Professional Services Forum

Formally known as 'Heads of Administration', the Professional Services Forum is an informal group which enables colleagues to share and exchange ideas and experiences and to improve practices in university administration.

The Universitas 21 Professional Services Forum is an informal group which enables colleagues to share and exchange ideas and experiences and to improve practices in University administration.

The U21 Professional Services Forum have held seven meetings so far, most recently in UK, jointly hosted by the Universities of Birmigham and Nottingham in October 2013 on the theme: Building a Sustainable University in a Challenging Global Climate.

Meetings are held every 18 to 24 months, but electronic exchanges are more frequent. 

At the 2013 meeting:

  • It was agreed that a virtual group would be set up to look at a suite of tools around leadership training, constructive leadership styles, and the development of a bank of peer-coaches across the network. 
  • Much discussion was also held around managing the administrative cost base with examples of shared services that members have successfully introduced as well as using benchmarking approaches to highlight inefficiencies. 
  • It was noted that was most U21 partner institutions are exploring the possibilities of MOOCs and AMDs (alternative modes of delivery). All delegates were in agreement that this was a tool for reputational and pedagogical benefit rather than for financial gain. 

Another forum, to be hosted outside of the UK, is expected to take place in around 18 months.