Rising to the challenge in higher education: how to improve institutional effectiveness
Skip to main content

Rising to the challenge in higher education: how to improve institutional effectiveness

from  April 28, 2020 | 2 min read

All higher education institutions want to run efficiently, but fragmented systems can often stifle key processes. As competition to secure students intensifies, academic institutions must prioritize improving effectiveness to attract top performers. Here’s how you can rise to the challenge, according to Unit4’s product director for higher education, Austin Laird.

Reputation is everything in higher education. To attract the top students and achieve the results and career opportunities they deserve, you need the best delivery models, teaching staff and academic programs. And people need to know about them.

Building an outstanding reputation means excelling in all aspects of the collegiate experience. Yet your institutional effectiveness is often frustrated by outdated systems and infrastructures that stop your people from being as agile or effective as they need to be.

How can you change this? Find the right technology to optimize three key areas of strategic academic operations is how.

1. Your people power

Your people are your strongest asset, but quantifying their value is hard when you don’t have any metrics to show their impact.

A Department for Education study in the UK found that almost half (48 percent) of academic staff find workload their biggest challenge. Inefficient systems only make this worse for your people and stops them from doing their job. This will limit your institution’s ability to recruit, engage, and retain the most promising talent and students.

A modern ERP solution unlocks your people’s full potential – both teaching and back office alike.

2. Your process performance

Your team feels weighed down by their workload because of process inefficiencies that can easily be solved with a stronger infrastructure.

Older, fragmented systems make working together harder. With burdensome admin and workarounds slowing your people and faculties.

Automating your processes and academic operations makes you quicker and more agile. Making light work of admin and regulatory requirements, improving overall performance and helping your people focus on students and finding more nimble ways of working.

3. Your decision-making capabilities

In such a competitive sector, the stakes are too high (and margins too low) to make decisions that aren’t based on the real data. Yet many colleges still do.

According to an Inside Higher Education study, less than half (49 percent) of chief business officers feel their organization has the data-driven insights needed to make strong decisions about campus resources, departments or programs.

The right enterprise systems bring your collegiate workforce and activities together on one platform. And with this comes your data, letting you use it to ensure better decisions are made. Not only that, but the impact of these data-driven decisions can easily be reported and shared.


To learn more about the challenges facing HE and discover how embracing the right technology can help, download the industry brochure:

NEW GAME NEW RULES — The stark reality of a disrupted market and how next-gener…

The benefits of institution-wide change

Change starts from within, so higher education leaders wanting to build their reputations on institutional excellence need to look at how smarter operations and better technology can drive performance forward in all areas.

The right technology gives you purpose-built academic working models that are centered on your people and improving performance in all areas. Helping you:

  • Work faster
  • Produce more
  • Reduce costs
  • Release revenue to invest in more valuable areas
  • Use data to inform decisions
  • Enhance academic programs

And most importantly, create a better back-office that frees your people to focus on greater engagement, happier student experiences, and better results.

To read more about operational innovation, download our e-guide: Rising to the challenge — Improve institutional effectiveness.

Sign up to see more like this