Lessons learned: in brief
All the ITF first phase projects highlighted the importance of generating shared understandings and perspectives amongst collaborating institutions. Even where process is the initial focus, it is the cultural and behavioural aspects of change, particularly in working practices and motivation, that are at the heart of transformation and remain difficult to tackle. This first phase of projects demonstrates that:
The successful projects from 2012 are:
Building Human Resource Capacity and Collaboration in UK Students’ Unions
NUS Students’ Union Charitable Services
Many unions don’t adopt a strategic approach to Human Resource Management and even unions with well-developed HR functions could be more effective and make efficiencies through greater collaboration and partnerships. This research concluded there was an overwhelming agreement from students’ unions that NUS should support unions to build HR capacity through both free and paid for services.
Delivering efficiency through effective benchmarking
This project focused on establishing a benchmarking framework for Higher Education with, at its core, the development of a common operational cost benchmarking taxonomy, rather than a sector-wide benchmarking service as originally envisaged. To facilitate greater coordination at sector level, UUK is working closely with HESA, AMHEC, the University of London and pilot HEIs to help create the conditions for development of a future Higher Education benchmarking service, which can use the taxonomy.
The Efficiency Exchange
The Efficiency Exchange was a two-year project which set out to help higher education professionals discover and share ideas, good practice and resources to advance efficiency and transformation within their institutions. The project goals were to develop a web-based resource that would help professionals to discover and share learning and case studies, provide intelligence on innovative developments in efficiency, engage with the sector to guide the development of the service, stimulate knowledge sharing in communities of practice, and support the creation of content.
Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (OCTEL)
Association for Learning Technology (ALT)
The Innovation and Transformation Fund set out to address four key challenges for funded projects, around transition and change, momentum of strategic challenges, the academic business of the sector and unlocking knowledge. Further, there was an emphasis on collaboration and effective transformational change. As this report shows, as a project ocTEL has worked to meet these objectives.
Strategic sourcing in UK HEIs: Assessing the Options
University of the West of England, Bristol
This report outlines the findings of a research study investigating the sourcing strategies and practices of UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The project delivered a suite of tools and practical guidance on outsourcing decisions throughout the lifecycle from concept and business case to contract management.
The Higher Education Procurement Academy
British Universities Finance Directors Group (Bufdg)
This project has delivered a sustainable programme and support structure for procurement professionals in higher education and a resource that is freely available to colleagues working in procurement at all levels in Higher Education.
Procurement Maturity Assessments (PMA) for all English HEIs
Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC)
The PMA is an independent detailed assessment of an institution’s procurement that provides a bespoke action plan for improvement, a baseline to measure improvements as well as a benchmark with similar institutions. These project aims were to have at least 90% of English HEIs undertake a PMA within the first year and thereafter at least 70% of these HEIs will undertake an annual re-assessment.
Student Advisory Model (SAM)
The Student Advisory Model (SAM) was a project originally conceptualised to provide a virtual one-stop-shop student support and advisory service for Higher Education students.
A Transferrable Model for Academic Workload Management and TRAC Reporting
University of the West of England, Bristol
The aims of the project as set out in the original proposal were: ‘to make available to the sector a transferrable model for the allocation and management of academic staff time across the full range of activities. The model will also generate data required for TRAC monitoring purposes’.