In September 2010, the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) commissioned an independent review of us.
Sir Alan Wilson, professor of urban and regional studies at University College London chaired the review group, which was composed of members from HEFCE, the JISC board, representatives from the higher and further education sectors as well as funders from across the UK. Sir Alan was previously the director general for higher education for the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and, before that, he was vice chancellor at the University of Leeds.
The review considered:
- our activities and evidence about their appropriateness, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and added-value
- the effectiveness of how we deliver our core functions
- our relationship to and governance of JISC-related bodies/companies
- our internal structure and processes and relationship with HEFCE
- our capabilities and resourcing, reviewed against other organisations, including views on how demands may change in the future
- our use and effectiveness of committees, especially in terms of identifying needs of the community, horizon-scanning and use of programme funds
- how effectively and efficiently we meet the needs of, and work in partnership with, the higher and further education communities, UK government agencies and other key stakeholders.
Recommendations of the review
For us to:
- Focus activities to achieve a large impact clearly linked to the sectors’ priorities
- Rationalise services and projects with a view to significantly reducing their number
- Become a separate legal entity funded through a combination of grants and subscriptions or user charges
- Change structure and processes with our board becoming smaller and becoming more strategic
- Discuss with funders and sector representatives to determine the overall funding strategy for information and communication technology in higher education and further education and skills
- Focus on delivering ‘routes to best practice’, wherever such practice exists
- Focus our research and development work on horizon-scanning
- Understand current and possible future trends in information and communication technology and how they impact on the sectors
- Review our relationship with the four companies we fund: Janet JISC Collections JISC Advance and BUFVC.