Association of University Directors of Estates


Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education: UUK report

Released on 20/09/2011

Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education: A report by the Universities UK Efficiency and Modernisation Task Group    

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A report by the Efficiency and Modernisation Task Group of Universities UK, Chaired by Professor Ian Diamond (Aberdeen).   The report includes 17 recommendations and its key findings are summarised below.

Derry Caleb, Chair of AUDE, was a member of the Task Group.  

Effectiveness, efficiency and value for money are central concerns for the higher education sector. While funding models across the UK vary, the pressure to proactively manage costs and demonstrate value for money will nonetheless be present in equal measure across the higher education sector.  

Key findings include:  

  • There is much evidence of good practice in the sector, but it needs better dissemination.
  • Information on the costs of operational activities within higher education needs to improve.
  • Benchmarking is a vital tool for driving efficiency. Current practice is piecemeal and fragmented and a more strategic national framework is proposed.
  • Simplifying, streamlining and improving internal processes needs to be a priority for all institutions.
  • Building on prior simplification and standardisation, more can be done to develop shared services, but VAT remains a barrier.
  • There is significant potential for outsourcing and the development of strategic relationships with the private sector to deliver services.
  • A more strategic coordination of higher education procurement at the national level is needed.
  • There are a number of areas where regulatory reform can help reduce costs associated with compliance and facilitate increased efficiency.

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