Working smarter: Progress report 2012

This document offers a brief summary of the detailed efficiencies action plan which has been developed by senior university leaders on Universities Scotland’s Efficiencies Taskforce.

Universities Scotland’s three-year work plan includes targets to be achieved in years 1 and 3 across four key areas of collaborative activity where efficiencies are most likely to be realised at the sector level:

  • Information and Communications TechnologyWe’ll be looking at potential cost savings to be made from taking a shared approach to things like data storage and virtual learning environments.
  • Estates & Carbon ReductionWe will expand the use of collaborative agreements across the sector to increase coverage of total sector spend. We will develop the skills of our procurement professionals to deal with the ever-more challenging environment.
  • ProcurementWe’ll continue to share best practice in order to get the best business processes across the sector and we will consider models for potential new shared services which may be able to take advantage of a forthcoming change in VAT regulations.
  • Cost-Sharing Groups & Business Process ImprovementWe’ll be taking forward the commitments the sector has made under the Universities and Colleges Climate Commitment for Scotland (UCCCfS) and looking at how we get the maximum value from our estate in order to support the very highest quality learning, teaching and research.

“The Universities Scotland Efficiencies Taskforce has been given a clear mandate by the Principal of every Scottish university to implement a road-map for collaborative efficiencies over the next three years.”

– Professor Seamus McDaid CBE
Convener, Universities Scotland

Key Points:

  • This document includes a three-year action plan on university efficiencies.
  • The plan includes targets to be achieved in years 1 and 3 and progress towards these will be reported on an annual basis.


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