News story

New board member for the Higher Education Funding Council for England

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark to the HEFCE Board. He brings with him a vast…

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David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science said:

“I am delighted to welcome Mark to the HEFCE Board. He brings with him a vast amount of knowledge and experience which I’m sure will be invaluable for the Board in these challenging times.”

Mark Robson replaces outgoing Board member Paul Wellings who left in December 2011.

**Notes to Editors

**This press notice applies to England only.

  1. The Higher Education Funding Council for England was established on 6 May 1992 under the terms of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and assumed responsibility for funding higher education in England on 1 April 1993, succeeding the Universities Funding Council and the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council.

  2. HEFCE’s main functions are to advise the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations and Skills on the funding needs of higher education institutions in England and to distribute available funds. In 2011-12 HEFCE is distributing over £4 billion to support teaching and research in 130 institutions of higher education and higher education courses at over 150 further education colleges.

  3. Members of the Board, including the Chair and Chief Executive, have collective responsibility for the control and management of 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.

  4. Mark Robson is head of the Bank of England’s statistics division and honorary treasurer of the Royal Economic Society. He joined the Bank in 1995 from the OECD in Paris, where he was principal tax economist and statistician. Since then he has also been a member of the Council of City University, London (2002-11); Treasurer and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University (of which he is now an honorary research fellow) and honorary treasurer of the Royal Statistical Society (2003-7); and an IMF Expert Advisor to the Royal Thai Finance Ministry (1998-9). Previously he was in turn a mathematics tutor, HM Inspector of Taxes, Government Economic Adviser and senior manager with KPMG.

  5. He became a Governor of London Metropolitan University in April 2010, and is currently Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee. He is a member of the governing councils of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, and of the audit committee of the London Borough of Islington. In 2010 he was appointed to the Economic and Social Research Council’s grants assessment panel, and last year to HEFCE’s Main Panel C for REF 2014.

  6. Mark has declared no political activity

  7. Membership of the HEFCE Board carries with it an honorarium of £5,000 per annum.

  8. The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.’ It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20

  • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business

  • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy

  • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

  1. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices and 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 Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone




Name Emma Griffiths Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5982 Fax



Published 5 July 2012