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Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning agreed with Universities Scotland in November 2007 to establish a Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities, chaired jointly by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and the Convener of Universities Scotland, Sir Muir Russell.

The successful conclusion of the Taskforce's work was marked in November 2008 by the publication of four documents:



Members of the Taskforce are:

  • Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Sir Muir Russell, Convener of Universities Scotland and Principal of University of Glasgow
  • Sir Tim O'Shea, Principal of University of Edinburgh
  • Bernard King, Principal of University of Abertay Dundee
  • Pamela Gillies, Principal of Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Seona Reid, Director of Glasgow School of Art
  • David Caldwell, Director of Universities Scotland
  • John McClelland, Chair of Scottish Funding Council
  • Mark Batho, Director of Lifelong Learning, Scottish Government
  • Stephen Kerr, Head of Higher Education and Learner Support Division, Scottish Government
  • Stephen Noon, Special Adviser


The Taskforce agreed in December 2007 that their remit would be to consider:

  • how to optimise and shape the contribution which the Scottish university sector can make during the next 20 years to the Scottish economy, to Scottish culture and society, and to the political priorities of the Scottish Government
  • what opportunities can be created and what barriers will need to be overcome to achieve that
  • what resources will be needed and how they will be provided


The Taskforce met between December 2007 and September 2008.