Directors were appointed at the Higher Education Funding Council for England this week as the organisation restructured itself in line with its strategic plan, writes Alison Goddard.
The directors will oversee four core areas - teaching, research, links with business and the community, and widening participation. These areas form the basis of Hefce's plan, which is now being drawn up for 2003-08.
A draft plan will go to the Hefce board meeting later this month. When the plan was mooted in April, it was attacked for suggesting that the four areas were separate activities. It has now been modified to recognise that they are interrelated.
All institutions are expected to perform all four activities but have the option to specialise. Universities that fail to submit a widening participation strategy and action plan will have their funding cut. Those that wish to specialise in widening participation will get extra cash.
The new directors are: Liz Beaty, head of higher education development at Coventry University, who has been appointed director for learning and teaching; John Rushforth, former head of management improvement at Hefce, who has become director for widening participation; and Rama Thirunamachandran, previously acting director for institutions, who has been made director for research and knowledge transfer.
Steve Egan remains director for finance and corporate resources.