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HERO
Higher Education and Research
Opportunities
Christopher Harris
Executive Director
HERO
Portal Definitions
• Portal definition; “ single point of
useful,comprehensive, ubiquitous and
integrated access.”
• Community portal definition; “ a portal catering
to specific communities of interest by
providing tailored content.”
The vision
• to be the primary Internet portal for higher
education and academic research in the
United Kingdom
• the natural entry point for enquiries about UK
higher education for the widest possible range
of customers
Hero’s stakeholders
Organisations which will benefit from such a
portal include:
• universities, colleges and their representative
bodies
• Research Councils and charities
• key HE agencies (UCAS, CSU, etc)
• HE funding bodies
Origins
• a project for the millennium
• too many lights hidden under too many
bushels
Project history (1)
Scoping study conducted by SQW.
Main conclusions:
• rationale is sound
• site will add value
• site will have support
• proposal is technically feasible
Project history (2)
Development of a business plan
(ArthurAndersen).
main outcomes:
• business structure
• financial model
• marketing strategy
• draft ITT and contract with the operator
Project history (3)
Development Consultants
main outcomes:
• Procurement of operating company - Epic
• Setting up of limited company
Current Status
• Epic appointed as operator
• Executive Director appointed
• Hero Ltd being set up
• branding and naming exercise completed
• design phase has begun
• October 2000: Site launched
Hero’s shareholders
• CVCP
• UCAS
• SCOP
• HEFCE
• SHEFC
• NIHEC
• WFC
• CSU
• TTA
• AHRB
• NERC
• MRC
• BBSRC
• ESRC
• PPARC
• EPSRC
Aims and objectives
• showcase site with state-of-the-art design,
search and navigation
• high quality content promoting UK higher
education and research
• content model - zones of interest
• disability and multi-lingual access
Some target audiences
• prospective and current students
• teaching and research staff
• contacts in industry and commerce
• overseas users of all kinds
• those interested in life-long learning
• policy-makers, funders and managers
• the media and the public
Possible zones
• national/regional
• Studying - courses, learning and teaching,
subjects, student interests
• Research
• Business - industry and knowledge transfer
• HE community - policy and funding
• Culture & Sport
Benefits to stakeholders
• higher levels of interested visitors
• showcase content promoted by leading-edge
site design
• extended marketing opportunities
• intelligent feedback about Hero’s users
Benefit to users
• higher quality online experience
• better navigation and intelligent searching
• access to authoritative and quality-controlled
information
Benefits to HE
• creation of a powerful marketing channel
• new platform for increased collaboration
• better understanding of customer needs and
how to meet them
Funding and management
• pump-priming funds initially
• review in the second year
• company limited by guarantee being set up
• commercial activities would be carried out by
a wholly-owned trading company.
General portal characteristics
• Site structure plus navigation and search
capabilities
• showcase content (news and current
achievements)
• structure database of pointers to participating
sites
• majority of content held on institutions’ web-
sites
Conclusions
• to be a success Hero must be based on
collaboration and consensus
• aim not to compete with existing web-sites but
to add value to them
• input from HE and the research community
vital to the next stage

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IWMW 2000: HERO: Higher Education and Research Opportunities

  • 1. HERO Higher Education and Research Opportunities Christopher Harris Executive Director HERO
  • 2. Portal Definitions • Portal definition; “ single point of useful,comprehensive, ubiquitous and integrated access.” • Community portal definition; “ a portal catering to specific communities of interest by providing tailored content.”
  • 3. The vision • to be the primary Internet portal for higher education and academic research in the United Kingdom • the natural entry point for enquiries about UK higher education for the widest possible range of customers
  • 4. Hero’s stakeholders Organisations which will benefit from such a portal include: • universities, colleges and their representative bodies • Research Councils and charities • key HE agencies (UCAS, CSU, etc) • HE funding bodies
  • 5. Origins • a project for the millennium • too many lights hidden under too many bushels
  • 6. Project history (1) Scoping study conducted by SQW. Main conclusions: • rationale is sound • site will add value • site will have support • proposal is technically feasible
  • 7. Project history (2) Development of a business plan (ArthurAndersen). main outcomes: • business structure • financial model • marketing strategy • draft ITT and contract with the operator
  • 8. Project history (3) Development Consultants main outcomes: • Procurement of operating company - Epic • Setting up of limited company
  • 9. Current Status • Epic appointed as operator • Executive Director appointed • Hero Ltd being set up • branding and naming exercise completed • design phase has begun • October 2000: Site launched
  • 10. Hero’s shareholders • CVCP • UCAS • SCOP • HEFCE • SHEFC • NIHEC • WFC • CSU • TTA • AHRB • NERC • MRC • BBSRC • ESRC • PPARC • EPSRC
  • 11. Aims and objectives • showcase site with state-of-the-art design, search and navigation • high quality content promoting UK higher education and research • content model - zones of interest • disability and multi-lingual access
  • 12. Some target audiences • prospective and current students • teaching and research staff • contacts in industry and commerce • overseas users of all kinds • those interested in life-long learning • policy-makers, funders and managers • the media and the public
  • 13. Possible zones • national/regional • Studying - courses, learning and teaching, subjects, student interests • Research • Business - industry and knowledge transfer • HE community - policy and funding • Culture & Sport
  • 14. Benefits to stakeholders • higher levels of interested visitors • showcase content promoted by leading-edge site design • extended marketing opportunities • intelligent feedback about Hero’s users
  • 15. Benefit to users • higher quality online experience • better navigation and intelligent searching • access to authoritative and quality-controlled information
  • 16. Benefits to HE • creation of a powerful marketing channel • new platform for increased collaboration • better understanding of customer needs and how to meet them
  • 17. Funding and management • pump-priming funds initially • review in the second year • company limited by guarantee being set up • commercial activities would be carried out by a wholly-owned trading company.
  • 18. General portal characteristics • Site structure plus navigation and search capabilities • showcase content (news and current achievements) • structure database of pointers to participating sites • majority of content held on institutions’ web- sites
  • 19. Conclusions • to be a success Hero must be based on collaboration and consensus • aim not to compete with existing web-sites but to add value to them • input from HE and the research community vital to the next stage