Final Scottish governance code is criticised

Academic and student unions north of the border have again condemned a new code of governance for Scottish universities as “vague” and “meaningless”.

July 19, 2013

The code, which was heavily criticised when it was released as a draft in April, was put forward yesterday in its final form.

Following feedback over the draft code, the chairs of Scottish university governing bodies say the final document will provide:

- greater clarity on the involvement of staff and student governing body members in the appointment and appraisal of principals

- clear guidance on the role of executive staff in supporting the work of governing bodies

But Gordon Maloney, president of the National Union of Students in Scotland, said the code was “incredibly disappointing”.

“The last three months were meant to be an opportunity for the chairs to think again, come back with improved proposals, and develop stronger proposals that would deliver true accountability. This final code has failed to do so,” he said.

“Under this code, principals’ pay can still be set without directly including staff or students,” he added.

“We expected action to ensure better representation [on governing boards] of women, younger people, and people from all backgrounds. While this code will see institutions setting goals in these regards, universities will set these goals for themselves, clearly risking any progress in this area,” he added.

The University and College Union called on the Scottish government to reject the code, and implement the recommendations of a 2012 review by Ferdinand von Prondzynski, the principal of Robert Gordon University.

His review made a number of radical suggestions, including quotas for women on governing boards, more staff and student representation, and a ban on bonuses for vice-chancellors.

The Educational Institute of Scotland, a separate union north of the border, said in a statement: “The published code is vague, filled with qualifications and caveats…in short, it is too senior manager friendly.”

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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 3 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

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy