The 1994 Group is a coalition of "smaller research-intensive universities" in the United Kingdom founded in 1994 to defend their interests following the creation of the Russell Group by larger research-intensive universities earlier that year. The 1994 Group members describe themselves as "internationally recognised universities in Britain, who share common aims, standards and values". The group aims to provide "a framework for collaboration between research-intensive universities in the UK".
'Established to promote excellence in research and teaching. To enhance student and staff experience within our universities and to set the agenda for higher education'.
In terms of research funding, this is one of the two smallest English institutions in the Russell Group (HEFCE Research Funding allocations, 2004/5). Warwick is the largest of the 1994 institutions by this measure and represents the overlap point between the two groups. It comes in 15th overall with respect to its size and is joined in the top 20 English institutions (by this measure) by fellow 1994 Group institutions Durham, York, Reading, Surrey and Queen Mary, University of London.
On the 1 August 2006 Leicester, Loughborough, SOAS and Queen Mary, University of London were admitted to the 1994 Group. However, the 1994 Groups should not be seen solely as being defined by comparison with the Russell Group. While this was the driving force behind its formation, it has spread into other activities such as the Dangoor Scholarships - 1000 scholarships of 1000 pounds each funded by Naim Dangoor and available for students starting university in 2005/6.
Further to these aims the group has a set of shared values; that maintaining traditions and cutting-edge research are not mutually exclusive; internationally recognised universities ought to have a role and contribute on all scales; high quality research should be supported with high quality teaching and all students and staff from any background should be able to develop in a conducive atmosphere and environment that maximises their potential.
|Institution||Location||Established||Gained university status||Vice-chancellor||Total Number of Students||Website|
|University of Bath||Bath||1966||1966||Professor Glynis Breakwell||14,795|
|Birkbeck, University of London||London||1823||1920||Professor David S Latchman||19,020|
|Durham University||Durham||1832||1832||Professor Chris Higgins||17,320|
|University of East Anglia||Norwich||1963||1963||Professor Bill MacMillan||19,585|
|University of Essex||Colchester||1964||1964||Professor Colin Riordan||10,290|
|University of Exeter||Exeter||1855||1955||Professor Steve Smith||14,630|
|Goldsmiths, University of London||London||1891||1904||Professor Geoffrey Crossick||7,615|
|Lancaster University||Lancaster||1964||1964||Professor Paul Wellings||17,615|
|University of Leicester||Leicester||1921||1957||Professor Robert Burgess||16,160|
|Loughborough University||Loughborough||1909||1966||Professor Shirley Pearce||17,825|
|Queen Mary, University of London||London||1885||1907||Professor AFM Smith||11,625|
|University of Reading||Reading||1892||1926||Professor Gordon Marshall||14,090|
|Royal Holloway, University of London||Egham||1849||1900||Professor Stephen Hill||7,620|
|School of Oriental and African Studies||London||1916||1916||Professor Paul Webley||4,525|
|University of St Andrews||St Andrews||1413||1413||Dr Brian Lang||6,808|
|University of Surrey||Guildford||1891||1966||Professor Christopher M. Snowden||15,935|
|University of Sussex||Falmer||1961||1961||Professor Michael Farthing||12,415|
|University of York||York||1963||1963||Professor Brian Cantor||12,625|
The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), which merged with the Victoria University of Manchester to form the University of Manchester, was a member of the 1994 Group until October 2004. The London School of Economics was also a member until 2006, and the University of Warwick until July 2008. All three institutions are now members of the Russell Group.
The 1994 Group is headed by a Board made up of the heads of member institutions. The Board meets formally on four occasions each year. In addition, an annual residential conference takes place in the summer where longer-term strategic issues are discussed.
The Board has responsibility for determining strategy and has ultimate responsibility for all activity including the overall Communications Strategy, as well as determining the development of Group policy and agreeing all policy papers, positioning statements and consultation responses, and responsibility for the governance of all joint activity. Board members are key to the development and delivery of Group policy. Without their support, the Group is unable to function.
The Chair is elected by Board members for a three-year term of office. Professor Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, is Chair until August 2009.
The Chair is the national spokesperson for the Group and represents its interests where a senior representative of the Group is required. The Chair has overall responsibility for the development and delivery of the Communication Strategy on behalf of the Board. In this role, the Chair regularly meets with representatives of all key stakeholders bodies in a formal and informal capacity.
The Chair is assisted in undertaking their duties by a Chair’s Advisory Group (CAG) elected from the Board for a three year period of office (initial membership was staggered to ensure a rolling change of membership). The CAG meets on four occasions each year. Current CAG members (and terms of office) are as follows:
CAG members have a general brief for assisting the Chair in the development of all areas of Group policy (including management of the relationship with the Policy Groups).
The CAG has a central role in the development of relationships with Government, Funding Bodies, and HE Stakeholder Organisations. In addition, CAG members are available to speak to the media on behalf of the Group if the Chair is unavailable.
Below Board level, the Group has established three policy groups at Pro-Vice-Chancellor level: Research and Enterprise (Chaired by Professor Dianne Berry, Reading); Student Experience (Chaired by Professor Janice Kay, Exeter); and Strategic Planning and Resources (Chaired by Professor Tony Downes, Reading). The Chairs of the Policy Groups are elected on a three-year term of office from amongst the members of the Groups.
The Policy Groups provide an essential avenue via which the group can strengthen inter-institutional activity and provide forum for the development of longer term policy positions and consultation responses. To guide their work, each Policy Group has an agreed work-plan with the Board setting out the issues for its consideration over the forthcoming academic year. The Chairs of the Policy Groups maintain regular contact with the Chair and are invited to attend meetings of the Board or the CAG when appropriate.
The Policy Groups are central to the successful implementation of the Communication Strategy as they provide the meat to hang from the Group’s bones. They provide a way for the Group to develop relationships with internal stakeholders and a mechanism for engagement with Government, Funding Bodies and other HE Stakeholder organisations.
In addition to the formal governance structure set out above, there are a number of other informal networking groups operating below Board level (for example, Registrars, Planning Directors, HR Directors, Librarians, and Student’s Union Presidents known as 'Unions94'). These receive no direct support from the central organisation, but exist because their members believe there is added value to be achieved by the exchange and development of best practice at Group level.
These informal networking groups play an important role in promoting the Group brand to internal stakeholders and provide important routes through which the Board or Policy Groups might test emerging policy, positioning statements or joint responses.
The 1994 Group Administration is currently located in the Gray’s Inn Road Business Centre, WC1X. In addition to the staff offices, the building provides flexible facilities for Board, CAG, Policy Group, or large stakeholder meetings as well as smaller rooms for meetings with individual stakeholders. The Administration is made up of the following members of staff:
The Executive Director, Paul M. Marshall, is the head of the 1994 Group Administration.
The Executive Director has central responsibility for co-ordinating all levels of Group activity and provides senior secretarial support to the Board and the CAG.
Working alongside the Chair, the Executive Director is the central point of contact between the Group and the external world and has a primary responsibility for promoting the Group to external stakeholders.
The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for the development the Group’s external profile including press co-ordination drafting and updating publicity materials and the maintenance and development of the Group website.
In recognition of the Executive Director’s primarily role in promoting the Group brand to external stakeholders, there is a Director, Mr Tom Norton, who has primary responsibility for the promotion and development of internal Group activity.
The Director plays a central role in the management of the Group, providing cover for the Executive Director in his absence due to travel, leave or illness.
The Director has a specific remit to work with the Policy Groups in drafting policy papers, preparing position papers and collective responses to consultation exercises, and for organisation of the Group’s Annual Conference.
The Director of Organisational Development Activity, Sophie Lovejoy, manages the Group's collaborative organisational development activity and acts as a bridge between the Group and various stakeholders in this area.
The 1994 Group is committed to the sharing of good practice to enhance both the staff and student experience. In support of this, the Group offers a range of collaborative staff and organisational development activities.
The Administrative Assistant (Graduate Intern)assists the Executive Director and Director of Internal Policy Development with their duties.
The Administrative Assistant role is a wide ranging position which supports the work of the Directors, the Board, and the Policy Groups, and in particular supports the organisation of Group meetings and the annual conference, and the production of policy papers and press and publicity material.
The 2007 NSS results have placed the 1994 Group, for the third year running, as the leading group of universities. The Group’s overall satisfaction score (4.18) is significantly higher then the average for the HE sector as a whole (4.03). Member institutions are all rated above average in each of the six categories in the survey, achieving an average of 3.96, compared with 3.87 for the sector.
1994 Group member institutions have a consistent record of the highest levels of achievement in research and in the delivery of the student experience. This record is demonstrated by the publication of the first Mayfield League Table and in the Times Good University Guide 2008.
In the national Mayfield tables, four of the 1994 Group members achieved top ten positions and ten were placed within the top twenty. This excellent performance was mirrored in the regional tables, where 1994 Group institutions achieved first position in four regions and second position in a further four regions.
In the Times Good University Guide 2008, three 1994 Group institutions achieved top ten positions, and nine were placed within the top twenty. edf
The 1994 Group’s Student Experience Policy Group has been working on its ‘Enhancing the Student Experience’ project since Summer 2006. The ongoing project aims to identify the key issues surrounding student experience in the HE sector, to begin defining the 1994 Group’s own position in this context, and to identify potential areas for research and activity in the future.
The ‘Enhancing the Student Experience’ Policy report , launched on 28th November 2007, concludes that there are seven priority areas for the Higher Education sector to take forward in order to meet the challenges of a changing environment of student experiences and expectation. These seven priority areas are:
1. A requirement to provide transparent and accurate information around the student experience
2. Towards the 2020 Workforce: Promoting the well-rounded graduate
3. Promoting the student voice
4. Engagement with schools and colleges
5. Student-focused resources
6. International strategy and internationalisation
7. Excellence and enhancement in teaching and learning
The 1994 Group has made a commitment to address these challenges and will monitor their impact as the sector takes them forward. As part of this process, the Group will undertake a similar review in 2012. This will determine the impact of the recommendations set out in the 2007 policy report.
In 2007, the 1994 Group undertook a research project, co-funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the 1994 Group, into the impact on research-intensive universities of three aspects of the government’s current reforms to 14-19 education
The report (view the report: ) , titled, ‘New Foundations, Enduring Values: Undergraduate Education, Research-intensive Universities and the Government’s Reforms of 14-19 Education in England’ was published on 23 January 2008. The research found that 62% of admissions tutors in relevant undergraduate areas felt it was very likely, quite likely or possible that they would be admitting Advanced Diploma students to undergraduate courses from 2010. Among 1994 Group universities working closely with 14- 19 projects in their own localities are Lancaster, Loughborough and York (view 1994 Group Press Release)
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