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Education law firm VWV improves support of HE

VWV's Legal & Governance survey aims to help HEIs develop their response to legal and governance issues

Posted by Charley Rogers | July 18, 2017 | Facilities

With the aim of improving its service and providing enhanced support to the HE sector, leading education law firm VWV recently asked key individuals within the sector to complete its Legal & Governance survey.  VWV is keen to share the results to help HEIs develop their response to legal and governance issues.

The regulatory burden on the HE sector has increased significantly over recent years and VWV wished to ascertain how HEIs are responding to these challenges.

With more than half of HEIs estimating that they were investing upwards of 50% more resources on such issues compared to five years ago, it is clear from the survey that legal and regulatory issues are consuming ever-increasing resources.

This trend seems set to continue, with HEIs indicating that they expect to operate within an increasingly complex regulatory framework, with increased oversight by external bodies, and they want to be able to have more flexible and agile governance structures to respond to these changes.

Those who responded were generally confident about their compliance with the legal, regulatory and governance framework but identified cyber security and environmental issues as areas in which confidence levels are lower.

The main constraining factor for implementing improvement is lack of time and the most common solutions identified for managing the risk were training, raising awareness, communication, more resources and internal and external legal advice.

There is no evidence of complacency. HEIs recognise the potential implications of failing to get these issues right, primarily reputational and financial risk. The biggest areas of risk identified were UK visas and immigration, cyber security and data protection/information management.

The main constraining factor for implementing improvement is lack of time and the most common solutions identified for managing the risk were training, raising awareness, communication, more resources and internal and external legal advice.

In response to the need to keep up to date with changes in the law and best practice, VWV has developed the online resource OnStream. This was launched at this year's LUPC/SUPC and UHR conferences and generated a lot of interest. Universities and HE institutions have free access to OnStream, which is designed to bring together in one place legal solutions, know-how and guidance for HEIs to access at a time they choose.  Here you can also access the full detailed responses to the survey.

To find out more, view What is OnStream? 

If you have further questions on the survey results, wish to discuss your legal and governance issues, or want to find out more about OnStream, please contact VWV Partner Jane Byford in our Higher Education team directly on 0121 227 3712.

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