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Appointing members 

Appointments to the HEFCE Board are made by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and draw on applicants from across higher education, business and the public sector. The recruitment process operates under guidelines set out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. These state that government departments must seek to encourage applicants from different backgrounds, and remove obstacles which may deter them from applying for public appointments. 

We apply the same principles in recruiting to our committees, and our aim is to reach as many potential applicants from the higher education community, business and charitable sectors. We advertise details of any vacancy through: 

  • the national press
  • our website and relevant mailing lists
  • our Involving Disabled People Group
  • any relevant subject and interest groups. 

Data collection 

Equal opportunities monitoring forms were sent to members of HEFCE’s Board and Audit Committee, its Strategic Advisory Committees, and the Joint Advisory Committee for Church Universities and Colleges at the end of 2011. 

The disclosure rate of 86 per cent demonstrates a level of commitment from Board and committee members to equality and diversity issues. 

We have used statistics on senior management postholders in higher education (published by HESA) as a benchmark. While HEFCE compares favourably in the ethnicity, gender and disability categories, we also recognise that our equality and diversity data and these benchmarks are not yet fully reflective of the higher education community or the population as a whole. We have found no other published data from comparable organisations against which to benchmark.    

Future commitments 

We use this information to encourage more diversity across our Board and Committees. This remains a challenge, but we are committed to seeking opportunities to promote equality and diversity whenever we can. We will continue to provide advice and support to BIS about our equality and diversity needs whenever BIS is undertaking a recruitment exercise and consider the same issues when recruiting to our own committees.

We will continue to address equality and diversity issues whenever there is a need to advertise for committee members, and look at ways in which we can reach as wide an audience as possible, taking advice from relevant groups where possible. 

To assess our success in these areas, we plan to repeat the survey in the near future.

 

 

Results (%)

HESA data: Senior management postholders in 2010-11 *** (%)

Data for HEFCE staff (%)

Total number of Board/Committee members

111 *

 

 

 

Number of forms returned

96

86

 

 

Ethnicity

 

 

 

 

BME

5

5

4

5

White

89

93

96

88

Prefer not to say/not answered

2

2

 

7

Gender

 

 

 

 

Male

59

61

66

32

Female

35

36

34

62

Prefer not to say/not answered

2

2

 

6

Age

 

 

 

 

25-34

2

2

 

 

35-44

4

4

 

 

45-54

15

16

 

 

55+

71

75

 

 

Prefer not to say/not answered

3

3

 

 

Religion or belief

 

 

 

 

No religion

38

39

 

 

Christian

45

47

 

 

Other religion

5

5

 

 

Prefer not to say/not answered

8

8

 

 

Sexual orientation

 

 

 

 

Gay man/woman

7

7

 

 

Heterosexual/straight

83

86

 

 

Prefer not to say/not answered

6

6

 

 

Disability

 

 

 

 

Yes

N/A**

 

3

5

No

N/A

 

97

86

Prefer not to say/not answered

N/A

 

 

9

 

* Members may be on the Board and at least one Committee so may be included more than once in this total. 

** The numbers relating to disability are too low to publish. HEFCE will continue to collect and monitor this data. 

*** ‘unknowns’ and ‘information refused’ data is excluded from the HESA data.