The Guardian homeBudgetary threats to UK higher education remain high and savings must be found. But from where? Collaborative procurement is the answer, suggests Nick Petford.
If recent reports on government budget cuts are anything to go by then higher education is not yet out of the woods. Latest figures show that BIS will face reductions in its departmental expenditure limit of £150m in 2013-14 and £280m in 2014-15. Longer term projections (2015 to 2018) reported recently show BIS facing reductions of 19.2%. And remember that these are just numbers to start the conversation. The budgetary threat to the sector remains high and savings will need to be found. But from where? We think that the answer lies in procurement, not just by channelling procurement savings to more productive uses and building a war chest for capital development and recruitment, but as an integral part of university strategy. The 2011 Universities UK report, Efficiency and Effectiveness in Higher Education, led by Professor Sir Ian Diamond, vice-chancellor at the University of Aberdeen, made several key recommendations, among them the need for the sector to think and act more strategically on procurement. Read mode...