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New recruitment guidelines promote wider access to top university jobs

Universities UK Media Release, 18 May 2004: 

Universities and colleges have today (18 May 2004) been given a robust and authoritative set of guidelines for the recruitment of their top people. The guidelines emphasise the importance of selecting the right people to lead higher education as the sector faces increasing and complex challenges, and reflect best practice throughout UK Higher Education institutions today.

Published by Universities UK in partnership with the Standing Conference of Principals (SCOP), the Committee of University Chairmen (CUC), the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), Appointing Senior Managers in Higher Education: A Guide to Best Practice aims to support individual higher education institutions in adopting best practice recruitment and selection procedures at senior management level and in developing a more diverse pool of future leaders in higher education. 

The guidelines, launched today at the House of Commons, strongly emphasise equal opportunities and diversity. A key recommendation is to improve the rigour and transparency of senior management appointments, and to ensure a diverse pool of senior managers.

Other topics covered include:

  • Preparing job and person specifications 
  • Identifying shortlist and selection criteria 

  • Working with search consultants 

  • Choosing the right recruitment and selection tools (including how to plan and conduct an interview) 
  • Communicating with candidates 

  • Candidate confidentiality

Ivor Crewe, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of Essex University said: “These guidelines are extremely timely. Universities are moving into a new era, and we need to ensure that it is the very best of the very best who are leading and managing UK higher education. To do that we must recruit our leaders from the widest possible group of candidates”

Dianne Willcocks, SCOP chair, said: “Expectations of university and college leaders are, rightly, changing and escalating. As HEIs forge their own distinctive contribution to diversity and excellence it will be important to secure the services of leaders from different communities and backgrounds bringing varied experiences and expertise. These very helpful guidelines will assist us in this challenge.”

The publication of the Guidelines follows the official launch in March this year of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. The Guidelines help set the Leadership Foundation’s agenda for effective sharing of best practice throughout the HE sector in this key area of senior appointments.

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Last updated: 18 May 2004 15:42
Created by: Barbara Whiteman 

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