University Executive Board minutes - 18 October 2022



18 October 2022


Professor K Lamberts (KL) (in the Chair), Professor A Blom (AB), Professor J Derrick (JD), Professor S Fitzmaurice (SF), Professor S Hartley (SH), J Jones (JJ), Professor J Litster (JL), R Sykes (RS), Professor G Valentine (GV), Professor M Vincent (MV), Professor C Watkins (CW), I Wright (IW)

In attendance:

J Strachan (JS), T Wray (TW), A Carlile (AC) (Item 3), M Nolan (MN) (Item 3), Dr S Want (SW) (Item 4), D Lodge (DL), M Nuttall (MNx) (Item 5)  




Dr E Smith (ES)

  1. Closed Minute and Paper

  2. Closed Minute

  3. Student Outcomes Data

    • (AC and MN in attendance for this item)
    • UEB received and noted an update on the changes to the Office for Students’ (OfS’) ongoing condition of registration on student outcomes (Condition B3), which had come into force on 3 October 2022. The related paper set out the context and specific details of the refreshed Condition B3, including the fact that student outcomes data would be utilised to track the University’s regulatory compliance and would also inform the dataset for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) alongside other relevant student experience indicators.
    • During discussion, it was clarified that the OfS’ guidance to the University was that it should wait until the OfS’ assessment priorities were published before deciding whether to amend historical data.
    • UEB noted the:
      • Changes to the OfS’ Condition B3.
      • University’s performance against the threshold indicators and split indicators.
      • Recommendation action detailed in the related paper.
  4. Knowledge Exchange Framework Update

    • (SW in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered an update on the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), which reported on the University’s performance in the second iteration of the KEF. The related paper drew attention to the fact that the University had continued to perform well in IP and Commercialisation, Public and Community Engagement, and Working with Business, sitting in the top quintile of all three metrics. There was, however, scope to make significant improvements and, to this end, the paper made a series of proposals for enhancing the University’s ranking relative to its KEF Cluster Group on those lowest-ranking metrics.

    • During discussion, UEB raised and/or noted the following points:

      • Although the main function of the KEF at present was to enable HEIs to check their practice relative to sector peers, it was possible that it could be used in the future to drive the algorithm for allocating Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) funding. The KEF was also available for public consumption, and therefore carried a reputational significance.

      • It would be important that strategic benefits were the principal driver for any changes recommendation rather than improving the University’s KEF performance for this metric, which would be a secondary benefit.

      • The KEF had highlighted where the University’s practice could be improved.

      • Innovation had received a larger budget uplift in Research Council funding compared to other areas, which indicated its status as a growing area of UK Government interest.

    • UEB approved the recommendations, as set out in the related paper.

  5. Research Support

    • (DL and MN in attendance for this item)

    • UEB considered a proposal to establish a Task and Finish Group, Chaired by RS, that would oversee a project to consolidate and strengthen the University’s research support structures. The related paper outlined the measures first implemented in 2018/19, and made the case that it was now opportune to review these interventions in light of (i.) strategic developments at the University in the intervening period, and (ii.) the need to deliver the level of ambition contained in the University’s definition of research excellence.

    • During discussion, UEB noted the proposed project’s main considerations and questions.

    • UEB noted the paper and approved the proposed establishment of the Task and Finish Group to oversee the research support structure project.

  6. Annual Report: Preventing and Addressing Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

    • UEB received and noted the Annual Report, which was scheduled to be presented at the meeting of Council on 24 October 2022. Attention was drawn to the OfS’ intention to consult on a new condition of registration in 2023 that would place requirements on universities to address sexual harassment and misconduct. In this regard, there was confidence that the University would be compliant with any obligations that may be introduced. 

    • During discussion, UEB recognised the need to communicate to Council similar trends had been witnessed among Russell Group peers.

  7. Report of the UEB Strategic Advisory Group – Student Recruitment and Population

    • UEB approved the report, including:

      • The International Merit Scholarships and International Automatic Awards proposed in the related paper.

  8. Council-UEB Pairings

    • UEB received and noted the proposed Council and UEB Member pairings for 2022/23.

    • During discussion, the value and convenience of holding pairing meetings on the date of Council meetings was noted.

  9. Round Table

    • ​​​​​​​Horizon Europe: SH updated UEB on recent Russell Group lobbying about UK Association with Horizon Europe. It was recognised that association could be contingent on the dispute between the UK and EU regarding to NI Protocol being addressed.

    • Students: TW updated UEB on political posters related to China that had been displayed on campus.