What is UniForum?
UniForum is a benchmarking program run by Cubane Consulting, involving 49 member universities from New Zealand, Australia, UK, Ireland, and Canada.
Participating universities exchange operational data, analysis and best practice with a view to enable each institution to deliver improvements in the professional and administrative services that support the University.
Otago’s participation in UniForum has been approved by the Vice-Chancellor. David Thomson (Director of Strategy, Analytics and Reporting) is the executive sponsor, and the programme is administered at Otago University by the Strategy, Analytics and Reporting Office.
What are the benefits for the University?
Participating in the UniForum program helps universities to manage administration and support services strategically, and continuously improve operations.
Reports, case studies, and data analysis help to inform discussions about the efficiency and effectiveness of services that support teaching and research. UniForum helps university managers to share information, learn from one another and collaborate.
The majority of staff asked to contribute to the data collection are managers and supervisors of professional staff.
If you are a staff member without managerial responsibilities, the person who performs your Performance Development Review (PDR) or another senior staff member familiar with your role will likely respond on your behalf.
What is the process?
Once a year the University requests information from managers of professional staff for UniForum. The information they provide includes:
- The number of staff that report to them
- The approximate proportion of time that their staff spend on the main activities they perform
Participants provide information via UFAST, UniForum’s online portal.
Selected staff may also be asked to provide additional data to help with analysis, such as financial information, library usage, property services data, and information on external contractors.
Otago’s UniForum team will provide step-by-step instructions on the process before and during the data collection period.
When does it happen?
The UniForum data collection happens once a year, in February-March.
Otago’s UniForum team may be in touch with staff at other times of the year, to prepare for the next collection or share reports from the previous collection.
What support is available?
All participants will be given a guide, supporting resources and access to online help. Otago’s UniForum team is also available to assist.