Episode 13: Not the Francis Maude management model, post-Covid car parking and the risks of new regulation

May 31, 2020, 02:18 PM
The 13th episode in the series of podcasts featuring University Registrars talking about stuff. This time Paul Greatrix talks to Rachel Sandby-Thomas, Registrar at the University of Warwick about a variety of current issues in higher education, many of them Covid-19 related. Rachel fills us in on her extensive and varied career as a lawyer in the civil service before she joined Warwick and describes how valuable this experience in Whitehall has been in her role, although she denies forcefully that Francis Maude has in any way influenced her leadership style. We discuss the many ways in which the pandemic has impacted university life from the novelty of online Council meetings to car parking benefits and how the response to the coronavirus has really brought the university community together with staff contributing their expertise and time in response to the crisis. The negative perception of universities in the public eye and in government and the expectation that significant strings will be attached to any support package are also explored. Finally we look at the possibility of mergers - which are very far from being a silver bullet - the likely resurgence of FE and the skills agenda and the fact that the crisis has highlighted the need for a complete rethink of the current higher education model in England.