UCL is one of the UK’s truly global institutions in research, education and enterprise. It has demonstrated in the last 10 years resilience and agility in a fluid and uncertain environment, and it is currently demonstrating that leadership in its research-led contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Halpin was commissioned to undertake an independent review of UCL’s Council Effectiveness. We were encouraged to adopt an open and inclusive approach. Due to a combination of circumstances – the challenge of emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, the likely consequential strategic reassessment, and a change of UCL leadership – this was a critical moment of transition in which to unleash the energy for change.
It is also important to note that the Academic Board had recently established a Commission of Inquiry to review problems reported in UCL’s governance, strategic direction and decision-making. This body had published a Final Report and Draft Recommendations shortly before we were appointed.
Our Review team heard the views of over 60 stakeholders, through one-to-one discussions and focus groups as well as undertaking various meeting observations and an in-depth desk review. We also undertook benchmarking research to compare UCL’s governance structure against global comparators.
- A series of 19 recommendations and 10 further suggestions were presented in our final report. The report was then published and can be read in full here.
- We concluded that addressing the culture in key areas and relationships is the absolute priority to create the best chance of implementing the reform.
- UCL is in the process of establishing a governance working group to oversee the process of implementing recommendations.