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Post-Covid-19 Response Programme - FAQs

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Overview

Final proposal

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Consultation Group – final proposal 

Memorandum of Understanding

Voluntary redundancy scheme

Consultation minutes, reviews and other documents

News and updates

Frequently asked questions


Overview

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has created upheavals in every aspect of the way we live and work. For the higher education sector, the financial impact of the pandemic far exceeds that of existing challenges, like income shortfalls due to inflationary pressures, a demographic dip, and static Home Undergraduate fees. There is a cost in directly responding to the pandemic, but the most serious challenge arises from the potential loss of income as a consequence of uncertain international and home student markets. The lockdown restrictions also mean that alternate sources of income, like revenue from student accommodation and conference and hospitality facilities on our campuses, has been lost.

This is a major challenge to the higher education sector, affecting almost all aspects of work undertaken by universities and one that very few, if any, institutions expect to emerge from without making change.

The Post-COVID-19 Response Programme, initiated in 2020, was aimed at:

  • addressing the financial challenges we face
  • rethinking how we can make the most of our people, our spaces, our digital infrastructure, and our partnerships
  • creating a strong and sustainable future for our University.

Final proposal

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Consultation Group – final proposal (Word, 120 KB)

Memorandum of Understanding (Word, 25 KB)

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Voluntary redundancy scheme

Information on the Voluntary redundancy scheme, which runs from 28 October – 20 November 2020. 

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Consultation minutes, reviews and other documents

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Review meetings
Consultation documents

Minutes from meetings of the Consultation Group

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News and updates

To make it easier for you to stay up to date, we are putting together all the communication shared with colleagues through links below:

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Frequently asked questions

Can you provide more details about the Post-COVID-19 Response Programme?

The Post-COVID-19 Response Programme consists of three interconnected but distinct phases, each led by a University Executive Board member:

Project

Led by

Focus

Phase 1

Samantha Foley, Chief Financial Officer

Focused on managing our costs,  this phase modelled the University’s income and shortfall, and suggested options to manage this. This phased was completed in summer 2020 and its suggested options form the basis of an agreement with the UCU and Staff Forum on cost savings.

Phase 2 (Strategic Foundations Programme)

Mark Fellowes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resource)

Working in partnership with members of the Leadership Group, colleagues with specialist knowledge and representatives from RUSU, exploring four broad areas:

  • How can we make our Schools financially robust?
  • What is the optimal way to deliver our professional services?
  • How should we be teaching?
  • How do we support excellence and sustainability of our research?

The team considering these questions and presented its recommendations to the University Executive Board in September 2020.

Phase 3

TBC

This phase follows on the work of Phase-1 and Phase-2 in implementing a range of university-wide change initiatives. Some of this work has already taken the form of the Strategic Foundations Programme, information on which can be found on the University website.  

Is the Post-COVID-19 Response Programme mainly about cost savings?

No, it is not, although it is vital to address the immediate projected shortfall in our income. While the scale of financial challenges our institution faces is unprecedented - and we need to balance our books to be the sustainable University colleagues want us to be - the programme is committed to delivering changes that are sustainable in the long term and consistent with all the principles in our University Strategic Plan. This aim is to make our University more responsive to emerging opportunities, more attractive to potential employees and students and recognised and valued locally, nationally and internationally for the contribution we make.

So what form will this work take?

There are two distinct parts to delivering changes that are sustainable in the long term and consistent with all the principles in our University Strategic Plan. The first relates to managing our costs in the short term and requires us to review the University’s financial position, along with the UCU and Staff Forum, in the context of the cost-saving measures agreed in 2020. The reviews take place every four months.

The Phase-2 recommendations have become part of the Strategic Foundations Programme, with a number of interconnected projects to put in place stronger foundations for the University’s sustainable future.

Who is involved in the Strategic Foundations Programme (previously 'Phase 2')?

The programme is led by Mark Fellowes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resource), with four distinct pathways sitting within it:

 

  • Portfolio Review Pathway – led by Elizabeth McCrum
  • Expectations and Workload Pathway – led by Dominik Zaum
  • Ways of Working Pathway – led by Mark Fellowes and Richard Messer
  • Strategic Alignment Pathway – led by Mark Fellowes and Richard Messer

 

For more information, view the Strategic Foundations Programme page (University login required).

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