There are a number of higher education (HE) agencies and organisations that support the governing bodies of HE institutions, such as the RVC.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
Working in partnership, The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) distributes public money for teaching and research to universities and colleges. HEFCE aims to promote high quality education and research, within a financially healthy sector, and also plays a key role in ensuring accountability and promoting good practice.

Committee of University Chairs (CUC)
The Committee of University Chairs (CUC) provides a forum for discussion for university chairs. Its primary purpose is to enable chairs to contribute their distinctive experience, knowledge and perspective as laypersons and to consider matters which concern all universities.
Included amongst the CUC’s aims are:

  • To assist governing bodies to fulfil their responsibilities particularly in relation to institutional strategy and performance
  • To promote best practice in university governance and enable such best practice and related topics to be examined under its auspices through seminars, publications, conferences and advice
  • To work with individual governors to develop their knowledge and skills, as these relate to the good governance of their institutions through, e.g. governor development programmes, newsletters

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
The BIS mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this, BIS will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy.

The BIS site includes the former Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) website and includes material concerning further education, higher education, innovation, science and skills. This may be accessed from, although by March 2010 it is planned that this site will be fully incorporated into the BIS website.

The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE)
The Leadership Foundation provides a dedicated service of support and advice on leadership, governance and management for all the UK’s universities and higher education colleges. It is committed to developing and improving the management and leadership skills of existing and future leaders of higher education. In this connection LFHE organises an extensive programme of governor development courses each year, and is able to provide both resource material and material from past courses on request.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

QAA checks how universities maintain their own academic standards and quality. It reviews and reports on how they meet their responsibilities, identifies good practice and makes recommendation for improvement. Publications include guidelines to help institutions develop effective systems to ensure students have the best learning experience.

Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA)
UCEA represents UK higher education institutions, and provides advice and guidance to them on employment, reward and human resources practice.

UCEA represents UK higher education institutions and provides legal advice and guidance to them on employment, reward and higher education human resources practice; negotiates with trade unions and other organisations; lobbies statutory and other bodies for improved resources within the higher education sector; offers programmes of seminars and events; and develops and manages projects. 

Universities UK (U(UK))
Universities UK is the major representative body and membership organisation for the higher education sector. Its members are the executive heads of UK universities.

Together with Higher Education Wales and Universities Scotland, Universities UK works to advance the interests of universities and to spread good practice throughout the higher education sector.
Specialist staff work to provide members with foresight on policy issues and to help them shape the policy agenda. U(UK)’s aims to integrate policy, parliamentary and media work to mount effective and timely campaigns on issues vital to the sector.

UK HE International Unit (IU)


The UK Higher Education International Unit (IU) initiates and carries out high profile projects and activities to support and develop the breadth and depth of the UK HE sector's international activities. It supports the sector's engagement in European Union and Bologna Process policy debates. The IU is a central observatory and intelligence unit on higher education internationalisation and policy developments for UK higher education institutions.

In representing the sector as a whole, the IU works closely with higher education institutions and organisations, including the British Council, UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland), UKTI, Universities Scotland, the Scottish Government, Higher Education Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The IU also works with other sector organisations, including the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, the Council for Industry and Higher Education, the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, the Association of UK HE European Officers (HEURO), the UK Research Office (UKRO), Welsh Higher Education Brussels (WHEB), Wales International Consortium (WIC), and the National Union of Students.

The IU was formed on 1 August 2010 by merging the UK HE International Unit and the UK HE Europe Unit.

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