Office for Students - Student Experience Board Member

Body: Office for Students
Appointing Department: Department for Education
Sector: Education
Location: London and Bristol
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £9,180 per annum
Time Requirements: 20 Days per annum


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

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Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Education invites applications for appointment to the Office for Students (OfS), which was legally established on 1 January 2018 and began full operation in April 2018.


Creating the OfS is a central tenet of our reforms contained in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. The OfS will combine the existing regulatory functions of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). It will have the necessary powers to regulate the higher education sector, by attaching initial and ongoing regulatory conditions to providers within the system. Its Board membership reflects the diversity of the higher education system and the beneficiaries of higher education, including students and employers. The Board draws on the expertise of individuals with experience of promoting choice for consumers, managing a regulatory system, and robust financial control


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.


Non-Executive Directors play a key role in shaping OfS strategic direction and supporting the reform programme. The OfS Board members will be responsible for a wide range of activities including oversight for corporate strategy; reviewing risks, benefits and monitoring outcomes against plans; and being responsible for the stewardship of public funds.


It is important to attract the highest quality candidates who have the overall strategic level and wide ranging knowledge, skills and experience to contribute to the work of the Board. Members of the Board will be appointed by the Secretary of State, and will be selected based on suitable background, experience and personal profile to lead the establishment of the OfS and work positively with the Government to implement the reforms.


Student interests are at the heart of our reforms and it is essential that the student perspective is represented in the governance of the OfS. With this in mind, the primary legislation sets out the requirement for OfS members to (between them) have experience of representing or promoting the interests of individual students, or students generally, on higher education courses. This is a responsibility of the Board as a whole.


We are seeking to appoint one Board member with the right specific skills and experience to help strengthen the overall ability of the OfS Board to discharge this duty. This person must have experience of representing or promoting the interests of individual students, or students generally, on higher education courses. This Board member will take a lead responsibility for ensuring that the OfS Board oversees the embedding of student engagement within the culture and structure of the organisation. It is crucial that the Board member appointed can reach out to and act on behalf of England’s diverse student population.


The OfS has established a student panel of 13 current, recent and prospective students. The student interest board member will sit on the student panel and be expected to act as the lynchpin between the panel and the OfS board. The panel will conduct a range of activity proactively and communicate the results of its activity to the board. Equally, the panel will be able to respond to the board where the board asks the panel to offer a student perspective on issues.


The key responsibilities of Board members will be to:

  1. Play a prominent role in the formative stages of the OfS, working closely with the Chair of the Board.
  2. Work with the Chair, the Chief Executive, the Department for Education, and key stakeholders to set a strategic direction for the OfS and oversee the creation of a working model for the new organisation.
  3. Work with the Department for Education to set a framework for governance and delegation of responsibilities to deliver the OfS objectives within the overall framework for government policy.
  4. Work with the Chair to put in place and operate appropriate assurance processes in line with guidance and best practice for public bodies. This will include:
    • managing the risks relating to OfS’ work
    • providing constructive challenge to ensure all functions are carried out efficiently and effectively, and
    • monitoring the strategic performance and budget spend of the organisation, ensuring that it delivers services in line with the targets set by the Board.
  5. Help ensure the perspectives of relevant stakeholders are able to inform the strategic leadership of the OfS and ensure that the interests of students are at the core of what the OfS does.


Person Specification

Our current campaign is designed to ensure the OfS Board has the right skills and experience to support putting the student interest at the centre of what the OfS does. Board members are formally responsible, through the Chair, to the Secretary of State.

It is essential that you provide in your application, to the best of your ability, evidence and proven examples in each of the following selection criteria below. These responses will be further developed and discussed with those candidates invited for interview.


Essential Criteria: 

  • Have recent experience of representing the interests of students.
  • Ability to build constructive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to develop and drive forward a clear and strategic vision for the organisation.
  • Genuine interest in contributing to the delivery of the Government’s priorities for higher education, including for example, widening access and participation, value for money, quality and choice, the student experience, protecting freedom of speech and the effective running of the OfS.
  • The ability to contribute, influence and inspire confidence with a wide range of stakeholders both in formal environments (such as Board meetings) and in less formal environments (such as one-to-one meetings with Executives).
  • Candidates should be able to demonstrate good judgement and high levels of integrity. This as part of a commitment to the seven principles of conduct in public life (
  • An engaging and collaborative working style together with adaptability.


Desirable Criteria: 

  • A successful candidate will demonstrate good strategic thinking and strong intellectual capability.
  • An understanding of financial and corporate governance at a strategic level and experience of leading change within an organisation.


We particularly welcome applications from female, disabled, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) candidates who meet the specifications above.


Additional Information


How to Apply

We will rely on the information you provide on your CV and supporting statement to assess whether you have the experience required at the appropriate level. Please ensure that you provide written evidence to support how you meet all of the relevant criteria, which are identified in the role profile.


Please submit the following documents by email to:

  1. A Covering Letter
  2. A CV
  3. Candidate Application Form
  4. Diversity form

Please include the vacancy title in the subject box. Please submit your applications documents as separate attachments. We cannot consider incomplete or partially submitted applications.

Alternatively, you can send your application via post to:

HR, Public Appointments

Ground Floor

Bishopsgate House





Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt when sending by email and post.

Please note, feedback will not be provided unless applicants are unsuccessful at interview.


Diversity Monitoring Form
Candidate-Application Form
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