CGHE Webinar 362

Higher Education and the Regional Dimension in England

Date: Thursday, 15 June 2023 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Event Materials

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Issues over the centralisation or decentralisation of higher education policy and control and the relationship between higher and further education systems are present in most European systems but in the UK they have become critical following the publication of the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda. Even with devolution to Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland the UK has been characterised as having the most centralised governance of any state in Europe. This essentially reflects the position in England, where 85% of the population are located, and where higher and further education are governed exclusively by central bodies with little or no local or regional involvement. This presentation, based on our CGHE Universities and Regions research project, will argue that the time has come to revise this structure. Our research points to a realignment of higher and further education into an integrated tertiary system, following the example in Wales, and the decentralisation of substantial areas of policymaking in a new tertiary education form to regional bodies. The creation of a structure of combined local authorities and ‘metro mayors’ , which is supported by both major political parties, provides the opportunity to re-integrate higher and further education with local and regional priorities. Such a decision would continue to need to maintain a balance with central concerns over the management of research, the maintenance of quality, financial accountability and matters of direct concern to the state but at the same time it would stimulate institutional innovation, regional engagement and initiative, and bring a new vigour to the system as a whole. This is suggested not as a short term policy fix but as a long term re alignment away from an over concentration of central control.

Event Notes

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