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Wonkhe Power List 2017 – The results

The Wonkhe Power List 2017 has just been unveiled and it certainly makes for interesting reading. The third edition of the list represents the top 50 movers and shakers in UK higher education today and we always anticipate the comments and debate that comes with its launch. Education Cubed was proud to sponsor this year’s list – find out what our managing director, Jo Redfern, had to say about some of those people who made it into the top 50 here.

Michael Barber, the chair of the new higher education regulator, the Office for Students, made it to the number one spot, making him Wonkhe’s most powerful person in higher education in 2017. The list includes a broad selection of professionals who work in the sector: decision makers, policy makers, journalists, lobbyists, politicians and vice chancellors are all on there. These are the individuals who are setting the agenda and shaping the future of higher education, and what a year it’s been for higher education.

Education Cubed managing director, Jo Redfern, said, ‘We are delighted to support the Wonkhe Power List this year. It’s really interesting to see how the movers and shakers on this year’s list reflect the changes in the landscape of higher education.

‘I’m fascinated about the people at the top of this year’s table. We see a completely new sector regulatory team, in two new organisations, represented in three of the top four slots. We know – I think – how to ‘read’ HEFCE by this point, but what will the tenor of communications from Nicola Dandridge and Michael Barber be? Only time will tell.’

Wonkhe is a leading voice when it comes to poilicy, people and politics in higher education and is on a mission to improve policymaking in the sector whilst engaging with those working in or around universities. A well-respected source of information and comment, the launch of its annual Power List cements its reputation in higher education circles.

Mark Leach, Wonkhe’s founder and editor, said, ‘For the first time, we have a bonafide wonk at the top, and genuine policy expertise seems to have replaced political office as a path to the head of the power table. If people had enough of experts in 2016, a year on sees experts needed more than ever. A new set of actors in key sector roles has seen appointments made on the basis of capability rather than PR. As a group who like to see higher education taken seriously, this is to be welcomed.’

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