General Assembly

 

GA07-M1

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Minutes of the meeting of General Assembly held on 14 March 2007

 

 

Present: 19 members signed the attendance list.

 

1. Minutes

The Minutes of the sixty-eighth meeting of the General Assembly held on 16 March 2005 were accepted as a true record.

 

2. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

 

3. Vice-Chancellor’s Report

The Vice-Chancellor began her report by commenting on the incident that took place in the Students’ Union on 10th March 2007. The Vice-Chancellor thanked all of those involved in the response to these events.

 

The Vice-Chancellor continued with an update on the University Strategy, noting that the high level University Strategy had been approved by Council in December 2006 and that detailed implementation plans would be presented to Council in July 2007.

 

It was noted that the Strategy continued to build on the University’s distinctive strengths; the student experience, employer engagement, first rate research, its links with industry, world class sport, the campus and its location and the mutual respect across staff and student groups.

 

The vision for 2016 is for Loughborough University to be internationally recognised – providing an international student experience suited to a global workplace. Teaching, Research and Enterprise would continue to be valued and rewarded.

 

It is important that both staff and students feel part of the new strategy, and that we continue to understand what makes Loughborough University ‘great’.

 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor then reported further on the Research, Teaching and Learning Enterprise Strategy, emphasising the importance of synergistic activities. He commented on the changing context of higher education, highlighting the issues of tuition fees, widening participation, employer engagement and an increasingly trans-global sector in which all students were now international.

 

Action points were then outlined, focusing on the opportunities to develop new subject areas as well further investment into the campus.

 

The importance of research in the context of income to the University was stressed, with reference made to the importance of the upcoming 2008 RAE. It was also noted that increased levels of income were being generated through links to industry.

 

It was noted that the long term aim is for Loughborough to be in the top ten of UK research intensive universities. A Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise has now been appointed and there continues to be further development of the Science Park. It was reported that new posts have been created to increase excellence in the areas of Human Resources, Marketing and Communication and IT.

 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor then stressed the need to continually review how we achieve the Strategy. Examples were given of further development in the campus including the East Park Development, the Science Park Development and the Sports Technology Institute.

In response to a question from a member, it was noted that long term development and planning would continue to improve the look of the campus.

 

The Vice-Chancellor invited comments regarding the Strategy to either senior management or Fidelma Hannah.

 

4. University Financial Position

The Finance Director presented the University’s current financial position.

 

It was noted that a 5.9 million surplus had been generated during the previous financial year, representing 3.55% of total income. Pay costs have increased by 5.6% before FRS17 adjustments. The sale of houses on Borrowdale Way had contributed to the exceptional profit.

 

It was reported that there had been an 18.4 million reduction in gross debt, as part of debt restructuring, and there had been a 2.6% reduction in interest costs. It was also noted that there had been a 32.9 million investment in fixed assets which had contributed to an improvement of the campus.

 

The Vice-Chancellor noted that the University held a strong financial position within the sector.

 

The Finance Director confirmed that the HEFCE settlement for the 2007/08 academic year had been published and would be made available to members of General Assembly.

 

A number of questions were raised regarding both investments on campus buildings and the off campus housing. It was noted that full and frank discussions were held on these issues by the Estates Management Committee.

 

5. Any Other Business

There were no other items of business.

 

6. Date of Next Meeting

To be confirmed.

 

 

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Author: M Lister

Date: 15 March 2007

Copyright Loughborough University.