Exploring efficiency in higher education

Efficiency can be a challenging concept. We accept that it’s a good thing, but we struggle to define it. We may recognise it when we see it, but the factors that drive it frequently remain elusive. And just when we think we’ve finally pinned it
down, we find that it can mean different things to different people.

Which is why I’ve been delighted to work with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education to research and prepare ‘Getting to grips with efficiency’, a guide aimed at those with governance responsibilities within UK higher education institutions.

The guide covers a broad range of efficiency-related topics, from the history of efficiency in organisations to how it is approached in today’s universities, and from how governors can help to promote efficiency to what institutions are already doing to make more efficient use of the resources available to them. In short, if you want to learn about the efficiency agenda and its impact on the UK higher education sector, this is the guide for you.

The guide can be downloaded from the LFHE website. If you don’t have a MyLF account, you can set one up for free.

On life, work and running

Those of you who know me personally will be aware that I’m a bit of a runner. Now, I’d be the first to admit that I’m not a very good runner. And I’m certainly not a very fast runner. But I do like to lace up my trainers and get outside for a trundle through the countryside. Running is a part of my life. And it has taught me a great deal. Not just about running, but about life as well. Continue reading

It’s what we do that counts

“We are what we repeatedly do,” said Aristotle. And I for one am not going to argue with him. Not just because he’s, well, Aristotle. But because he’s absolutely right. We can have all the hopes and aspirations that we want. But if we don’t do something tangible to achieve them, our dreams are destined to remain just that. Continue reading

Things you can control… and things you can’t

I was chatting with a client the other day and he asked me how I go about winning new business. How, he wanted to know, do I secure a steady stream of projects to keep me busy and to help me pay the bills? A fairly simple question, surely. But my answer was most definitely not the one that he was expecting. And, to be honest, it wasn’t the one I was expecting, either. Continue reading

On planners and planning

I had the honour last week of being invited to present a workshop at the annual conference of the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. It was a great event. And I met some fantastic people. But it was the amount I learned in two short days that astounded me. Continue reading