Higher Education Academy

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Merger of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE)

As you may well have read or heard, the Boards of the HEA, ECU and LFHE have formally agreed to the merger of our respective agencies.

The merger follows the recommendations published earlier this year in the review of higher education sector agencies led by Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, on behalf of Universities UK and GuildHE.

The merger is fully supported by HEA, believing that a single, more holistic body will be well-placed and cost effective in supporting higher education providers to meet strategic challenges as they relate to teaching and learning, equality and diversity, and leadership and governance. Promoting and supporting teaching excellence will be a core component of the new organisation’s work.

The HEA Fellowship scheme, aligned to the Professional Standards Framework (PSF), will be retained when the new organisation forms, meaning that staff who teach or support learning may continue to apply to have their work and commitment to teaching rewarded under the scheme.

HEA Fellowship post-nominals, currently held by almost 100,000 HEA Fellows around the world, will also be unaffected by the merger.

Similarly, institutions with HEA Accredited programmes will continue to confer HEA Fellowship on successful participants on those programmes. The new single agency will accredit new programmes and continuous professional development schemes for teaching and learning staff.

The agencies will formally merge early next year and, starting in February, there will be a three month period of detailed and extensive consultation, which will include institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally. This work will inform the development of the offer and the structure of the new organisation to enable it to ‘go live’ on 1 August 2018.

In the meantime it’s ‘business as usual’ for the three agencies in delivering their respective business plans this financial year.

To keep you updated as the merger plans progresses follow this link to the formal announcement about the merger.

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