BUCU analysis: Sex and governance at the University of Birmingham in comparative perspective

February 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

BUCU have long been concerned with issues of equality and diversity at the University of Birmingham, particular in relation to senior management and the governance of our university. After having raised concerns at both College and University-level about the lack of female presence on both College Boards and the University Executive Board, BUCU decided to carry out some research to compare the situation at the University of Birmingham with other Russell Group universities. BUCU compared the Senate, Council and Executive Boards (or equivalents) of the 24 universities in the Russell Group for the academic year 2012-13. It found:

  • Birmingham was ranked 24/24 in terms of the percentage of female members of Russell Group Senates (or equivalent) for the academic year 2012-13 (81% male; 19% female);
    • Birmingham is notable as having fewer women on Senate than would be expected given its size and the percentage of academics at Birmingham who are female (a predicted figure of 33% against an actual figure of 19%);
    • This difference is almost entirely accounted for by the low percentage of female Senate members in the Ex-Officio, Pro-VC, Heads of College, Heads of College Nominees, and VC Co-Opted categories (7% combined; 2 out of 29 in total);
    • Birmingham was ranked 24/24 in terms of the percentage of female members of Russell Group Councils (or equivalent) for the academic year 2012-13 (83% male; 17% female);
      • Birmingham was ranked 18/24 in terms of the percentage of female members of Russell Group Executive Boards (or equivalent) for the academic year 2012-13 (77% male; 23% female);
        • Since this research was undertaken, the only female academic member of the University of Birmingham’s Executive Board has left the university. The current balance of UEB is 85% male and 15% female.

For the full report see here.

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