Lessons learned: timescales and time commitment
- The time inputs required to successfully fulfil the role of an HE sponsor have consistently been greater than the HE providers had anticipated at the outset. This has especially been the case when working with schools requiring improvement.
- Being able to formally ring-fence time for work relating to the sponsorship has been beneficial. It is difficult, over a long period of time, to keep trying to fit it in around other priorities.
- Large amounts of time can easily be consumed exploring the feasibility of different sites for a new build. This should be factored into the project timescales.
Top tips: location
- When considering the location of a UTC, proximity to the university should be a key priority. There are significant benefits to be had for the learners (e.g. facilities, role models and HE experience) as well as for the HE provider and the UTC in terms of economies of scale and efficiencies associated with shared services.
Top tips: planning
- If you are establishing a new institution, be as certain as you can that a critical mass of demand exists.
- Establish an appropriate governance structure as early as possible.
- Conduct a thorough risk assessment.
- Don’t underestimate the amount of time that you will be required to commit to the sponsorship.
University of Winchester, University of East London, and University of Central Lancashire are useful case study examples in illustrating the areas of timescales and time commitment, location, and planning in their sponsorship arrangements.
To find out more see the full case studies below.