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Strategic projects

The Directorate of Planning coordinates a number of strategic projects including the following:

Establishing our relationship with the Office for Students

  • The Office for Students (OfS) has been created as the replacement for HEFCE, and is the main regulator for the sector
  • Transitional arrangements are in place until August 2019, including the need to register the University with the regulator during April 2018
  • The formation of OfS will have implications for how we manage our relationship with the regulator, colleague comms and training, and management information
  • The Planning team are leading the work associated with registration and broader transitioning to the OfS

Scenario planning

  • Part of the role of the Planning team is to work with SLT, Faculty leadership teams and planners to explore and model specific scenarios that allow leaders to explore the risks associated with certain courses of action well in advance, before they crystalise as issues for the University – for example the potential implications of size and shape decisions for student number planning
  • Underpinning this the team maintain a set of macro-scenarios and sector insights that explore potential futures for the sector, for use with SLT

HESA Data Futures

  • The University is required to produce an annual and detailed record of our student population, and submit this to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
  • HESA is introducing a fundamentally new approach to the collection of this data, moving from one annual return to frequent in-year returns.
  • The Planning Office is leading the HESA Data Futures Project, which will make improvements to systems, processes and data handling to ensure that the University meets the new statutory requirements for reporting of student data.

More information about the HESA Data Futures Project can be viewed here.


  • The Planning team co-ordinates the Higher Education Business & Community Interaction survey, working on a virtual basis with seconded Faculty resources – a great example of “virtual team working” in action
  • This survey is completed annually between October and July, drawing on experts from across the institution and underpins circa £3.8m of annual Innovation Funding from the government
  • The development of the KEF (Knowledge Exchange Framework) and OfS/UKRI relationship may drive further changes in terms of scope and scale of data collection