Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Elite Play Game of Thrones with No Fear of Secession

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Elite Play Game of Thrones with No Fear of Secession

Article excerpt

Unity confirmed, but Russell Group's new chair will have to deal with Gove. John Morgan reports.

The Russell Group is gearing up to choose which vice-chancellor will take charge of its expanded membership after it emerged that members had discussed whether expansion could lead to a breakaway.

Michael Arthur, the University of Leeds vice-chancellor, will step down as Russell Group chair in August or September, and a decision on his replacement is expected to be taken at a meeting of the mission group in July.

Vice-chancellors cited by sources as contenders to replace him include David Eastwood of the University of Birmingham, Don Nutbeam of the University of Southampton and Anton Muscatelli of the University of Glasgow.

The new chair will take up the post after the group of large research- intensive universities increases its membership to 24 with the admission of Durham University, the University of Exeter, the University of York and Queen Mary, University of London on 1 August.

Times Higher Education understands that the question of whether the expansion could prompt departures by a super-elite subgroup was discussed within the Russell Group prior to the decision to grow.

Leading candidates to leave may have included the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics and University College London, which previously have identified themselves as the G5 group in addition to their Russell Group membership.

Shifts in income following the research excellence framework in 2014 and relaxed number controls for high-achieving students could deliver further gains to the super-elite and exacerbate tensions. …

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