With the second wave of area reviews starting across England, it's a good time to update you on how we can support and inform your decisions on making your college more efficient and sustainable for the future.
I know many of you have been overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to gather for the initial review, which is in some cases is taking longer than expected.
We are here to advise you not only on the effective use of technology for your college, but also how you and fellow colleges can use technology to collaborate, share and potentially transform business, teaching, learning and assessment practices to strengthen your student offer.
What has happened so far?
Many of you will be aware that the government’s policy statement Reviewing post-16 education and training institutions sets out their approach to facilitating a restructure of the further education (FE) sector. This will be done through a series of area based provision reviews.
For those of you not involved, the area reviews are optional and will focus on general FE and sixth form colleges in England. Each government led area review aims to establish a set of institutions that are:
- Financially resilient
- Able to offer high quality education and training based on the needs of learners and employers within the local area.
The government has published details of the colleges and stakeholders involved in the first two waves of the review process.
How can Jisc help?
I will attend the principal’s briefing meetings which takes place before steering group one to provide details on the support available for you around the use of technology and the efficiencies this can offer.
Your account manager will get in touch to answer any questions on how we can support you throughout the process. We will also provide you with access to a technology review tool.
Completion of this free tool is totally optional, however, it will allow us to support your evaluation of your current technology use.
If you complete the information required in the technology review tool we will provide a report which will identify your strengths and areas for development, and help you decide what technology options you should look at and how technology can help you.
Alternatively, if you are not able to provide the information we will still be available to provide support, advice and guidance on your use of technology.
Post options we can provide you with the advice and guidance you require to understand how technology can support options implementation.
How technology can help…
Saying that technology can help your college to work more efficiently is one thing, but I want to outline the benefits technology can provide by telling you about a recent agreement we’ve set up with the City of Liverpool College Group, an FE provider with over 22,000 students.
The group launched a new service called SharedEd, which is available to your college. It's designed to help colleges reduce their costs through shared and outsourced services for areas such as HR, facilities and IT management. The City of Liverpool College Group estimates that outsourcing their IT systems alone, using our shared data centre, has saved them over £48,000 a year.
By outsourcing the full range of shared service, the City of Liverpool College Group estimates they will save around £3-£5million a year.
This example highlights just some of the potential benefits that technology can offer and makes it clear that the shared services we and others offer to college groups have a critical role in helping FE not only survive, but also thrive.
Further advice or support
When your area review begins I will be at your principal briefing meeting. In the meantime if you would like to find out more about our area review process or have any questions, please speak to your account manager or call our customer contact centre on 0203 006 6077.