The Higher Education Academy (HEA) Board has agreed to the merger of the HEA with the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE).
The merger follows the recommendations of the Bell review for a single sector agency for learning and teaching, equality and diversity, and leadership and governance in higher education.
The internationally recognised HEA Fellowship scheme, aligned to the Professional Standards Framework (PSF), will be retained, meaning that staff who teach or support teaching and learning may continue to apply to have their work and commitment to teaching and learning rewarded under the scheme.
HEA Fellowship post-nominals, currently held by almost 100,000 HEA Fellows around the world, will also be unaffected by the merger.
Similarly, institutions with HEA Accredited programmes will continue to confer HEA Fellowship on successful participants on those programmes. The single agency will continue to accredit new programmes and continuous professional development schemes for teaching staff.
Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Chair of the HEA Board and Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Canterbury Christ Church University, said, “The Board fully supports the merger of the three agencies which we believe will be stronger together, offering a single channel to focus on teaching and learning, equality and diversity, and leadership and governance. We are pleased that HEA Fellowships and the HEA post-nominals will be retained, given that they are widely known both in the UK and internationally.”
The new agency, which will be named in due course, will be led by Alison Johns, currently CEO of the LFHE.
There will be a three month period of detailed and extensive consultation. The consultation, scheduled to start in February, will include institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally.
The revised offer and structure for the new agency will be in place for 1 August 2018. In the meantime, the HEA is committed to delivering its business plans for the academic year.