At SUMS Consulting, we have been talking to university leaders about managing the Covid-19 crisis and their visions for the future. We have reflected on this research and want to share our learnings. Here, you can find our Covid-19 full sector report with in-depth views across the whole breadth of university operations. We bring together our findings in areas such as teaching, learning and assessment, recruitment and wellbeing, student services, timetabling and space management – all in one document. We also explore sustainable ways forward.

Higher education in the UK has faced numerous turbulent times over the last few years, but nothing compares to the challenges presented by Covid-19.

Whilst this pandemic is a threat to our health, our lives, and our livelihoods, SUMS remains optimistic. Covid-19 has seen the higher education sector respond well under pressure. Indeed, the HE sector is doing what it does best – thinking, learning, innovating.

It has taken a global pandemic to shake up higher education in the UK, and now is the time to think big and embrace Covid-19 as a catalyst for positive change. All areas of university operations are experiencing unprecedent challenges that have required rapid responses. Whilst it is admirable that so much has been done so quickly, the quality of operations will have suffered due to the speed of this transition. In this briefing paper we explore the challenges and changes that all areas of university operations have faced and are still facing due to Covid-19. From university recruitment and admissions, to teaching, wellbeing, timetabling, service delivery and university finance. We also explore the evolution in approach, good practice and ways of implementing sustainable change garnered through work with universities across the UK. Our aim is to support leaders designing delivery models at their institutions.

At SUMS Consulting, whilst we recognise the human impact and tragedy wrought by Covid-19, we do see silver linings for the sector beyond this catastrophe. Together we will not only get through this, but we will do so stronger, shaping the future of higher education in the UK.

Download the full Rapid Response Briefing Paper here

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