Hefce responsibilities

April 21, 2000

A wall of folded arms greeted Sir Michael Partridge, chair of governors of Middlesex University, when he addressed the Higher Education Funding Council for England's annual conference in Birmingham last week.

He told them how his job took at least one day a week, and described the demands of steering the board through the strategic decisions it needed to take on behalf of the university.

It was Sir John Daniel, vice-chancellor of the Open University, who ventured to ask how Sir Michael avoided undermining the authority of vicechancellor Michael Driscoll. Professor Driscoll himself found it difficult to get a word in.

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