Higher Education Quarterly

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Volume 44 Issue 3 (July 1990), Pages 191-290

The Composition of Governing Bodies of Higher Education Corporations (pages 245-263)

Abstract

The Education Reform Act 1988 gave independence to polytechnics and the major colleges of higher education. From a position where they were the subject of tight and bureaucratic control by the maintaining local authorities, they have moved to one where responsibility for conducting their affairs in the hands of the small group of persons who constitute their governing bodies. This paper examines the composition of governing bodies in order to see the range of sizes adopted and how boards have been constituted within the permissible limits of the Act. It also touches upon some of the difficulties and ambiguities which have been created by the present legislation. A survey reveals that most institutions have decided to have larger boards which are not dissimilar to those which existed previously and few institutions have taken advantage of the flexibility of the Act and chosen to have small boards. It remains to be seem whether size and composition have any relevance to an institution's success or otherwise in the challenging years ahead.

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