The first steps towards forming a single quality body, ordered last month by Education and Employment secretary Gillian Shephard, were taken this week as the major players met in London.
The Quality Forum met to discuss a timetable and a process for the unified scheme. The meeting was convened by Gareth Roberts, chairman of the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals. The other CVCP representative is John Stoddart, vice chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University and chair of the Higher Education Quality Council. The Higher Education Funding Council for England is represented by chief executive Brian Fender and David Watson, vice chancellor of Brighton University and chair of HEFCE's quality assessment committee. Others attending included Martin Gaskell, principal of Nene College and chair of the Standing Conference of Principals: John Arbuthnott, principal of Strathclyde University and convenor of the Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals: and representatives from the Welsh and Scottish Funding Councils.