Universities are continually working hard to improve all aspects of their institutions by:
All this means that our universities can remain at the top in what is a global competition. It enables them to invest in the very best people, world-class facilities, cutting-edge technology, and in providing the best possible experience to their students during their time at university.
To evidence the success of universities in delivering value for money to students, government and wider society
To support universities to work more efficiently and to deliver value for money by identifying and sharing best practice
To set a challenging agenda for universities to ensure that they continue to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible
Evidencing efficiency and value for money
Efficiency and Modernisation Task Group
We recognise that our world-class university system is underpinned by significant public investment – and, increasingly, investment by students. As such, it is important to ensure that public funding and graduate contributions are used as effectively as possible.
Therefore, in collaboration with other sector and government agencies, we work with universities to help them demonstrate that efficiency, effectiveness and value for money is at the heart of how they operate.
Over the next spending review period universities will:
The Efficiency and Modernisation Task Group was set up by Universities UK in September 2010 to identify ways in which institutions could work more efficiently. Led by Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, the group has produced a series of reports which demonstrate the higher education sector's continued commitment to ensuring value for money.
Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education (2011)
'Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education' progress report (2013)
Efficiency, effectiveness and value for money (2015)
Efficiency, effectiveness and value for money: summary (2015)
Each report makes recommendations for next steps, initiating a number of ongoing sector-led activities and services, and has been supported by a series of events and conferences.
Efficiency Exchange is a platform provided by Universities UK and Jisc for discovering and sharing knowledge about efficiency and effectiveness in higher education. It shares information sourced from a network of contributors across the higher education sector.
Keep up to date at
Procurement UK brings together procurement experts from across the higher education, public and private sectors.
The group is chaired by Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton, and is coordinated by Universities UK. It sets the strategic direction for higher education procurement across the UK and monitors and reports progress – most notably, significant progress against a target of 30% collaborative purchasing.
More information is available on the
Efficiency Exchange procurement pages.
Universities need access to specialised equipment, facilities and people to support cutting-edge research, along with core, day-to-day assets such as lecture halls and computing centres.
Sharing these assets maximises the benefits that can be realised from public investment in science and research. These benefits go beyond achieving value for money through maximising shared use, important though that is. Asset sharing also fosters multi-disciplinary collaboration, thereby improving the quality of UK science and research as well as its efficiency.
Building on our 2015
Efficiency, effectiveness and value for money report, we are working with partners to support greater levels of asset-sharing and utilisation across the sector, by focusing on four areas:
Culture and academic practice
Policy frameworks and incentives
Evidencing, accountability and impact
Infrastructure and support mechanisms
We are partners in
USTREAM (Universities for Strategic, Efficient and Autonomous Management), a project focused on promoting efficiencies in higher education systems across Europe. The project is coordinated by the
European University Association and includes the
Irish Universities Association and the
Central European University.
The project will run for three years from January 2016. It presents an opportunity for Universities UK to promote and share the experience and success of the UK higher education sector's efficiency agenda, and to learn from the experience of our European counterparts.