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Collaboration at the heart of the discussions at the USTREAM seminar on efficiency in Dublin

14 December 2017

More than 30 higher education managers, policy makers and sector representatives met in Dublin last week with the aim to exchange good practices in efficiency and effectiveness of higher education management at various levels. This second USTREAM peer learning seminar was jointly organised by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and EUA on 4 and 5 December.

ustreamRecognising the importance of the topic of efficiency for the university sector in Ireland and beyond, the seminar was opened by Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. The Irish government allocated more funding for public universities in 2017, although much more investment is still needed to compensate for the drastic cuts implemented since 2008, as shown in the latest issue of the EUA Public Funding Observatory 2017.

The discussions centered upon collaboration as an effective way to achieve efficiencies in the higher education context. Several inspiring examples were presented to feature the Irish national strategic dialogue framework aimed at supporting the implementation of the national Strategy for Higher Education and rationalisation of initial teacher training based on the merger of specialist Initial Teacher Training Colleges, as well as the establishment of a centralised Office of Government Procurement. The collaborative projects with significant impact that are pursued at the sector level in Ireland aim at joining efforts for processing applications, exploiting the research base and improving the quality of teaching and learning across all higher education institutions.

The participants shared their experiences in various institutional efficiency practices varying from comprehensive cross-cutting institutional programmes to more targeted actions in the field of data management, staff training and programme delivery, among others. The discussions showed that important efficiencies can be achieved not only in the context of professional or support services, but also in the academic context with valuable outcomes for learning, teaching and research. The success of collaborative initiatives at all levels largely depend on a clear vision, engaging leadership and proactive involvement of all actors concerned. This important topic will be discussed at the final peer learning seminar in Brussels.

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

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Tel: +41 22 552 02 96