Working Smarter 2015

The Universities Scotland Efficiency Taskforce, established in 2011, proactively drives the sector’s efficiencies agenda. This is the fifth report from the Taskforce and the first since the group began work on its second three-year strategy.

The Taskforce represents the university sector’s proactive approach to the efficiencies agenda. The potential for reinvestment through efficiency has been particularly important to two key areas of university spend which face real challenges; expenditure on staff, and capital and facilities.

Selected achievements over the last year include:

  • Universities are engaging with APUC to identify new opportunities for procurement to continue to grow the proportion of institutional spend through collaborative procurement arrangements. This currently stands at and the aim is to grow it to 40 per cent.
  • Business Processes. The Scottish HE Improvement Network has grown into an established professional community.
  • Information Services. A cross-sector pilot is underway for the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment which involves shared hosting and support.
  • Estates and carbon reduction. A baseline carbon footprint for Scottish HE has been calculated. APUC’s Sustain Database audits supplier’s social and environment responsibilities throughout the supply chain.

Key Points:

  • Over £120 million saved in efficiencies between 2012-2014
  • £30 million a year saved through collaborative procurement agreements
  • Scotland’s universities were one of the first in the UK to establish a cost-sharing group to remove VAT as a barrier to greater collaboration


Would you like to be updated about the latest publications?