There be efficiencies

March 5, 2015

Remuneration is undoubtedly a contributing factor to UK higher education’s ability to attract and retain world-leading staff (“Performance-related pay is ‘way forward’”, News, 26 February). However, there are other important aspects that need to be given due weight.

The sector is under huge pressure to deliver high-quality education and research while creating ever more efficiencies. Sir Ian Diamond’s report highlights that the sector has already saved more than £1 billion in efficiencies over the past three years. Jisc, as the UK’s expert body for digital technology, is proud to have played its part in this, delivering savings of more than £250 million every year through shared services, collective procurement and promoting asset-sharing.

As public finances are likely to remain under considerable pressure in the years ahead, we are committed to exploring and championing ways to maximise the return from IT spending. To this end, in the past 18 months we have achieved the opening of a Jisc shared-data centre, creating annual savings of £2.3 million; the establishment of the UK’s largest VAT cost-sharing group, which will allow universities to reduce their collective liability by up to £2 million each year; and the piloting of Kit-Catalogue, a service that will help in the sharing of high-value research equipment and already lists 10,000 items as being available.

However, there is still much more that will be made possible by collaborating. We look forward to working with colleagues across the sector to do just that.

Martyn Harrow
Chief executive, Jisc

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