decisions about the new agency yet to make.
But we feel that you, Wonkhe’s wise and pragmatic readers, can help her with what will be the defining pronouncement: what will the new agency be called?
- Will it attempt to incorporate elements of the existing agencies, demonstrating continuity and stability?
- Will it follow the recent trend of putting the word “student” into the title?
- Will it be named after a notable sector personality? The Lord Willetts Academy? The Sally Brown Centre for Development? The Bell End?
So send us your suggestions – email email@example.com with your best ideas. Bonus points if you can design a logo to go alongside it.
All shortlistable ideas will be sent to Alison Johns for her consideration. And as if that wasn’t enough, the best entry – the National Teaching Fellow of nomenclature, the Athena Swan Gold of titles – will win a fabulous prize: a copy of the 2017 Higher Education and Research Act, signed by Jo Johnson himself.
We’ll announce the lucky winner next week.