Why Learning to Share Could Make 'Substantial Savings' in Education; UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES 'MUST STREAMLINE SERVICES'

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 20, 2010 | Go to article overview

Why Learning to Share Could Make 'Substantial Savings' in Education; UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES 'MUST STREAMLINE SERVICES'


Byline: SION BARRY

FURTHER and higher education institutions could reduce their risk of "financial failure" if more of them were able to share their essential administrative and back office services, according to a leading consultancy.

CMC Partnership - a Wales Fast Growth 50 company - says hard-pressed universities and colleges could save millions of pounds by sharing IT, HR and financial activities.

However their willingness to co-operate is often dampened by the way VAT is charged, which could potentially cream off 17.5% of the savings.

They have also to address concerns about loss of autonomy and competitive advantage.

CMC maintains that despite the obstacles, combining and streamlining support services offers potentially the greatest return for universities and colleges struggling to maintain their activities at present levels.

Monmouth-based CMC has helped many large government departments and public sector organisations plan and manage large-scale change, involving people, processes and technology.

The consultancy has now launched a dedicated service for the FE and HE sector and is contacting colleges and other institutions to offer support on how to unlock the potential benefits of closer co-operation on common activities.

CMC clients include UK government departments such as the Ministry of Defence, agencies such as the DVLA and Office of National Statistics plus local authorities, police, the BBC and a number of private businesses.

Among CMC's team of more than 100 staff and consultants is Ken Thomas, who has helped drive and promote shared services initiatives within central government departments, including leading the design of a fully integrated provision across all back office functions at the Department for Transport. …

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