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Major report on Human resource management in HE by oakleigh just published

A major report by Oakleigh for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has just been published.

The report found that there have been widespread improvements in human resources (HR) management in higher education (HE) since 2001 and that HEFCE funding had supported a concerted effort by universities and colleges together with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

The study found that £888 million of HEFCE funding has helped higher education institutions (HEIs) to modernise and transform their HR functions. The funding was provided via HEFCE's Rewarding and Developing Staff in Higher Education initiative.

These improvements have increased the capacity and resilience of the sector to manage HR strategically and operationally, according to the report. Because HEIs spend more than half their income on staff costs, effective HR management and staff development is crucial when facing potential changes in income caused by the global economic downturn.

Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:

'This study has identified the impact our initiative has had on HR management within universities and colleges. They can take full credit for responding very positively and making HR an integral part of their strategies by developing effective and modern practices. The pace of these changes across the sector would not have been possible without this initiative.'

David Lammy, Minister of State for Higher Education, said:

'The report shows that the significant investment in our higher education institutions has meant they are better placed to meet the demands of the future. Flexible, adaptable and strategic human resource arrangements will be vital in enabling institutions to tackle emerging challenges head-on.'

Developments in HR

Major developments in the HE sector since 2001 include:

  • increasingly effective approaches to performance management for individuals, teams and organisations
  • recognition of how critical HR management is, resulting in it becoming a key component of institutional planning
  • significantly enhanced institutional HR strategies that are now much more closely aligned with and integral to the overall institutional strategy
  • sustained investment in the development of leaders and leadership teams
  • establishment of more transparent pay and reward mechanisms
  • an increase in the capacity and capability of HR professionals within institutions to effectively support and contribute to the performance and development of their organisation.

The report

Click here to access a copy of the report via HEFCE's website. The review was conducted by Andy Shenstone, Director of Oakleigh's Education practice and Principal Consultant Laura Brooks with support from Nick Cotter, Oakleigh's Head of Organisational Development.


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