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New Chief Executive to lead university and college funding in Scotland


7 Apr 2014

Laurence Howells has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

Laurence will lead SFC at an unprecedented time of change and reform. The new Chief Executive’s role will be considerably different from the past in order to manage both the new opportunities and new challenges within further and higher education.

And he will continue to forge strong and effective relationships with colleges, universities and the many other organisations that share the Scottish Government’s aims of boosting jobs and growth and improving life chances.

Laurence will also focus on ensuring SFC’s strategic objectives of widening access; increasing skills and employability; and encouraging research, innovation and international competitiveness.

Laurence Howells said: “I’m obviously thrilled to have been appointed as Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council.

“Our ambition is to help make Scotland one of the most dynamic and creative places in the world - and the best place to study if you are, or want to be, a college or 2 university student. I want SFC to be about partnerships; partnerships that share creativity, responsibility and resources and that channel everyone’s commitment and enthusiasm for education to the benefit of learners, businesses and communities.” Professor Alice Brown, Chair of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “This is an exciting time for further and higher education in Scotland and I’m delighted that Laurence has agreed to accept the role as our new Chief Executive.

“At the Scottish Funding Council we have an important job ahead of us to make real differences in widening access, skills and employability and in supporting world-class research that enriches Scotland’s economy and public services.

“The Funding Council, colleges and universities and most importantly learners and employers will benefit enormously from Laurence’s talents, experience and expertise. I am very much looking forward to working with him.

Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning said: “I am very pleased to hear of Laurence’s appointment on a permanent basis. He has played an important part in taking forward our reforms of post-16 learning, and I look forward to working with him and Professor Brown as the SFC continues to realise this Government’s ambition to put learners at the centre.”