Missing members 1

November 26, 2009

Your article on higher education mission groups sets out to provide a complete picture of the bodies representing institutions in a diverse higher education ecology ("Do you want to be in my gang?", 19 November). It is not clear, therefore, why you missed out ten members of GuildHE - American Intercontinental University, the Anglo European College of Chiropractic, Bradford College, the British School of Osteopathy, Holborn College, Leeds College of Art, Glyndwr University, Plymouth College of Art, Regent's College and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

It is a fundamental part of GuildHE's mission to support student choice, which is why we include private providers, charitable and not-for-profit institutions and further education colleges in our membership. We are interested in the exchange of ideas that comes from having such a broad church - as demonstrated in the opinion piece from Aldwyn Cooper, one of our members, in the same edition ("It's time to set fees free").

The diversity of our membership also explains why GuildHE, like Universities UK, is not a mission group, but a representative body. Although it is true that we speak for the smaller specialist institutions, our members also include university vice-chancellors.

We believe that in the present climate, it is particularly important for all higher education bodies to work together to transmit positive public messages on the benefits of higher education. It is possible to be in harmony, although we sing with different voices.

Alice R. Hynes, Chief executive officer, GuildHE.

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