The Review Panel's remit is to:
- consider whether current institutional governance arrangements in the higher education sector in Scotland deliver an appropriate level of democratic accountability given the level of public funding institutions receive;
- identify and examine proposals for change which observe the benefits of an autonomous sector but will also consider the importance of full transparency; and
- the effectiveness of management and governance, the clarity of strategic purpose and its efficient implementation.
The Review's consideration should encompass
- The purpose of university governance in Scotland in the 21st century.
- The different forms governance takes across all Scotland's higher education institutions.
- Where governance works well, where it does not and what standards of good practice should all governing bodies observe.
In this context the Review is asked to consider the following areas:
- The current engagement of institutions with their communities and stakeholders and specifically to examine the case for a supervisory council or forum representing such interests, its make-up, its remit and the role it might perform in improving institutional governance.
- The current size and composition of governing bodies and whether changes need to be made to enable them to fulfil their role.
- The arrangements for the appointment of Principals and governing body members and the potential for involvement of a supervisory council or forum in that process.
- The case for the introduction of a rector at all institutions.
- The current arrangements surrounding governing body effectiveness reviews and any changes required to deliver greater accountability.
- The effectiveness and transparency of information sharing between the executive and the governing body.
- The effectiveness of communication within institutions between staff, the executive and the governing body.
- The current arrangements and case for representation of students on all governing body committees.
- The current arrangements for the induction, training and ongoing support of lay governing body members and whether specific Scottish provision is needed.
In its initial considerations the Review should confirm any further key areas that it wishes to explore.
In presenting its report the Review should outline the areas in which the Scottish Government should legislate. The Review should also consider the case for improving parliamentary scrutiny of governing bodies.