Helping you get to grips with the efficiency agenda

The Leadership Foundation is preparing a guide to help university governors get a better understanding of the efficiency agenda and of the responsibilities that it places on them. Author Simon Perks is keen to hear your views.

We all know that we are supposed to be getting more efficient. But what is efficiency? How can we measure it? What do governors need to do about it? And what does it all mean in the context of a modern higher education institution? These are just some of the questions to be addressed by the ‘Getting to Grips Guide to Efficiency’, which will be the latest in the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s series of guides for governors.

Aim of the guide

When it comes to efficiency, though, one size does not fit all. Initiatives at the sector level can challenge institutions, highlight opportunities for improvement and provide useful benchmarking data, but ultimately each institution needs to decide for itself what efficiency would look like and how it can best be achieved.

With this guide, we aim to help governors to ensure that their institutions are truly committed to understanding and engaging with the efficiency agenda to deliver a positive and proactive culture that sees the significance and benefit beyond just monetary value.

So in addition to investigating the concept of efficiency, looking at the history of the efficiency agenda and outlining the main compliance requirements, we are also keen to explore the more complex issues that institutions face when considering efficiency. And we would very much like to learn from their experiences to date.

How you can help

What does efficiency mean to you and your institution? How does it relate to the broader idea of value for money? What action have you taken to become more efficient? What has worked well? Where have you struggled? Can progress in improving efficiency be measured? Can it be compared across institutions? How can efficiency in the use of resources be demonstrated?

If you are a governor or a senior manager at a UK higher education institution and would be happy to share your thoughts, experiences or concerns regarding efficiency and value for money, please feel free to drop me a line at or to call me on 07903 523 839. It would be great to hear from you.

Simon Perks is researching and writing the Leadership Foundation’s ‘Getting to Grips Guide to Efficiency’. He is director of Sockmonkey Consulting, which provides consultancy and coaching services to organisations in the public, not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors.

Simon Perks
Founder and director of Sockmonkey Consulting