London opts to go corporate

October 13, 2006

Heads of the colleges of the University of London have backed radical changes to the federation's governance structure, which would see it adopt a corporate structure.

The changes will affect how decisions are made for the federation, which has 20 colleges and 12 institutes under its wing, including University College London, King's College and the London School of Economics.

The plan follows warnings of further departures after Imperial College announced its intention to leave the federation last year. The decision was confirmed last week.

A board of trustees, with only 12 members, will replace the university's 73-strong council - in existence for 12 years. Academics will make up only a third of the board, instead of their 60 per cent representation on the council.

The board will be responsible for overall governance and is expected to meet six, rather than the current three, times a year.

A Collegiate Council will take the place of the Heads of Colleges Committee. The vice-chancellor of the University of London, Sir Graeme Davies, will remain at its helm. The council will decide strategy and policy.

Geoffrey Crossick, warden of Goldsmiths, said: "I welcome these changes, as I believe will all the heads of colleges. "It represents an understanding that the University of London is there to serve the interests of the colleges and that the colleges are the driving force behind the university.

This is very good news."

Sir Graeme said the "bottom-up approach" would make the University of London more streamlined. "We will avoid duplication and become more organised."


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