February 2015 sees the launch of a report led by Professor Sir Ian Diamond highlighting examples of efficiency in higher education. In the first in a series of blogposts that Efficiency Exchange will run ahead of the launch, Sir Ian emphasises the need to build on previous work towards the goal of creating smarter, stronger universities.
The notion of the student as a consumer is one that is gaining popularity. But NUS vice president (higher education) Megan Dunn says universities need to start seeing students as full members of their community who should play an active role in it, rather than customers, easily impressed by shiny new buildings.
The shared services delivery partner of Falmouth University and the University of Exeter is starting work on an exciting new project to measure, analyse and model the costs and benefits of collaboration between UK higher education institutions. Project manager Simon Perks tells us more.
Universities seeking ever higher standards in their procurement are benefiting from a comprehensive measuring tool. Susan Wright, head of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium, explains how the Procurement Maturity Assessment programme has inspired real changes in English HEIs.
Collaboration has led to efficiencies in areas such as procurement and shared services, but it can be a challenge to embed this culture. The University of Nottingham’s Paul Greatrix shares his experiences of a successful collaboration with the University of Birmingham.
Research into space efficiency in higher education suggests that universities have successfully adapted buildings to accommodate current patterns of working. Sian Kilner, who helped to carry out the research, says space management will become even more vital as cash to invest in redeveloping universities reduces.
Analysis of higher education staff data provides insights into how university workforces are evolving to ensure student achievement and satisfaction, as well as research and teaching excellence, says Amy Norton of Hefce.
Universities are this nation’s success story and their enduring value is something to be celebrated, says Universities UK president Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, reflecting on how the sector nurtures learning and invention while pursuing value for money.