The HE sector is a source of immense competitive advantage to the UK economy and is a formidable force for social development.
However, the sector is currently facing a series of fundamental challenges that threaten to destroy its position as a global leader in research, innovation, and higher education. This situation has been made worse by the global pandemic crisis. At a local level, many universities are facing tremendous difficulties in identifying their unique purpose – and the resources needed – to continue providing relevant qualifications that meet the requirements of local and regional markets.
Some former and current higher education leaders believe that as many as 20% of UK universities may not survive in this new environment. Indeed, some higher education institutions are already failing, while others are downsizing staff numbers and reducing entry levels as part of a desperate attempt to increase student numbers. The result is an overall lowering of quality which is likely to become even more prominent in the wake of the Covid- 19 pandemic.
The inability of many universities to face up to these challenges and new operating environment in which they exist is fundamentally and demonstrably linked to ineffective university governance.
IoD Centre for Corporate Governance | Governance challenges for UK universitiesWatch video