Statements from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, have rightly stressed the international standing of UK universities as providing a strong position from which to confront future challenges. He has also (Statement, 28.6.16) majored on “business as usual” pending the UK/EU negotiations, in which he looks forward to “working with the sector to ensure its voice is fully represented and that it continues to go from strength to strength”. The Russell Group (Statement, 5.7.16) has reinforced this: “we have not yet left the EU and we are just as open and welcoming to students, staff and ideas as we were before the referendum”.
Clearly, there is much to be resolved around the longer term position on EU grant and research funding; the position of EU and other international students; and staff who are non-UK EU nationals. Through this we would like to reassure our HE Partners that CMI will remain focused on maximising value and impact for our partners in improving student employability, enhancing student experience and providing professional recognition and development pathways for both students and staff. We will continue to help our Partners differentiate themselves through tailoring our partnerships.
It seems clear from Jo Johnson’s 30 June speech that the Teaching Excellence Framework will be going ahead and CMI can play a very direct role in helping our partners meet TEF requirements, particularly as this moves to faculty-based evaluation. We can also support our Partners in the continuing drive to support employability across all subject areas and to add value to international partner institutions.
At root this is a question of values. Both CMI and Universities are purpose-driven organisations with a shared agenda to drive up leadership and management capability for wider economic and social impact. We look forward to working closely with our HE Partners to navigate the challenges ahead, confident that this shared agenda is particularly needed at present. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss any of the challenges that lie ahead for your University and how CMI can help.