RSE responds to Scottish Parliament’s consultation on Higher Education Governance Bill

The RSE has responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee on its proposed Higher Education Governance Bill and has outlined its concerns over the proposed changes to Higher Education Governance.

Scotland’s Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are recognised both nationally and internationally for their strength, diversity and vitality. Under the recent Research Excellence Framework exercise, 77% of the Scottish research submitted was judged as world-leading and over 85% was judged to have an outstanding or very considerable impact. Both of these figures top the equivalent average UK figures. The RSE is of the view that the proposals could result in a level of governmental intervention that is entirely inappropriate for an autonomous sector.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, President of the RSE commented, “Institutional independence and autonomy are the key pillars of a dynamic and successful Higher Education sector. They allow institutions to maintain the flexibility required to compete in an ever-evolving global environment. There must be a clear distinction between receiving public funding from various sources and being a public sector body. Treating Higher Education Institutions as the latter will lead to unintended consequences and affect their ability to compete. Governmental intervention of this scale is a retrograde step.”

Read the full press release: RSE responds to Scottish Parliament’s consultation on Higher Education Governance Bill