limited to, funding situations, the deregulation of control

The Application of the Balanced Scorecards within a UK Research Intensive University  Executive Summary In the Higher Education White Paper, the UK government addresses changes in the higher education environment including, but not limited to, funding situations, the deregulation of control over student numbers, the increase in competition and marketization for universities. This raises the need for a more complex and integrated system for universities. An ideal approach is to use a Balanced Scorecard (BSC) to help universities implement more comprehensive strategies. The report will design a BSC for a UK-based research intensive university, provide some benefits from implementing the BSC and explain the potential main features of such a tool within a university context. The designed BSC will focus on the context of a UK research intensive university has four perspectives: financial, customer (students), internal business process and learning and growth. In addition, it provides clear initiatives and offers different ways of measuring these initiatives (see Diagrams 1&2). Diagram1: Objectives and initiatives. Diagram2: Objectives and measures. The implementation of the BSC at a research intensive university has the following benefits and features:  The benefits of implementing the BSC – As the new system implemented according to the higher education White Paper, the BSC not only assists the university to ensure a high quality of teaching under the new strategic environment but also takes into consideration other factors, such as the inter-connection between teaching and researching. – It helps the university to focus on the students as the heart of their system, by taking clear initiatives to ensure students’ learning and engagement in the university environment. – It matches between the activities of the university and its vision and strategies. For example, data could be collected to help the university in matching the needs and requirements of future jobs with student preferences. This would be shown through the programmes offered by the university. This match will be linked to the objective of setting the programmes to meet both the students’ interest and the market’s need. – The BSC offers a flexibility to adapt over time to meet the changing internal or external circumstances, including, but not limited to, changes in the funding situation, developments in technology and increasing number of international students. – The White Paper has introduced a risk-based approach to regulate and ensure a high quality education, and using the BSC can help the university to manage risks. For example, increasing the number of students accepted by the university may decrease the quality of the education provided, therefore, the BSC can assist the university in evaluating that risk by using qualitative measurements. – It guides the university in finding funding sources under current changes, and help them to use these resources efficiently by giving clear initiatives and ways of measuring the effect of these initiatives on the financial performance. For example, increasing the income from the enrolments of international students, which the university can assess through measuring the increase in the amount of funds obtained from that source. – As the BSC helps the university to achieve a higher level of student satisfaction, which could be measured by retention rates and/or gathering student feedback, it provides a comprehensive framework for translating strategic goals into a rational set of performance measures. – It provides the university with a focus on teaching and researching performance simultaneously in different related areas, which enables the managers to see if an improvement in one area may have been at the expense of the other, such as providing distance-learning programmes, and students’ understanding. – Using the designed BSC will avoid the university’s strategies and objectives becoming merely the managers’ dream through connecting the different perspectives of financial performance with emerging developments and growth. For example, one objective could be improving teachers’ and researchers’ performance, which can be measured by calculating the cost of participating in research activities, such as attending international conferences. This strategic centralization will guide managers when implementing strategies during real practice and under any environmental changes. – As the emphasis of the intention has been on deregulating the UK universities’ system, the BSC will increase the effective communication within the context of the university, both internally, at different levels, and externally, within working environment and different source providers.  The potential features of the BSC – It strives to unify all parts of the university by pulling together the diverse areas into a dynamic relationship. For example, a university could expect an improved teaching quality through giving performance-related bonus schemes and/or providing training opportunities to the academic staff. An improvement in the teaching quality would lead to an improvement in the student learning and satisfaction, both of which would enhance the university’s international/national reputation, which would ultimately lead to an increase in the number of students applying to the university, leading to a possible financial increase. – While the traditional accounting measures focus on short-term or past financial performance, the BSC gives the university’s managers the ability to easily communicate and measure performance through not only financial measurements but also non-financial measurements. – It plays a significant role in accomplishing real change in the university environment as it is a comprehensive holistic and integrated set of performance measures. For example, it provides both academic and non-academic staff with a methodology that improves teaching and research quality. – It guides and keeps the strategic goals of the university consistent while implementing the university’s different activities and tasks through focusing on the internal business process, and the learning and growth opportunities. – It has a simple framework that includes lag and lead indicators that can be seen as performance drivers and outcome measures. These drivers and measures can both point to how well the financial and non-financial perspectives of the framework were implemented. – It is an effective tool in removing barriers such as the increases in competition that the university might face in achieving its long term goals, improving its performance, and achieving student satisfaction.

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