New SCOP Chair calls for dynamic diversity in higher education

DR John Cater, Chief Executive of Edge Hill, has been appointed chair of SCOP, the representative body for the colleges and institutes of higher education in England and Northern Ireland.

Dr John Cater will outline a SCOP policy statement on dynamic diversity at the SCOP residential conference on 29/30 October 2001.

The SCOP statement highlights the need for:

? many different and evolving types of HE institution;
? funding by business plan to reward and support institutions’ key strengths, while not constraining new developments;
? a wide variety of collaborative arrangements between HEIs and more effective partnerships and alliances with schools and FE colleges;
? streamlined frameworks for regulation and accountability which focus more explicitly on outcomes, alongside better public information about processes.

Dr Cater said: “Institutional diversity is a major strength of UK higher education. The colleges and specialist institutions of higher education have key roles to play in encouraging genuinely dynamic diversity in the sector. All HE institutions should be enabled both to play to their strengths and to develop new areas of expertise. That is the way for us to respond to the growing range of student and business needs and to meet the Government’s target of 50% participation of young people in HE.

“To meet the 50% target, we support the introduction of targeted maintenance grants for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, we believe that the current plethora of initiative funding should be streamlined and allocated on the basis of institutions’ own targets and business plans.”

Further enquiries:
Patricia Ambrose or Steve Phillips Tel: 020 7387 7711
Woburn House, 20 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HB



(1) SCOP is the representative body for the colleges and institutes of higher education in England and Northern Ireland.

(2) Dr John Cater has been elected to serve as SCOP Chair from October 2001-2003; he was previously a Vice-Chair from 1997. Dr Cater is Director and Chief Executive of Edge Hill College of Higher Education in Ormskirk, Lancashire. He is also a member of the Board of the Teacher Training Agency and a Director of the Higher Education Careers Service Unit, and has served on HEFCE’s Advisory Panels on Good Management Practice, Higher Education Innovation and Reach Out to Business and the Community. From 1994-7 he was a member of the Department of Health’s Advisory Panel on Nurse Education, and he is also a Director of Liverpool: City of Learning.