Last week, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) announced its equality and diversity advisory panel membership. I was taken aback to find that the panel of eight consisted of seven white members. It feels at odds with its stated focus on dealing transparently with issues of equity in the Research Excellence Framework funding allocations.

On its website in March 2017, Hefce noted that the previous equality and diversity panel had “expressed disappointment” that limited progress had been made since the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise towards increasing diversity in the membership of the Ref panel, which judges the ratings that research submissions are awarded. Hefce added that “enhancing panel representativeness” will be one of the issues the new equality and diversity panel will address. But three years on this appears not to be the case….more