Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, governing bodies are responsible for overseeing their provider’s access and participation plan.
It is therefore essential that governing bodies are familiar with our approach to access and participation, and are able to ensure that their provider’s plan meets our regulatory expectations.
- Our regulatory framework states that providers must have adequate and effective management and governance arrangements in place to comply with all conditions of registration.
- Our regulatory advice 6 highlights that access and participation targets are more likely to be achieved when providers have a clear organisation wide commitment to access and participation, including leadership from senior management and governing bodies.
- Governing bodies are critical in ensuring that their provider’s access and participation strategy is put into practice at all organisational levels, through a whole provider strategic approach.
Governance in UK higher education is complicated by the use of different terms for similar functions. These pages adopt the following definitions:
Governance: ‘the constitutional forms and processes through which universities govern their affairs’ (Michael Shattock, Managing good governance in higher education).
Governing body: a membership group which has ‘overall unambiguous responsibility for all institutional affairs, and the chair is always an external member’ (Allan Schofield, What is an effective and high performing governing body in UK higher education?).