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Power players for the regions

Phil Baty looks at who has made it on to the RDA boards

Five vice-chancellors and two college principals are among the 117 board members of the nine new regional development agencies.

Ministers, who announced the appointments last month, stuck to the white paper promise of at least one representative from education on each board. Although influence is spread thinly among the sectors, both the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals and the Association of Colleges were resolutely upbeat.

Despite assurances that universities and colleges will be at the centre of the regional agenda, there are no full-time higher education figures on the boards of the East Midlands RDA and the Northwest's RDA.

And despite the Further Education Funding Council's warning that it would be "unacceptable" if further education was not properly represented, there are no full-time college representatives on six of the nine boards. Full-time further education figures are absent from the boards in the Eastern, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber regions.

The RDAs, set to be in operation by April, will have a big influence on education provision, steering colleges' and universities' business plans.

Association of Colleges chief executive Dave Gibson, who notably made college presence on the RDAs a priority for lobbying at the AoC's annual conference last month, was happy. "Members do not have to be full-time in FE to make an impact," he said. "But we would expect in each region to see an agreed 'friend of FE' on the RDA. The next stage is to look at the subcommittees."

A spokeswoman for the CVCP said: "We are very pleased to see strong representation from the university sector and we are confident that in all regions higher education institutions will wish to play a full and positive role."

Most members are from local government and business. Representation for education comes mainly from part-time figures, mainly governors, and some lecturers. For example, Alan Cherry, the chairman of Anglia Polytechnic University, sits on the Eastern board, where three out of 13 members have some links with postcompulsory education. The Northwest has the worst representation, with just one college principal and one former college governor.

Deputy prime minister John Prescott said: "Within each board business experience dominates. Each board also offers expertise from the field of education." David Blunkett, secretary of state for education, said: "We look forward to working with the RDA boards in tackling the major educational and employment challenges facing the country."

The vice-chancellors on boards are Vincent Watts of the University of East Anglia, who chairs the Eastern RDA; Derek Fraser of the University of Teesside (Northeast); Alfred Morris of the University of the West of England (Southwest); Christine King of Staffordshire University (West Midlands) and Sir Gareth Roberts, of Sheffield University and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (Yorkshire and Humber).

The two college principals on boards are Pat Morgan Webb of New College, Nottingham (East Midlands), and Maggie Chadwick of Furness College, Barrow (Northwest).

FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION REPRESENTATIVES

Eastern Region

Vincent Watts (chair), vice-chancellor of UEA; Alan Cherry, chairman of APU governors; Sal Brinton, bursar, Selwyn College, Cambridge; Chris Mole (councillor), member of the University of Suffolk Task Group; Neville Reyner, chair of a TEC; Jacqueline Russell, member of the council's business forum (links with Herts Uni).

East Midlands

Jane Bradford, on council of University of Derby; Ted Cassidy, former lecturer and part-time manager at De Montfort University; Graham Chapman, PhD in regional development; Martin Doughty, ex-lecturer at Sheffield Hallam, fellow of RSA; Gillian Gardiner, former lecturer; Pat Morgan Webb, principal of New College, Nottingham; Derek Mapp, member of North Notts TEC.

Northeast

John Bridge, visiting professor at Newcastle Business School, Durham Business School, governor of Gateshead College; Kevin Curran, former manager of training workshop, Derek Fraser; vice-chancellor of University of Teesside; Richard Maudslay, governor, University of Newcastle; John McCormack, part-time lecturer at Northumberland College; Hugh Morgan-Williams, council member, University of Newcastle; Sue Wilson, governor of University of Northumbria; Alistair Arkley, former director of Teesside TEC.

Northwest

Maggie Chadwick, chief executive of Furness College, Barrow, former governor, University of Central Lancashire; Kath Reade, former lecturer and former member of Burnley College board; Mike Doyle, chair of the St Helens TEC; Clive Jeanes OBE, chairman of the Northwest TEC; Judy Robinson, chair of voluntary sector, Northwest.

Southeast

Ken Bodfish, Open University; Clive Booth, chairman of Teacher Training Agency; Bryan Davies, member of council, Southampton University; Caroline Williams, chair of governors, Portsmouth University.

Southwest

Sir Michael Lickiss, chair of Edexel, governor at LSE and vice-chair at Plymouth University; Cairns Boston, chair of Cornwall College and TEC chair; Alfred Morris, vice-chancellor of the University of West of England, member of FEFC and Welsh higher education funding council; Nigel Costley, director of Westec, TEC; Helen Holland, director of Withywood Ventures, training company; Stella Pirie, chairman of Westec, TEC, deputy chair, Bath Spa University College; Jeremy Pope, director of Dorset TEC.

West Midlands

Alex Stephenson (chair), governor at South Birmingham FE College and member of Engineering Policy Committee, UCE; Kumar Bhattacharyya, director of Warwick University Manufacturing Group; Albert Bore, lecturer at Aston University; Sue Davis, chair of education, Telford and Wrekin Unitary Authority; Tony Harris, governor of Walford College, ex-principal of Harper Adams University College; James Hunt, governor, Ruskin College; Christine King, vice-chancellor of Staffordshire University, regional FEFC board; Sukvinder Stubbs, chief executive of Runnymede Trust, trustee of Demos; David Thompson, former chair of Wolverhampton TEC; Brian Woods-Scawen, chairman of education and learning committee, Birmingham City 2000.

Yorkshire & Humber

Richard Gregory, chairman-elect of governors at Sheffield Hallam University; Adeeba Malik, general manager, Quest for Education, member, Bradford University court; Gareth Roberts, vice-chancellor, University of Sheffield, HEFCE board member, executive committee member, CVCP; Paul Shepherd, member of University of York council, director, North Yorkshire TEC; Lord Haskins, member of the New Deal advisory task force; Stephen Houghton, board director, Barnsley and Doncaster TEC; Pamela Warhurst, director of Calderdale and Kirklees TEC.

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