(Photograph) - Lord Beloff, Conservative peer and former vice chancellor of the University of Buckingham (top left):
"One person I would nominate is John Roberts, formerly warden of Merton College, Oxford and vice chancellor of Southampton University. A category I think is very important to represent is university teachers around the age of 30 - not new to the job, but not yet senior - with perhaps one from Oxbridge and one from what we used to call the plateglass universities. They would ensure that the committee does not overlook the burden of research assessment, quality assessment and all the other impositions on young researchers."
Professor Lionel Elvin, former director of the Institute of Education and last surviving member of the Robbins committee (bottom right): "My suggestions are made with two qualifications. One is that I have been retired for more than 20 years and my acquaintance is therefore limited to those whom you might term the survivors. The other is that I am unable to suggest from my personal knowledge anyone from either technical education or business."
Sir Claus Moser: "He would provide a useful link with Robbins just as Sir Philip Morris gave us a very helpful link with the McNair committee. They will need a good statistican and economist, and he also has a deep knowledge of music and the arts."
Roy Calne, of Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge: "If he has the time, as he is a transplant surgeon much in demand. He could contribute to discussion from the medical point of view, and also knows the arts worlds as an extremely accomplished painter."
Sir William Taylor: "A succesor of mine at the Institute of Education who helped pull the University of Hull round from serious problems. He is very good at the financial side."
Ralf Dahrendorf: "Dearing is clearly looking at international comparisons and Dahrendorf knows Germany and Britain well."
Jonathan Steinberg, Trinity Hall, Cambridge: "A historian with an excellent knowledge of America. He started work as an investment banker so he understands the money side."
A. H. Halsey, Nuffield College, Oxford.
Ted Wragg, professor of education, Exeter University.
Don Foster MP, Liberal Democrat spokesman on higher education (top centre): "Sir Graeme Davies, formerly of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and Sir Geoffrey Holland of Exeter University would be very high on my list. One fear is that the further education side will be forgotten, so there should be someone from there. And it will need the student perspective. If they go through the list looking to represent every interest it will get a little unwieldy, so people like Davies and Holland who bring a wide range of experience are very important."
Christine King, vice chancellor of Staffordshire University (bottom centre): Mike Fitzgerald, vice chancellor of Thames Valley University Sir Graeme Davies Martin Harris, vice chancellor of Manchester University Peter North, vice chancellor of Oxford University Jim Murphy, president of the National Union of Students Lord (Jack) Ashley of Stoke-on-Trent John Harvey-Jones Patrick Coldstream, director of the Council for Industry and Higher Education
Glenys Kinnock MEP Janet Finch, vice chancellor of Keele University David Watson, vice chancellor of Brighton University Jennie Shackleton, principal of Wirral Metropolitan College.
Christine King "If I'm allowed to choose myself."
Susie Orbach "To provide counselling".
Peter Hennessy, professor of contemporary history, Queen Mary Westfield College, London (top right):
"They have to get the sums right, but they also have to remember that they are dealing with the curiosity of the species and the future of the institutions dedicated to satisfying it. There will need to be several dessicated calculating machines, and there is no shortage of those around, but you also want people who understand Cardinal Newman's idea of the university and recognise that the nature of intellectual processes is not amenable to performance indicators. If that is lacking, the report will undersell a very special element of our national identity."
Laurie Taylor, professor of sociology at Birkbeck College and THES
columnist (bottom left): Agent Scully (paranormal assistance) Stan Collymore (striker) Irma Kurtz (counselling services) Nick Leeson (financial advice) Shane Ritchie (populist touch) Doctor Pangloss (optimist) Ringo Starr (making up the numbers) Torvill and Dean (spin doctors) Dr Piercemuller (currently free on Thursdays) Tessa Blackstone (why not?) Bob Cratchit (student rep)