Fair representation

April 23, 2015

Recent research reported in Times Higher Education shows that the students’ union “officer class” is lacking in diversity (“The student officer class still stands too far apart”, News, 16 April). But it appears that THE’s officer class also falls short on this score. Of the 17 editorial board members listed in THE, 16 are white (one is from Iran originally), six are women, six have some form of ennoblement (Sir, Dame, Baroness) and three are based at the University of Oxford. The president of the National Union of Students (white woman) is a board member. There are four vice-chancellors, no academics below the level of professor and no one specifically representing a trade union.

Of course, THE is not an elected organisation, but one wonders to what extent its editorial board’s make-up is reflected in its coverage. As a middle-aged white man myself, I’m perhaps not best placed to answer this question. However, as a University and College Union representative, it seems to me that the opinions of leaders get a disproportionately higher level of coverage compared with staff at lower grades. Indeed, THE recently had a special feature on the challenges and responsibilities of being a vice-chancellor (“Know the score”, Features, 5 March) and last week previewed its own Leadership and Management Awards.

London Metropolitan University’s former vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies was allotted a regular column for quite a long period, even as he was making a series of widespread cuts in our institution. How about a special feature on the challenges faced by union representatives or a weekly feature written by a different union representative?

David Hardman
London Metropolitan University UCU membership secretary and joint health and safety officer

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Senior Lecturer: Architecture (Cultural Content) NORWICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS
Head of Department of Physics ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in University Study Skills UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest