Non-Executive Directors at the Office for Students

Body: Office for Students
Appointing Department: Department for Education
Sector: Education
Location: N/A Bi-monthly board meetings usually take place in London (these are currently through remote access).
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: £9,180 per annum.
Time Requirements: The role has an expected time commitment of 20 days per annum.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    27/08/2021 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    15 and 19 October 2021

  • Announcement


Deadline extended to midday on Friday 27th August.


Assessment Panel

  • Hannah Sheehan Added 27/07/2021

    Panel Chair

    Director, HE Quality and COVID Directorate, Department for Education • Departmental Official

    Show more information

  • Mary Curnock Cook Added 27/07/2021

    Non-Executive Director, Student Loans Company • Independent Member

    Show more information

  • Lord James Wharton Added 27/07/2021

    Chair of the Office for Students • Representative of Organisation

    Show more information

Vacancy Description

OfS non-executive board members play a key role in shaping the OfS strategic direction and supporting the reform programme.

Board members are responsible for a wide range of activities including:

  • Oversight for corporate strategy
  • Reviewing risks, benefits and monitoring outcomes against plans
  • Being responsible for the stewardship of public funds.


It is essential that the board has the range of skills, knowledge and experience required to be the independent regulator of a sector which is of such strategic importance to the UK, including representation of the diversity of the higher education sector.


Person Specification


  •  Excellent strategic thinking capability, experience of setting a clear vision and demonstrating strategic leadership.
  • Strong commitment to the principles of real social mobility, levelling up, equality of opportunity and freedom of speech.
  • Ability to influence and inspire confidence with a wide range of stakeholders both in formal environments (such as board meetings) and less formal environments.
  • Good judgement and integrity, understanding of financial and corporate governance at a strategic level, as well as a commitment to the seven principles of conduct in public life


Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 the Secretary of State must have regard to the desirability of the OfS’ members (between them) having experience of the following:

  • Providing higher education on behalf of an English higher education provider or being responsible for the provision of higher education by such a provider
  • Employing graduates of higher education courses provided by higher education providers covering a range of academic and practical disciplines
  • Promoting choice for consumers or other service users, and encouraging competition, in industry or another sector of society
  • Creating, reviewing, implementing or managing a regulatory system in industry or another sector of society
  • Managing or auditing the financial affairs of an organisation and a broad range of the different types of English higher education providers.


We welcome applicants with expertise in one or more of these areas, as well as encouraging applicants more broadly with other educational experience, not just higher education, who are committed to educational excellence and equality of opportunity.

Applicants will be assessed against these criteria. If there is a high volume of applicants, preliminary sifting will be done using only the first criteria.

Additional Information


You will be reimbursed for any travel and subsistence expenses you necessarily incur while on official OfS business at the appropriate rate.


The post is not pensionable.


You will be expected to demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct.

The successful candidates will be asked to subscribe to a Code of Conduct for members of the board, and must confirm that you have a sound understanding of, and commitment, to the principles of public life.

OFS Non-Executive Directors candidate pack
Candidate-Application-Form_ OfS NEDs
Public-Appointments-Privacy-Notice OfS Neds
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