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Working for a smarter, stronger sector

Report page ​UK universities have consistently demonstrated their ability to adapt and to deliver efficiency and value for money while continuing to excel as world class providers of teaching, learning and research.

However, with pressure on public finances likely to remain over the course of the decade, public spending decisions will continue to be made in a challenging funding environment.

In this context, this report sets out the progress that has been made in each of the cross-cutting thematic areas identified in our 2011 report, 'Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education', the report of the UUK Efficiency and Modernisation Task Group.



Highlights include:

  • The extension of Procurement Maturity Assessments to more than half of universities in England
  • The creation of the Higher Education Procurement Academy to provide training and support in procurement to higher education professionals
  • The development of a taxonomy of core business processes to support benchmarking of costs
  • The establishment of the first shared services in the UK to make use of the VAT cost sharing group exemption 
  • The launch of the Efficiency Exchange website to support the sharing of best practice

We will continue to coordinate work with stakeholders from across the sector to identify major challenges, and to explore opportunities for leading a smarter, stronger sector. In doing so, we can help to ensure that our universities remain among the very best on the global stage.

The team

Max Hastings

Max Hastings

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

Mary Lambe

Mary Lambe

Senior Policy Lead - Pensions
Universities UK

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