Higher education HR improvements yield recession results

Widespread improvements in HR in the higher education sector have resulted in better management of staffing costs, training and development during the recession, according to the relevant funding council.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which has pumped £888m into modernising and transforming HR functions across the sector since 2001, has claimed the investment has helped the sector make HR practices more efficient.

Improvements included extending leadership training to middle managers and developing career progression routes for all parts of the workforce. More transparent pay and reward systems were also introduced.

Paul Curran, chair of HEFCE’s workforce steering group, said universities and colleges spent on average 56% of their income on staff costs. “It is therefore vital for them to ensure that staffing is effective and efficient as possible – even more so when money is tight. That calls for high-quality HR management.”

David Lammy, minister of state for higher education, said: “Flexible, adaptable and strategic HR arrangements will be vital in enabling institutions to tackle emerging challenges head-on.”

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