Update regarding HEFCE

As you may be aware from recent media coverage and our update on 4 August, enquiries are being made of us by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This follows a specific complaint regarding a meeting of Court in February 2017 at which the process for setting the remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor and other senior staff was discussed.

The University is committed to the highest standards of governance and treats very seriously any complaint made. We are also committed to confronting any issues or shortcomings in a transparent and direct manner that reflects the importance of this institution to every member of our University community.

In terms of the practical steps we are taking to address the concerns that have been raised, we are fully engaging with HEFCE and providing them with all information about how remuneration is set and reported, and about the meeting of Court in February. Further, as reported to Court in February, we will be conducting our own Effectiveness Review of Council which will include a detailed evaluation of the Remuneration Committee, its functions and processes, and how we can improve its effectiveness. The review will be initiated this Autumn.

Beyond this, we are also reflecting on how recent events have impacted on the University and our wider community and we know that there are lessons to be learned from this experience.

We hope that these events and the coverage surrounding them are not seen to have overshadowed the esteem in which our University is rightfully held. Every member of this community can take pride in the achievements of our academic and professional services staff whose commitment to delivering the highest possible quality of education to our 17,000 students has seen the University ranked 5th in the UK by The Guardian University Guide 2018 and awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Our ongoing success is, of course, dependent on all our staff. I know our commitment to excellence in teaching, research and civic responsibility will not be affected by current events, and we will continue to deliver the best possible environment to teach, research and to learn. We will further update you when HEFCE has concluded its investigation.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell

President and Vice-Chancellor

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