Business improvement in universities

23 June 2015

Last week the Director, Service improvement Group (SIG), attended the Business Improvement in Universities conference in Melbourne. The conference theme was Maximising efficiency by applying business processes to academic institutions with over 70 delegates from Australia and New Zealand.

The Director (SIG), delivered a presentation titled Driving Service Improvement through engagementwhich focused on understanding the evolution of a service improvement engagement approach and provided an overview of the work the SIG has undertaken in this space. This has been well received with a number of universities interested in follow up conversations.

The program covered key areas including:

  • building a business process improvement framework for universities
  • realigning resources through shared services and outsourcing
  • balancing speed of change with risk mitigation.

Notable presenters included Professor Peter Rathjen (VC, University of Tasmania), Professor Peter Coaldrake (VC, QUT), Steve Somogyi (COO and VP Resources, RMIT University), Scott Snyder (PVC Corporate Services, University of the Sunshine Coast) and Sara Watt (VP Operations, University of Sydney).

Conference highlights included: the growing interest in data analytics, particularly around student lifecycle management; the application of Lean process improvement at Macquarie University; the University of Auckland's Faculty Administration Review; and Deakin University's impact on service improvement through changing the physical work environment. The growing number of SIG-like teams at other universities was also noticeable.

If you would like further information on this conference and the content of presentation, please contact