Established to promote excellence in research and teaching. To enhance student and staff experience within our universities and to set the agenda for higher education.


Established in 1994, the Group brings together eleven internationally renowned, research-intensive universities. The Group provides a central vehicle to help members promote their common interests in higher education, respond efficiently to key policy issues, and share best methods and practice.

Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.
Working as a group, we respect and support our members' particular traits and traditions. We're constantly looking for ways to apply our shared and individual strengths to meet the needs of students and staff, employers and industry, research councils, government agencies and all other interested parties.

Governance and Management

The 1994 Group is led by a Board made up of the heads of member institutions, which meets regularly. In addition, there is an annual residential conference, where longer term strategic issues are considered.

The Chair is elected by Board members for a three-year term of office. Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of University of Sussex, is Chair until 31 July 2015. He acts as the national spokesperson for the Group, representing its interests where a voice is needed.

The Chair's Advisory Group is elected from the Board for a three-year period. CAG members assist the Chair in the development of policy, and have a key role in building relationships with Government, funding bodies, and HE stakeholder organisation.


The Executive Director, Alex Bols, has central responsibility for co-ordinating all levels of Group activity and promoting the Group externally.

The Director of Research, Dr Robert Kaye, is responsible for guiding the research output, including the production of policy papers, research reports and consultation responses.

The Communications Officer, Sally Pickering, works on the development and implementation of a communications strategy and external relations activities to build on the increasing profile of the 1994 Group.

The Office Manager, Maria Gordon, acts as a personal assistant to the Directors, playing a key role in the smooth running of the organisation, responsible for office systems and acting as a first point of contact for general external enquiries.

In addition to permanent staff, the office has two paid, graduate interns. The research intern, Dr Rosalyn Gregory, assists with policy development, research and data analysis. The communications intern, Jordan Greenaway, supports stakeholder engagement, external relations, and the Group's digital strategy.

Policy Groups

Below Board level, the Group has three policy groups. These are: Research and Enterprise; Student Experience; and Strategic Planning and Resources. The policy groups provide an essential avenue through which the group can strengthen inter-institutional activity and provide a forum for the development of longer-term policy positions and consultation responses.

Officer level groups

There are a number of informal networking groups operating below Board level (for example, registrars, planning directors, comms directors, HR directors, development directors and librarians). Their members believe that there is added value to be achieved by the exchange and development of best practice at group level.