Wonkhe, the well-respected Higher Education blog and think tank has published their 2016 Higher Education Power List, with Alex Proudfoot, Independent HE Chief Executive, placing 34th in the table.
The list documents the most influential “Movers and Shakers” in the Higher Education sector. Mr Proudfoot topped vice-chancellors, MPs and even the current Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in the 50-strong Power List. The recognition for the IHE Chief Executive comes after months of lobbying on the Higher Education and Research Bill with the aim of improving regulation and funding for the independent higher education sector. His efforts have seen a rise in understanding and knowledge of the independent sector across the British political spectrum. His powerful role in shaping the HE Bill was evident earlier this month, when he and IHE Vice Chair Paul Kirkham, were given equal footing with representatives of UUK and GuildHE when giving evidence to the Public Bill Committee.
As a further analysis piece from Wonkhe reports, much has changed since the last Power List, with the influence of the alternative sector growing in strength. Expanding on this, the article states that this year, more leaders of independent providers and those working in support of the sector have made the list than ever before. The article also concludes by saying that 2016 is unlikely to be a one-off for the growing influence of the alternative sector.
In the 2015 Power List, heads of larger independent providers such as Carl Lygo, Vice-Chancellor of BPP, were featured, as their institutions particularly prospered under the former higher education minister David Willetts. In contrast, the article notes that the reforms of the new Minister Jo Johnson, which are contained within this year’s HE Bill and White Paper, are more directed at helping “smaller and more specialist institutions compete with existing players.” The list clearly represents another important milestone in the increasing recognition and influence of independent HE providers in the UK and another step towards them working successfully alongside the more traditional, publicly funded higher education sector.
- On 16th September 2016