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Advance HE announces awardees for its Collaborative Development Fund

Birds eye view of Park campus

Funded projects will highlight good practice in education and governance for members.

The University of Gloucestershire has been awarded funding from Advance HE for the governance theme, through its Collaborative Development Fund.

The fund was launched for members in November 2020 and the governance theme is sponsored by Perret Laver, ‘Board diversity practice project’.

The other award was given to Queen Mary University of London for the education theme.

The funding will support developments in priority areas and the outputs will be shared with the Advance HE’s member community.

Victoria Holbrook, Advance HE Assistant Director, Governance said:
“We are very pleased to support the University of Gloucestershire in their work to surface good practice in achieving Board diversity.

“Our own research [Diversity of HE Governing Bodies in the UK Report, 2020] shows that more needs to be done to ensure that diversity and inclusion is actively promoted within HE and Research Institute governing boards, and that meaningful steps are taken to ensure that they represent the staff and students they have a duty towards.”

Dr Adeela ahmed Shafi MBE, Associate Professor in Education at the University of Gloucestershire, said:
“We really welcome this funding. The pandemic has a had a disproportionately adverse impact on BAME communities and reinforced gender inequalities, making Board diversity all the more important. We aim to collate, understand and share members’ practice in how they address Board diversity, because a diverse University Board makes for a good Board that is better able to serve the communities it represents. We’re looking forward to working with the sector and sharing our findings later in the year.”

Applications were open to all members and reviewed by a panel from the Advance HE’s Member Benefit Steering Group – and with Perrett Laver for governance – providing quantitative and qualitative feedback. The process included a review of the Equality Impact Assessments submitted by the applicants.

A third strand of work, ‘The reshaping of higher education and research institute strategy and culture: pandemic perturbations, evolution or revolution?’ will be led by Advance HE.