Non Executive Directorships

Chair – Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)

Location: Various locations across Wales

Date Posted: 01/01/2020

Closing Date: 17/02/2020

Vacancy Description

The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 provides for the Council to have a membership of between 8 and 12 members, including the Chair and the CEO.

The Chair is expected to work closely with HEFCW Members, the Chief Executive and other HEFCW officials in providing strategic direction and giving advice and encouragement to the HEFCW in the fulfilment of its statutory responsibilities and in the initiation, development and implementation of policy. They will be party to key decisions concerning the Council’s strategy.

The Chair will ensure that authoritative and timely advice is provided to the Welsh Government Ministers and officials and will provide feedback to the sector itself.

Person Specification

The Chair will provide strong and effective leadership and demonstrate an ability to work in partnership and build consensus. They will have the ability to test opinion and challenge current thinking. The Chair must also be able to deal confidently with Welsh Government Ministers and officials and the Heads and Chairs of Higher Education Institutions. The Chair must uphold, and will be widely perceived to uphold, the highest standards of integrity and impartiality, and be able to maintain respect for the work of the Council.

In appointing members of the Council, the Welsh Ministers are required by section 62(4) of the 1992 Act to:

(a) have regard to the desirability of including persons who appear to have experience of, and to have shown capacity in, the provision of higher education or to have held, and to have shown capacity in, any position carrying responsibility for the provision of higher education and, in appointing such persons, have regard to the desirability of their currently being engaged in the provision of higher education or in carrying responsibility for such provision, and

(b) have regard to the desirability of including persons who appear to have experience of, and to have shown capacity in, industrial, commercial or financial matters or the practice of any profession’.

The Minister will take account of these requirements in making the Chair appointment. The Welsh Government would therefore welcome applications from candidates with a successful track record in industry, commerce, employer representation, or the practice of a profession. Whilst desirable these qualities are not essential to the post.

Essential Criteria

In addition to the above person specification, the following criteria are considered essential to the post:

  • knowledge and understanding of higher education and of the challenges it faces in the UK and international context;
  • knowledge and understanding of the wider post-16 education and training sector and an understanding of the interaction with higher education;
  • empathy for students, their experience and life chances;
  • political awareness and an ability to develop political networks;
  • a clear understanding and commitment to equality and diversity and a willingness to challenge discriminatory practices; and
  • a good understanding of governance; and
  • ability to manage relationships with senior executives to deliver organisational goals

A successful candidate who has formerly worked for one of the Welsh higher education institutions will not represent the interests of that institution whilst on the Council, but will be expected to take an impartial and holistic view of the challenges facing the whole of the Welsh HE sector.

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

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