Discover and share good practice for smarter working universities

Car lights in a tunnel at night

How we are speeding up the PhD admission process at Brunel

Postgraduate admissions at Brunel University London have plunged by 48% since 2013/14 so Brunel took action to change how prospective PhD students apply. Jeung Lee says their new process should cut application times by over 50%.
Smiley face made out of paperclips

Slack: the social media that’s suitable for work?

Academia and social media are slowly making friends. Some institutions are even finding it's making collaboration more efficient - and fun - by improving communication. Mike Ewen from the University of Hull shares the story of how a small group of social media enthusiasts in East Yorkshire has spawned a UK-wide collaboration network.

How to convince the process mapping sceptics

Encouraging people to try different ways of working is a big problem for many HE institutions. While taking advantage of a powerful resource, the continuous improvement team at the University of Winchester also learned some valuable lessons about bringing reluctant staff on board.

Smart training will help avoid data protection fines

To help Scotland's universities avoid stiff fines for breaching data protection laws, free online training modules have been updated to meet new rules. Diana Watt from Edinburgh Napier University explains why it's efficient and will help reduce duplication of effort.
Data capture sheet

Five enhancements to help universities evidence the benefits of change

Following publication of their guide to evidencing the benefits of business process improvement in higher education, the business improvement team at the University of Strathclyde have responded to users’ feedback with an updated version. Nicola Cairns shares some new insights gained from collaborating with colleagues across the sector.

We are lean, with a twist

Lean seeks to "design out" overburden, inconsistency, and waste in operational processes, but in higher education it is not a rigid concept. The University of Strathclyde embraces lean's respect for people and continuous improvement ethos, but with an added emphasis on data and evidence, as Heather Lawrence explains.
University College Dublin is trialling lean

UCD Agile: the start of a continuous improvement journey

University College Dublin (UCD) is seeking to weave continuous improvement into the fabric of the university. Its director of agile, Michael Sinnott explains the university’s approach.
Sandra Heidinger, Director, Human Resources, University of Strathclyde

Sandra Heidinger: Measuring up at Strathclyde

With a clutch of awards for its business process improvement work, the University of Strathclyde’s achievements are getting UK-wide recognition. The university’s HR director Sandra Heidinger talks to Rosie Niven about how empowering staff is the key to organisational success.

Share your views on process improvement capability in higher education

Two authors collaborating on a Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) guide to Establishing Process Improvement Capability in Higher Education have launched a survey to gather data for the project. Rachel McAssey and Steve Yorkstone, who are producing the guide as part of the UCISA Project and Change Management Group's work, are inviting colleagues to take part and will be seeking more contributions later in the project.

Is the diversity of terminology used by HE change practitioners diluting our shared goals?

A sector-wide survey was launched in April by the University of Strathclyde's Business Improvement Team to capture feedback on how its Guide to Evidencing the Benefits of Business Process Improvement in Higher Education has enhanced their delivery of change initiatives and how the guide could be improved. Nicola Cairns shares her insight into some of the survey findings.