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HEFCE commissioned Oakleigh Consulting Ltd to undertake an evaluation of public policy and investments in human resource management (HRM) in English higher education (HE) since 2001. The study was conducted between August and December 2008. Its purpose was to:

  • evaluate the impact of the last two years (2004-2006) of the Rewarding and Developing Staff (R&DS) initiative
  • assess the relationship between the R&DS initiative and other key changes to HRM practice for the HE sector in England since 2001, and evaluate the level of influence of these on the capacity and capability of the current HE workforce
  • provide a formative analysis of the current state of HRM within English higher education.

The study found that HRM practice across the English HE sector has been transformed since 2001. The concerted and co-ordinated strategy pursued by HEFCE, the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association and the sector at large has, for the most part, enabled the system-wide improvements identified as necessary in 2001. Individually, institutions have put significant effort and resources into the modernisation of HRM.


This report is one of five that supplement the HE Workforce Framework (see 'The higher education workforce framework 2010: Overview report' (HEFCE 2010/05) and 'The higher education workforce framework 2010: Main report' (HEFCE 2010/05a)). All five can be accessed via our HE Workforce Framework web-pages which also contain more information about the project.