Always Look on the Bright Side of Life:Managing in Challenging Times Jeremy Atkinson Director of Learning and Corporate Support Services University of Glamorgan
“Pessimist : one who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both” (Oscar Wilde) Or, in other words, let’s have a good wallow!
‘For our Future’ priorities Widening access to higher education Student experience Skills Supporting a buoyant economy through innovation and engagement activities Strengthening research performance Encouraging the development of collaboration in regions in order to strengthen support for local learning and employers (“adapt or die”)
HEFCW Funding Changes In year reduction of 4% in 2010/11 Overall sector funding for Teaching and Research in 2011/12 is 5.1% below that for 2010/11 Further budget reductions - 3.6% in 2012/13? - 0.03% in 2013/14? Uncertain impact of student fee changes, eg total loss of teaching grant over time?
Funding comparisons 2010/11 to 2011/12 Glamorgan - 7.86% Aberystwyth - 6.27% Bangor - 7.11% Cardiff - 2.99% Trinity Saint David - 8.87% Swansea - 4.09% UWIC - 7.70% Newport - 6.42% Glyndwr - 7.72% Swansea Metropolitan + 1.06% Open University in Wales + 2.09%
Capital funding Changes Single DCELLS capital budget from 2011/12 DCELLS indicative capital budgets : 2011/12 : reduction of 5.5% 2012/13 : reduction of 6.9% 2013/14 : reduction of 10.9%
What are Finance Directors (and VCs) thinking about? Surplus/deficit on continuing operations (as % of income) Staff costs as % of income Income per academic FTE Net liquidity as number of days expenditure Benchmarking against other institutions
HEFCE : Universities at Risk “Sizeable proportion of English universities face a tough transition to the new funding arrangements” “At higher risk” institutions “face threats to sustainability” Serious question marks over the use of funds or have “materially ineffective risk management, control or governance” Reported problems at Cumbria, Gloucestershire and London Metropolitan University
Some key issues UK : Impact of more universities than expected charging £9k UK : Loss of students, particularly from low income families? Wales : Recruitment of students from outside Wales New providers, eg from private sector Role of FE Colleges
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” (Winston Churchill during World War II) Let’s be positive – there are no problems, only challenges and opportunities etc!
Some ‘opportunities’ Students paying more will expect more for their money Increased emphasis on NSS results More focus on needs of undergraduates? ‘Salami slicing’ v. Argument for more resources in some areas
What should institutions be doing? Major rethink of strategy plans – USPs, KPIs, CSFs etc Marketing – cooperation v competition Review of academic portfolio Creating an attractive environment Enhancing income Removing duplication and waste Reducing operating costs
What should we be doing? Responding to institutional plans and priorities Don’t underestimate ourselves – strong tradition of adapting, changing, evolution and revolution, eg convergence, e-resources, self service Redefining services for a different age – provision of quality services with significantly less resources Making ourselves indispensible – individually and collectively Advocacy and lobbying - students and staff Promoting the value of libraries Basing service provision on evidence
Key factors for Libraries (1) Doing things differently – leadership and management challenges at all levels Quality of service from student perspective Income generation Reduction of costs – waste and duplication Improvement in effectiveness – working ‘lean’ and ‘smart’
Key Factors for Libraries (2) Use of technology Procurement Shared services – internally / externally Outsourcing? Collaboration – removing silos internally and externally
Use of technology Technology to gain student interest and encourage applications Innovative approaches and use that is integrated and sophisticated (but less time and resource to innovate) Use to support widening participation Use to support collaboration and shared services
Key role for WHELF Building on existing and potential collaboration : Access arrangements Welsh Repository Network E-books / E-journals Staff development Digitisation Sharing expertise, eg copyright, disability support Library Management Systems
Colloquium Themes Value/impact of libraries Information literacy Working in the ‘community’ Use of technology – mobile devices, chat enquiry services Collaboration – WHEEL and North Wales