HE is one of most important economic sectors, very effective in our contribution to the National Economy. Nice infographic:
Education transforms lives and promotes social cohesion. We are a very effective sector, but have also to be efficient.
In the last five years there have been a number of changes. HE has been focussed on increasing efficiency and value for money. Capital fudging has reduced enormously but investment by Universities has been maintained,The tuition fee value has been eroded in England, efficiency and cost saving is mandated in other parts of the UK, the science and research budget has had a c£600m real term reduction.
We are faced with challenges, but this is not new. We have had to meet efficiency targets over the last 10 years, and these have all been met. For example, over £435m has been saved between 2011 and 2014 in procurement efficiency. Pay growth has been in line with public and private sectors. Huge savings also made in IT ( have they?).
Efficiencies also made in shared services and estates
Gold star to N8 universities who have done magnificent things in equipment sharing
What's the future?
Unprotected departments in government are being told to model cuts of 25% to 40%. BIS is biggest unprotected department. Clear sense that there will be big changes in BIS.
Areas we need to look at include (all in last Diamond report):
- Maintaining a high quality workforce.
- Delivering more value from our university estate. Will be more estate sharing. Need to utilise space better.
- Deliver a world class and sustainable research base. Need to make a robust case for greater investment in the research base.
- Harness the benefits of asset sharing.
- Unlock the value of higher education data. Huge opportunity in open data. Need to facilitate and stimulate greater use of open data.
- Collaborate! Need more collaboration and sharing of good practice.
It is imperative that we demonstrate what we are doing and evidence our success
UUK, HEFCE RCUK and professional bodies must work together to develop a framework.