The above quote was the famous battle cry made by Tony Blair as he set out his priorities at the Labour party conference in October 1996, seven months before sweeping to power in May 1997.
20 odd years later and this statement is just as relevant, but the challenges associated in delivering against it, have evolved significantly in just a few short months.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Higher Education is acute. With analysts predicting a potential sector-wide loss of tuition fees estimated at £2.6bn next year.
COVID-19 is creating a new normal for education, revolutionizing the online learning landscape, reshaping application processes, and refreshing crisis management strategies.
Significant proportions of the student population have been transitioned to virtual classrooms short term, yet there remains a reliance on physical assets – for example, those needing access to laboratories or high-performance machines for Computer-aided design etc.
Current research grant delivery will be impacted where activity cannot be continued remotely. However, additional costs may be incurred due to large scale remote working. The lockdown has also resulted in a significant loss of income from conferencing, catering and other commercial activities.
So, with funding streams uncertain and a shift to flexible working a must, how can Universities respond?
At Coffee Cup Solutions we have been engaging closely with our education customers to understand these challenges and explore innovative ways to create cost-effective, agile and flexible working solutions that don’t rely on access from specific locations or devices, instead allowing students and staff to access apps, data, or indeed physical machines where needed, from any device and any location.
By leveraging our experience and expertise in delivering bespoke, flexible working solutions (15+ years) as well as our close partnerships with vendors such as Citrix and Microsoft, we are helping to drive significant innovation and support rapid digital evolution within the education sector. As a father of three boys, two of which are currently studying at University, I am extremely proud of the impact we are having.
Key to this is a close working relationship with our customers and a firm understanding of their requirements. If you are struggling with similar challenges and would be interested in an exploratory conversation with one of our team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be happy to share some ideas over a (virtual) cup of coffee!