Tag Archives: universities uk

Surviving – Weeknote #261 – 1st March 2024

I was in London towards the end of the week. I was attending UUK’s Survive or thrive? Grasping the financial sustainability challenge event.

Universities are critical to society – whether that’s developing the skills our economy needs, boosting regions, driving social mobility or discovering the next scientific or innovation breakthrough. We are at a critical turning point, however. In 2021-22, one in four UK universities reported an operating deficit. UUK’s policy and advocacy work is focussed on securing more sustainable funding for higher education across the UK but we also need to act for ourselves. We need to apply all the innovation, creativity and business acumen across the sector and beyond and grasp the nettle to find solutions to the big questions.

This conference will cover urgent topics such as:

    • How can we innovate and find new ways of operating – through different organisational models, creative use of digital, online and AI tools? What might hold us back?
    • Should we challenge the status quo and how? High quality, high touch, high-cost teaching to student ratio? The overall student offering? Geographic footprints in the UK and beyond?
    • When you need to transform a university, what are your options and how do you do it?
    • How do policy and regulation inhibit innovation and what can we do about it?

This was probably one of the best events I have attended in recent months, though, I think the main reason for that was how much of it was aligned to the work I am currently doing at Jisc.

The programme was excellent, with both keynotes, panel sessions and effective workshops. I also had a fair few ad hoc informal discussions with colleagues. There was a large number of senior managers, including vice-chancellors at the event.

Attended Jisc’s Evidence and Research Advisory Group. I actually attended this meeting whilst going for a walk. It was quite late in the day, so though I was working from home, the house by that time was quite busy. I knew I had minimal input to contribute, so rather than annoy the house, I went for a walk, which was quieter than the house, well the road I walked along was quite noisy.

Had my regular one to one.

As well as writing various visions for my work on optimising operations and data, I am also looking for exemplars of current practice. As with a lot of my work, I planned out the structure and content of the exemplars, as well as identifying possible case studies for the exemplars.

As part of Learning & Teaching Reimagined, we constructed some simple scenarios, across the spectrum of digitally enhanced teaching and learning. I want to do something similar with optimising operations and data. These would show the impact on students, academic staff, and professional services as you travel down a road of optimising operations and data.

I am expecting to run some events in this space.

lecture theatre
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

I am still working on learning spaces, and spent time reviewing and analysing Learning spaces data on Dovetail.