As a University, we pride ourselves on our performance in education and research, as measured against other institutions.

Last year, we found a means of calibrating our professional services in a similar way to bring the same benefit to these vital functions, by joining the UniForum community and benchmarking against dozens of member universities worldwide.

We are delighted to announce that our overall results for professional services rated highly in terms of cost-effectiveness, capacity and satisfaction. The results suggest that most services are very cost effective for a University of our scale. The survey results indicated a high overall net user satisfaction with those services – one of the highest scores worldwide.

In addition to extensive data gathering, a University-wide Service Effectiveness Survey was conducted, to gain feedback on the perceived quality of the service experience. This exercise was part of an international programme co-ordinated by Uniforum globally, and came at a very busy time of year. We recognise the additional work entailed in completing it and we’re grateful to colleagues for their engagement and contributions.

This was our first foray into benchmarking our professional services, and it is immensely reassuring to see results that validate our people, services and investments. Whilst the data highlighted a few areas for attention, it is encouraging that some under-invested areas were already the subject of strategic focus, which would not have been reflected in the results. Colleagues have asked about next steps and, although there are some areas for further exploration and enhancement, the results suggest that we have been fairly successful in identifying our priorities and, as a result, a larger scale pan-University project in response is not required.

As with our education and research, our professional services aspire to sector-leading excellence, to enable the University to deliver on the goals of our ambitious Strategy 2021-26. Over the coming weeks and months, our teams will explore the data and insights to drive operational and strategic improvements.

To complete the picture, we will run a second Service Effectiveness Survey in May, to gain your feedback on your experience of key services that were not included in the first survey.

Several UniForum member universities showed singular success in some areas, and we also have the opportunity to learn from their best practice, just as they will learn from ours.

We thank everyone who took part and helped us to gather and deliver such informative results. We hope you will kindly support us again in May with our final survey.