Friday, 7 December 2012

A new JISC and Christmas trimmings

Had a good meeting/lunch this week with a colleague from SHU and JANET. Interesting to hear about the changes happening in JISC as it moves to being a new legal entity. It's now a registered as an independent charity, owned by the Association of Colleges (AoC), GuildHE and Universities UK (UUK). JANET and JISC Collections have come together to form a wholly owned subsidiary company of JISC, and a Board of Trustees has been appointed.  Their ambitions for the future are:

1. Innovation for further education, higher education and skills - lead the way in technology aided learning, product development and new services to keep the education sector ahead of the game at the forefront of international practice 

 2. Support research at the highest level - deliver against the needs of researchers, providing core infrastructure services and innovation support 

3. A fast and powerful network - continue to supply a strong and reliable network to education and research organisations 

4. Work in closer collaboration - continue to better understand and deliver against the needs of our customers and users, to ensure a positive student experience and skills transferable to the workplace 

5. Business as usual - continue to provide, those highly valued and used services and deliver support, through networks such as our Regional Support Centres, who supported over 2,000 providers in the UK last year 

6. Advice and guidance - be a trusted source of expertise for all our customers 

7. Drive digital enablement - drive the use of digital technologies to improve efficiency, save money, drive student engagement, benefit the student experience and support innovation

 8. Offer services on a large scale - provide services for universities and colleges which they are unable to implement individually.

So, it will be interesting to see how they move forward with these over the next few months.

Also this week I gave a presentation to the launch event of our latest Sheffield Leader 2  cohort on what its like being a senior leader in a University and the challenges we face. Unluckily I woke up this morning with a sore throat and the beginnings of a cold, luckily my voice held out till the end! I covered a number of things - challenges we face in the University created by changes in government policy, recruitment, international students affected by UKBA changes, postgraduate funding and the need to be more efficient. Then I covered challenges faced specifically by us in CiCS - consumerisation, mobility, BYOD, customer expectations, 24*7 services, carbon footprint, information security - ran out of time so stopped there. So many challenges, so little time.

The other priority thing tackled this week was the annual Christmas trimming up of the offices. I thought my Christmas trees were quite festive:

 until I went upstairs......

 Round of applause for the web and portal teams I think!

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