USTREAM stands for Universities for Strategic, Efficient and Autonomous Management. 

USTREAM seeks to examine the measures that are in place in universities across Europe to enhance efficiency at operational level, and also analyse policies at system level that support universities in their efforts to operate more efficiently, with a view to identify good practice examples and develop recommendations for further development. The project addresses the question of operational efficiency in universities in a European comparative way. It offers a novel approach to the topic by tailoring it to the specificities of the higher education sector and breaking it down into three thematic dimensions:

  • efficiency in professional, operational and support services
  • efficiency in academic matters, and
  • efficiency through strategic governance.

USTREAM is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme (2014).

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. 

Erasmus plus flag
The overarching goals of the project are:
  • to inform policy-making by developing recommendations to public authorities and funders, helping to enhance efficiency and effectiveness at institutional level in universities (focusing on regulatory frameworks and setting up supporting policies);
  • to foster the dialogue between universities and public authorities on efficiency and effectiveness in university management and academic practice; 
  • to improve efficiency in university management through the transfer and dissemination of good practice examples and recommendations to university leaders and managers.

  • This will be achieved by:
  • exploring the measures put in place by universities across Europe to increase their efficiency, in professional, operational and support services, as well as academic matters and through strategic governance;
  • assessing the impact these measures have with regard to the effectiveness and quality of university activities such as education and research;
  • benchmarking regulatory frameworks of higher education systems in Europe with regard to the extent to which they enable universities to develop their own efficiency strategies and measures;
  • identifying good practice examples of efficiency strategies and policies at institutional as well as system level that may be transferable to other institutions/systems and promote them.

Ongoing / upcoming activities

Online tool – “The University Efficiency Hub”

The USTREAM partners are currently developing an “efficiency self-evaluation tool”, which will support higher education institutions in the assessment of their efficiency programmes and activities. The tool will be launched in autumn 2018.

Interested university managers and public administrators are invited to test the tool’s prototype and share their feedback with the USTREAM partners. Enquiries about the testing procedure can be sent to EUA (ustream@eua.eu) by 13 July 2018.

Past activities

First peer learning seminar: Policy frameworks for efficiency and effectiveness (1-2 June 2017, London)

Organised by Universities UK and EUA, the first peer learning seminar explored the existing policy frameworks for efficiency and effectiveness in higher education and the ways in which institutions have developed strategies to address these policy priorities in the UK and other countries in Europe.

For more details about the programme and the presentations, please click here.

Second peer learning seminar: National and institutional approaches to delivering efficiency (4-5 December 2017, Dublin)

The second peer learning seminar addressed national and institutional approaches to delivering efficiency. The focus was to provide case studies on key efficiency measures implemented in Ireland and in other countries in Europe, and discuss their impact and effectiveness.

For more details about the programme and the presentations, please click here.

Third peer learning seminar: Efficiency, leadership and governance (18-19 April 2018, Brussels)

The final USTREAM peer learning seminar, co-organised by EUA and HUMANE – Heads of University Management and Administration Network in Europe, focused on how to close the gap between strategy formation and execution in order to achieve sustainable efficiency gains. The participants discussed critical success factors and the lived experiences in overcoming barriers to support efficiency in universities in a more sustainable way.

For more details about the programme and the presentations, please click here.

National policy dialogues

Three national policy dialogue events were organised in the first half of 2018. The aim of the events was to bring together relevant higher education stakeholders engaged in design and implementation of efficiency, effectiveness and value for money, ranging from university leaders to funders and policy makers.

For more details about the programme and the presentations, please check the section “Resources and publications”.

Site visits

Three site visits to Austria, Belgium-Flanders and Poland took place in 2017. The aim of the site visits was to collect in-depth qualitative data about three selected higher education systems through a series of meetings with national/regional university leaders and policy makers. The results of the site visits will be reflected in the final publication.

Institutional survey

USTREAM survey on efficient university management

The USTREAM survey was conducted in 2016 . The questionnaire was completed by nearly 70 institutions from 21 countries across Europe. The USTREAM partners are thankful to the respondents for their time and invaluable feedback to the questionnaire. EUA is grateful to its collective members, national rectors’ conferences, for the dissemination of the USTREAM survey. 

The survey addressed efficiency at higher education institutions from three different angles: institutional frameworks, implementation practices and impact of efficiency measures. Following a structured set of questions, the survey offered the respondents a possibility to assess the current state of institutional management, governance and academic efficiency frameworks. The results of the survey will feed into the final USTREAM publication. 

Calls

Call for expression of interest: USTREAM national policy dialogue events (closed)

The USTREAM project partners invited National Rectors’ Conferences, ministries, public agencies, and universities to express interest in organising one of three national policy dialogue events in 2018. The objective of the national policy dialogue events is to foster the exchange of views and discussions on efficiency and effectiveness of universities between key national stakeholders.

Please check the call announcement and the expression of interest form for more details. 

To express interest in USTREAM national policy dialogue events, please send the completed form to ustream@eua.be by 30 September 2017

Further enquiries about the call for expression of interest in the USTREAM national policy dialogue events can be sent to ustream@eua.be. 

Call for Participation: USTREAM peer learning seminars on efficiency in higher education  (open)

The USTREAM partners are inviting experts, university managers and public administrators experienced in efficiency at institutional or system level to apply for participation in a series of peer learning seminars dedicated to various aspects of efficiency and effectiveness in the higher education context.

The USTREAM peer learning seminars will take place throughout 2017 and in early 2018 and will be hosted by three partner university associations of the USTREAM project. Further details on the time, place and focus of each event are presented below:
  • 1-2 June 2017: Peer Learning Seminar 1 – Policy frameworks for efficiency and effectiveness, organised by Universities UK, London, UK
    Deadline for application: 7 April 2017 (Extended to 24 April)
  • 4-5 December 2017: Peer Learning Seminar 2 – National and institutional approaches to delivering efficiency, organised by the Irish Universities Association, Dublin, Ireland
    Deadline for application: 18 September 2017
  • 18-19 April 2018: Peer Learning Seminar 3 – Efficiency, governance and leadership, organised by the European University Association in collaboration with HUMANE (Heads of University Management and Administration Network), Brussels, Belgium 
    Deadline for application: to be communicated

Participation in the USTREAM peer learning seminars is free of charge. Travel and accommodation costs incurred by the participants of the events will be covered by the USTREAM project in line with project rules.

More detailed information about the call and the application form can be found here. 

Interested university managers and public administrators are invited to submit the application form to the USTREAM project team (ustream@eua.be) by the respective deadlines specified in the call. 

Further enquiries about the peer learning seminars or the call procedures can be sent to ustream@eua.be.

Reports

Efficiency, Effectiveness and Value for Money: Insights from the UK and other countries - A USTREAM Report, by Thomas Estermann and Veronika Kupriyanova

Papers

Efficiency of Universities: Drivers, Enablers and Limitations, presented at “The Future of Higher Education – Bologna Process Researchers’ Conference (FOHE-BPRC3)” (27-29 November 2017, Bucharest)

Presentations

Peer learning seminars

First USTREAM peer learning seminar: Policy frameworks for efficiency and effectiveness, 1-2 June 2017, London, UK

Second USTREAM peer learning seminar: National and institutional approaches to delivering efficiency, 4-5 December 2017, Dublin, Ireland

Third USTREAM peer learning seminar: Efficiency, leadership and governance, 18-19 April 2018, Brussels, Belgium

National policy dialogues

National Policy Dialogue on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Higher Education in Latvia, 8 May 2018, Riga, Latvia

Efficiency and effectiveness of universities: the role of governance, leadership and autonomy frameworks, Thomas Estermann, Director Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, European University Association

Institutional and sector-level approaches to efficiency: examples of practices pursued in various university settings, Veronika Kupriyanova, Policy and Project Officer, European University Association

Change programme in Helsinki. Re-imagining university functions with a financial crisis, Antti Savolainen, Deputy Director of Administration, University of Helsinki, Finland

Efficiency in the higher education context: Lessons learnt from Finland and Poland, Michael Zasada, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Poland

Higher education efficiency and effectiveness in Latvia, Prof. Tatjana Volkova, National Rectors’ Conference, Latvia

Improving Efficiency - 9 experience based examples from RTU, Arturs Zeps, Vice-Rector for Strategic Development, Riga Technical University, Latvia

National Policy Dialogue on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Higher Education in Austria, 6 June 2018, Graz, Austria // Effizienz und Effektivität an Hochschulen: Österreich im internationalen Vergleich

Effizienz und Effektivität an Europäischen Universitäten,Thomas Estermann, Director Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, European University Association

Academic efficiency initiatives in Irish universities, Lewis Purser, Director, Academic Affairs, Irish Universities Association

University Efficiency in Österreich, Georg Tummeltshammer, Hochschulsektion im Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung

Effizienzpolitik Abgrzung wischen Universitäten -Fachhochschulen, Karl-Peter Pfeiffer, Wissenschaftlicher Geschäftsführer FH Joanneum

National Policy Dialogue on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Higher Education in Lithuania, 15 June 2018, Kaunas, Lithuania

Successful efficiency frameworks: the role of national public funding and autonomy frameworks, Thomas Estermann, Director Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, European University Association

Institutional and sector-level approaches to efficiency: examples of practices pursued in various university settings, Veronika Kupriyanova, Policy and Project Officer, European University Association

Dublin City University Incorporation Programme, Prof. Eithne Guilfoyle, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Registrar, Dublin City University, Ireland

Higher education partnerships in Austria, Dr. Peter Riedler, Vice-Rector for Finance, Resources and Development, University of Graz, Austria

Lithuania HEIs: main challenges, results and opportunities, Dr. Ramojus Reimeris, Acting Managing Director of Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA)

Striving for competitiveness in higher education in Lithuania: key factors and challenges, Dr. Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Acting Rector of Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania

Drivers of synergy in merger of different type universities (Vytautas Magnus University + Aleksandras Stulginskis University + Lithuanian University of Educology case), Prof. Antanas Maziliauskas, Rector of Aleksandras Stulginskis University

Bridging gap between strategic aim and operational accomplishment: effective performance of University’s activities, Gediminas Dapkus, CEO at LLC Unidrive.pro, UniDrive

Funding Forums

Third EUA Funding Forum, 6-7 October 2016, Porto, Portugal

Fourth EUA Funding Forum, 18-19 October 2018, Barcelona, Spain (upcoming)

The USTREAM project is run by EUA in collaboration with the Irish Universities Association (IUA), Universities UK, and the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary).
The USTREAM project runs from January 2016 until December 2018. This webpage will be updated with the latest information regarding the project milestones.

Contact
For queries on the USTREAM project, please contact: ustream@eua.be

European University Association (EUA)

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

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96