Students as partners is the radical antithesis of the consumerist mind-set in higher education. Yet students have traditionally been absent from one key arena of academia: publishing. Ruth Healey, from University of Chester with co-authors Mick Healey, from University of Gloucestershire and Anthony Cliffe from Liverpool John Moores University, discuss The International Journal for Students as Partners which seeks to address this absence through pairing academic and student co-editors for all its sections.
Collaborative procurement on construction for universities in the north east of England has been made easier with a £750m framework agreement, the first of its scale in the UK. Greg Barnes, who worked on the agreement for the North Eastern Universities Procurement Consortium (NEUPC), describes its benefits and lessons learned while putting it together.
Degree fraud is an international problem but Britain is the European capital for bogus universities with twice as many fake institutions as genuine ones, and more appearing online daily. The problem is compounded by the increasing number of degree mills who charge anything from £10 upwards for a fake certificate.
Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) has appointed Simon Hill to the role of interim head in advance of a review that will examine how SUPC and London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) can work more closely together. Hill, who has experience of change management in the private and not for profit sectors, starts in September at SUPC, which has agreed a collaboration project brief with LUPC outlining background and objectives for the review.
More applications are emerging for blockchain - a formerly obscure technology that underpins the digital currency Bitcoin. Nick Petford, chair of the Procurement UK forum and vice chancellor of the University of Northampton, is excited about its potential for procurement.
SUPC has joined with the world-wide monitoring organisation Electronics Watch which assists public sector buyers to meet their responsibility to protect the labour rights of workers in their global electronics supply chains more effectively, and less expensively, than any single public sector buyer could accomplish on its own.
Review of catering provision as part of a corporate strategy to move to more sustainable sourcing and increased support for SME, local and BME suppliers.
Prior to 2011, LUPC's cleaning and security services were tendered separately. But this time round some members of the consortium, particularly smaller ones wanted there to be scope for the two services to be joined. The changes resulted in savings and a host of other benefits, as illustrated by the Institute of Education.
Durham University, in partnership with one of its cleaning suppliers, has engaged in innovative research to meet its corporate social responsibility goals, support the environment and achieve significant efficiencies at the same time.