Understanding the costs and benefits of sharing services

Over the last few months, I’ve been working with Falmouth Exeter Plus, the shared services delivery partner of Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, on an exciting project to measure, analyse and model the costs and benefits of collaboration between UK higher education institutions.

Back in January, I wrote a blog post for the Efficiency Exchange, which explained what the project is about and invited interested universities and colleges to get involved. This generated a considerable amount of interest in the project and put me in touch with a range of other people and organisations working in this area.

In conjunction with Falmouth Exeter Plus and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which is funding the project, I’ve also had the opportunity to present my work to the Universities UK annual efficiency conference and to the annual conference of the British Universities Finance Directors Group.

At the Universities UK conference, the lovely people at the Efficiency Exchange produced a short video of Niamh Lamond (Chief Executive of Falmouth Exeter Plus), Steve Butcher (Head of Shared Services at HEFCE) and me talking about the project. You can watch it online here.

The project is now coming gradually to its conclusion. We have developed a detailed model for assessing the nature and scale of the costs and benefits involved in the sharing of various services and are working to turn this into a user-friendly, web-based tool. If you or your higher education institution would be interested in trying it out and providing me with some feedback, please do get in touch.

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