Videos - The value of universities

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The Higher Education sector has been working hard to communicate the invaluable ways it contributes to UK society. BUFDG has contributed to this effort by supporting finance directors to improve financial communication, assisting the development of value reporting (in particular the use of Integrated Reporting <IR>), and developing our own educational materials. These materials include a series of six short videos exploring the value of universities. Please feel free to share them widely.

 

Video 1: What are Universities?

The first video tackles the topic of 'What are Universities?' The answer is not necessarily what you might expect. Universities are complex and unique organisations. They teach students of all ages, in almost every subject you can think of, on green campuses, in bustling cities, and at a distance, to learners in their own homes. They expand human knowledge by undertaking research in a mind-boggling range of areas. They are key anchors in their local communities, and regional hubs of economic activity. They are major employers, magnets for national and international collaboration, and an important pillar of civil society. No other kind of organisation comes close to the variety and scale of universities’ educational, entrepreneurial, charitable, and social activity.

Having a unique place in the world requires an unusual business model, that facilitates such a wide range of operations. It also requires a unique way of accounting for how universities generate and spend their income and create value for all their stakeholders. It is a topic that is little- or often mis-understood beyond the walls of university committee meeting rooms.

 

Additional resources: UUK - What do universities do? And what do they spend their money on?

 

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