News story

Leadership appointments in key higher education bodies

Tim Melville-Ross is reappointed as Chair of the Board of HEFCE for a further three years from 1 January 2011. The new SLC non-executive chair…

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Tim Melville-Ross is reappointed as Chair of the Board of HEFCE for a further three years from 1 January 2011.

The new SLC non-executive chair is Ed Smith, who will take up his appointment from 1 November 2010. Ed was also reappointed as Deputy Chair of the Board of HEFCE from June this year for a further twelve months.

Sir Martin Harris is reappointed as Director of OFFA for a further 12 months effective from 16 October 2010.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said:

“I am delighted to reappoint Tim, Ed and Sir Martin. They have already amply demonstrated their value to the organisations they serve. In a time of significant change for the sector they will continue to offer the stability of leadership.

“In his new role at the Student Loans Company Ed Smith will be able to draw on expertise in the fields of leadership and customer service, together with his knowledge of the higher education sector, to offer strong and effective leadership.

“I would also like to convey my deepest appreciation to Professor Sir Deian Hopkin for his sterling work and commitment over the past six months as SLC interim chair”.

The appointment to the SLC board was made jointly by English and Scottish Ministers in consultation with Ministers in Wales and Northern Ireland. All appointments and reappointments were also in accordance with the code of practice for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Notes to Editors

1) Members of the HEFCE Board, including the Chair, have collective responsibility for the control and management of the HEFCE as a corporate body. The Board is responsible for developing policies and ensuring that projects, programmes and activities undertaken by the HEFCE are consistent with the overall provisions of the FHE Act and any guidance or directions issued by the Secretary of State. The Chair receives a remuneration of £47,500 per annum. The Deputy Chair receives a remuneration of £5,000 per annum.

2) Tim Melville-Ross is a former Chair of the Council of the University of Essex, serving in this role from 2001 to 2007, when he stepped down to take up the Chairmanship of HEFCE. He retired recently as Chair of Investors in People. He was previously Director-General of the Institute of Directors, and before that Chief Executive of the Nationwide Building Society.

3) Ed Smith was formerly a senior partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and currently chairs the HEFCE Board’s Leadership Governance and Management Strategic Advisory Committee. He is Chair of the Governing Body at the University of Birmingham, Chair of the World Wildlife Fund-UK, a member of the Competition Commission and a non-executive director at the Department of Transport.

4) Ed Smith’s appointment as Chair of the SLC Board succeeds Professor Sir Deian Hopkin whose term as interim Chair ends on 31 October 2010. The non-executive chair attends 11 Board meetings per year and participates in committees of the Board, receiving a fixed rate remuneration of £50,000 per annum.

5) The Student Loans Company Ltd is incorporated under the Companies Acts. It has been designated an executive non departmental public body (NDPB) by the Cabinet Office. Its Board is made up of a non-executive Chairman, the Chief Executive Officer, the Company Secretary and Non-Executive Directors. The main functions of the Company are administering the student loans and grants scheme throughout the United Kingdom and, working in partnership with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, administering the repayment of student loans.

6) The post of Director of Fair Access was created in 2004. The Director heads the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), an independent, non departmental public body, which aims to promote and safeguard fair access to higher education for under-represented groups. The Director receives a remuneration of £40,000 per annum.

7) Sir Martin Harris was originally appointed as Director of OFFA in October 2004. Previously he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester from 1992 until 2004 and was previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex. From 1983-87, he served on the University Grants Committee and in 1995-96 he chaired a major review of graduate education in England and Wales (the Harris Report). He became Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (CVCP), now Universities UK, in August 1997 after two years as Vice-Chairman, and was founding Chair of the North West Universities Association from 1999-2001. In 2000 he chaired a national review of university careers services for the Department for Education and Skills. He was appointed Chairman of the Clinical Standards Advisory Group in 1996 and from 1999-2002 was a Commissioner for Health Improvement. He is Chair of the Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited and in 2002 was appointed Deputy Chair of the North West Development Agency. He was knighted in the Millennium Honours List.

8) All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. None of these appointees have been involved in political activity in the last five years.

9) These appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments. More detail can be found on this at:

10) This press notice relates to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

11) For further information please contact Michael Gibbs in the BIS press office on 020 7215 1635.

12) BIS’ online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Michael Gibbs Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 1635 Fax



Published 21 October 2010