HEFCE's Board is advised by committees comprising senior HEFCE staff and external experts. While a small number of members are selected for their specific exprtise, most of the members of these committees are recruited by HEFCE using open processes. 
Their appointments are approved by the Board on the recommendation of the Appointments Committee. For more information about the membership and terms of reference of each committee, use the expandable headings and links below.

Strategic advisory committees

These committees advise the Board on the effectiveness of its strategies. To this end they monitor the Council's progress towards its objectives as described in the business plan. They are structured around five main themes.

Teaching, quality and the student experience

HEFCE's work in learning and teaching is overseen by the HEFCE Board's Strategic Advisory Committee on Teaching, Quality, and the Student Experience.


Professor Ruth Farwell (Chair) Vice-Chancellor, Buckinghamshire New University

Professor Anthony Bowne

Principal, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

April Carrol

Principal, New College Stamford

Professor Amanda Chetwynd Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University
Martin Day Vice Principal, ifs University College
Professor Anne Greenough Head, King's College London School of Medicine
Professor Sue Jackson Pro Vice-Master for Learning and Teaching, Birkbeck
Professor Pauline Kneale

Pro Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Plymouth University 

Professor Geoff Layer Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton
Professor Philip Martin (co-opted) Pro Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University
Professor Gill Nicholls Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Surrey

Samantha Parrett

Principal, Bromley College

Professor Dave Phoenix

Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University

Professor Belinda Tynan Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching, Open University
Rachel Wenstone Vice President, National Union of Students
Professor Paul White Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, University of Sheffield
Anthony McClaran Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Dr Phil Richards Chief Innovation Officer, Jisc
Dr Debbie McVitty Head of Higher Education Research and Policy, National Union of Students
Stephanie Marshall Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Dr Ellie Clewlow (Secretary) Head of Learning and Teaching Policy, HEFCE
Charlie Leyland (Clerk) Higher Education Policy Adviser, HEFCE

Widening participation and student opportunity

The Widening Participation and Student Opportunity Strategic Advisory Committee advises and supports HEFCE's Board in meeting its obligations to promote and support widening access and participation and successful completion of higher education, and in taking forward strategy and co-ordination to further the cross-Council role of protecting and promoting the collective student interest.  


John Widdowson CBE (Chair) HEFCE Board member, Principal, New College, Durham
Professor Cliff Allan Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University
Patricia Billingham Governor, University of East London
Samantha Budd Chief Executive, University of Bristol Students’ Union
Rebecca Bunting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth
Professor Peter Bush Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Northampton (retired)
Professor Anthony Forster Vice-Chancellor, University of Essex
David Hughes Chief Executive, NIACE

Christopher Millward

Director, Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange, HEFCE

Professor Gill Nicholls Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), University of Surrey
Emran Noor Mature and part-time students’ officer, University of Bristol Students’ Union
John Rushforth Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of the West of England
Professor George Talbot Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), Edge Hill University
Professor Thomas Ward Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), Durham University
Mary Curnock-Cook Chief Executive, UCAS
James Turner Director, Programmes and Partnerships, Sutton Trust
Martin Doel Chief Executive, Association of Colleges
Debbie McVitty Head of Higher Education Research and Policy, National Union of Students
Professor Les Ebdon Director of Fair Access, Office for Fair Access
Sarah Howls (secretary) Head of Student Opportunity, HEFCE
Kirsty Johnson (clerk) Higher Education Policy Adviser, HEFCE

Further information

If you have any questions regarding the Widening Participation and Student Opportunity Strategic Advisory Committee contact  Sarah Howls, e-mail, tel 0117 931 7073.

Research and knowledge exchange

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategic Advisory Committee was established by the HEFCE Board in January 2013. The committee provides advice and guidance to the Executive and the Board on the development and implementation of our policies in the area of research and knowledge exchange.

Professor Anne Greenough (Chair) Head of King's College London, School of Medicine
Professor Waqar Ahmad Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Middlesex University
Professor Dianne Berry Director of Postgraduate Research Studies, University of Reading
Dr Phil Clare Associate Director, Research Services and Head of Knowledge Exchange, University of Oxford
Professor Maggie Dallman Professor of Immunology Principal, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College London
Professor Doctor Jürgen Enders Professor of Higher Education Studies, University of Southampton
Professor Lin Foxhall Professor of Greek Archaeology and History, Head of School, University of Leicester
Professor Chris Gaskell Principal, Royal Agricultural University
Professor Ewart John Keep Chair in Education, Training and Skills at the Department of Education, University of Oxford
John Latham Vice-Chancellor, Coventry University
Professor Trevor McMillan Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Keele University
Dr Debbie McVitty Head of Higher Education Research and Policy, NUS
Professor Geoff Rodgers Vice-Principal (Research), Brunel University
Malcolm Salisbury Manager External Research & Innovation, Europe Shell Projects & Technology 
Professor James Stirling Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy and Head of Department, University of Cambridge
Sara Weller Former managing director, Argos
Professor David John Williams Professor of Healthcare Engineering and Director of Research School of Health and Life Sciences, Loughborough University
Professor Stephen Williamson Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), University of Surrey
Adam Wright (observer) Research and Policy Officer, NUS
Steven Hill (secretary) Head of Research (HEFCE
Alice Frost (secretary) Head of Knowledge Exchange (HEFCE)
Sophie Melton Bradley (clerk) Higher Education Policy Adviser (HEFCE)

Leadership, governance and management

The Leadership Governance and Management Strategic Advisory Committee provides advice and guidance to the Board on the development and implementation of our policies in the area of leadership, governance and management.


Anil Ruia (Chair) HEFCE Board member, Director, Botraco Ltd, Chair, University of Manchester, Board of Governors
Jamie Agombar  Ethical and Environmental Manager, NUS Group
Alison Allden Chief Executive, Higher Education Statistics Agency
Professor Chris Brink Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University
Professor Amanda Broderick Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Priorities), University of Salford
Professor Aldwyn Cooper Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Regent’s University London
Professor Paul Coyle Director of Programmes, National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education

Geoff Dawson

Chair of Governors, Sheffield Hallam University, and Deputy Chair of Committee of University Chairs

Professor Aneez Esmail

Associate Vice-President for Equality and Diversity and Social Responsibility and Professor of General Practice, University of Manchester
John Harley Audit Committee Chair, University of Brighton and member of the HEFCE Audit Committee

Naomi Holloway


Director of Human Resources, University of Hertfordshire
Chris Jagger

Chief Estates & Facilities Officer, University of Nottingham

Sir Nicholas Montagu Chair of Council, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Jonathan Nicholls Registrary, University of Cambridge
John Robinson Director of Finance, Brunel University
Professor Mark Smith Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University
Professor Mary Stuart Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln
Dr Suzy Walton

HEFCE Board member.  Deputy Chairman of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), the University of Westminster and the Internet Watch Foundation

Alison Wheaton

Chief Executive Officer, GSM London


Alison Chappell

Director of Charitable Services, NUS

Alison Johns Chief Executive, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education
David Ruebain Chief Executive, Equality Challenge Unit
Yvonne Hawkins (Secretary) Director Universities/Colleges, HEFCE
Gemma Cadogan (Clerk) Higher Education Policy Adviser, HEFCE

Joint advisory committees

These committees operate jointly with other higher education funding bodies.

Joint Advisory Committee for Church Universities and Colleges


Bishop Peter Doyle  Bishop of Northampton
Members nominated by Providing Bodies
Mr Greg Burke  National College for Teaching and Leadership
Dr Christopher Stephens  Methodist Church
The Revd Dr Stephen Heap  Board of Education, Church of England
Professor Gerald Pillay  Liverpool Hope University
Professor Peter Lutzeier  Chair, Cathedrals Group
Professor Jayne Mitchell  Bishop Grosseteste University
Professor Clare Pickles  Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Professor Robert Warner University of Chester
Revd Professor Peter Neil Bishop Grosseteste University
Dr Arthur Naylor Catholic Education Service
Yvonne Hawkins, HEFCE Secretary
Alex Lewis, HEFCE Assistant Secretary
Kuvashni Naidu, HEFCE Administrator

Terms of reference

In the light of the statutory requirements and having regard also to the interests of the denominations and the continuing role of the churches in higher education, the Joint Advisory Committee for Church Universities and Colleges should advise HEFCE and the Training and Development Agency for Schools on any matters of special concern to institutions of a denominational character and on any other matters as requested from time to time by the Council and/or the Agency.

UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee

The Joint Medical Advisory Committee (JMAC) was established in 1992 jointly by the UK higher education funding bodies (HEFCE, SFC, HEFCW and DENI) to advise them on medical and dental education matters. In November 2006 the name was changed to the UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee to reflect the committee's broader healthcare remit.


Professor Tony Weetman (Chair)  Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Medicine, Dentistry & Health, The University of Sheffield
Professor Paul Martin Deputy Principal, University of West Scotland
Professor Dame Jill Macleod Clark Professor, School of Health Science, University of Southampton
Professor Ieuan Ellis  Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor, Leeds Beckett University
Professor David Reid Head of School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen
Professor Sean Gorman Dean of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast
Miles Scott Chief Executive, St Georges Healthcare Centre
Professor Stephen Tomlinson Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Cardiff University
Professor Irwin Nazereth Department Primary Care & Population Health, UCL
Professor Anne Greenough HEFCE Board member, Head, King's College London School of Medicine Director of Education and Training, King's Health Partners
Professor Farida Fortune Dean for Dentistry, Director Institute of Dentistry Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Professor Paul Morgan Dean of Medicine, Cardiff University
Malcolm Wright Chief Executive, NHS Education for Scotland
Professor Raymond Playford Deputy Vice Chancellor, Plymouth University 
Professor Saul Tendler Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Nottingham
Professor Paul Stewart Dean of Medicine, Professor of Medicine, University of Leeds
David Sweeney HEFCE

Terms of reference

  1. Advise the UK higher education funding bodies on the impact of NHS changes on healthcare education and research.
  2. Advise on the interpretation of government health departments' workforce needs in terms of educational provision.
  3. Monitor the joint working of government health and education departments and advise on areas that need resolution to promote the joint agenda.
  4. Provide advice to inform government inter-departmental meetings (in England, the Health Education National Strategic Exchange (HENSE)) on strategic decisions as well as operational issues.
  5. Monitor differences in health and education partnership arrangements in each of the UK administrations and promote best practice.

Report into UK NHS-university relations

UKHEAC commissioned a report into good practice in NHS/university relations across the UK. The study was undertaken by Andrew Snowden, an independent consultant with experience at senior levels within both universities and the NHS.

Download the UK HEAC study as PDF (59 KB) | Download the UK HEAC study as MS Word (111 KB)  


Other standing committees

Appointments Committee


Tim Melville-Ross Chair of the HEFCE Board
Hugh Ross Former NHS Trust Chief Executive
John Widdowson CBE HEFCE Board member, Principal, New College, Durham
Anne Greenough HEFCE Board member
Ruth Farwell Vice-Chancellor, Buckinghamshire New University
Anil Ruia Director of Botraco Ltd; Chair, University of Manchester

Audit Committee


Hugh Ross (Chair) HEFCE Board Member, Former NHS Trust Chief Executive
John Harley Deputy Chair, Audit Committee Chair, University of Brighton
Mark Robson HEFCE Board Member, Head of Statistics and Regulatory Data, Bank of England
Clifford Shanbury Council Member of the Institute of Education, University of London and Independent Member of the Audit Committee, Office for Nuclear Regulation
Ruth Thompson Non-executive director and university governor
Frank Toop University Secretary, City University
Dr Suzy Walton  HEFCE Board Member, Deputy Chairman of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), the University of Westminster and the Internet Watch Foundation 

Complaints Panel

Terms of reference

The Council has an independent procedure for hearing complaints against the decisions of the Executive. A panel is created when needed with its remit to determine whether Council action or maladministration has caused injustice. It is the complainant's last resort before such allegations go to the Ombudsman. For more information contact the Clerk to the Board, Kate Page.

Remuneration Committee


Tim Melville-Ross (Chair) Chair of the HEFCE Board
Shirley Pearce HEFCE Board member
Sara Weller HEFCE Board member, Former Managing Director, Argos

Page last updated 19 January 2015

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