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Chair Report Dec 2011

Russell Roberts: SROC Chair update

December 2011

SROC continues to be present at the top table in many the debates that are impacting on us in HE. We have been active participants on the HESA HEI consultative group, the SLC consultative and operations groups, the joint ARC/SROC – KIS sessions and consultation.

SROC’s website and LinkedIn sites have been particularly successful with nearly 200 members of SROC and 150 of the KIS discussion groups. We are clearly meeting a need and supporting those dealing with Student Data. We have also had positive feedback on our strap line discussions and more applications for our bursaries than in previous years. Watch out for the conference programme and registration in early January 2012.

However we can’t rest on our laurels and I’m especially concerned that we are robust in our governance and in particular the committee membership. We have had two resignations due to role changes and redundancy. Whilst we must be careful not to overreact, the pressure at our respective institutions will only get greater and we need to ensure that we have not only representative members but the ability to support the conference management.

SROC activities since the Kent Conference

Through our HESA contacts I was invited onto the editorial board of the “Courses Report” a funding council commissioned report designed to pave the way for greater understanding of course structures and to therefore inform the implications for the future in terms of sharing data around the HE sector and some of the limitations due to nomenclature currently used.

At this stage the report is very high level. Issues like UCAS structures versus internal HEI structures have been picked up along with terminology for grouped awards etc.

SROC has also been involved in the Better Regulation consultation, with the SROC committee forwarding expertise which were summarised and put forward to the ARC representative for consideration.

The ARC conference in September was helpful in realising the general state of the HE sector and administration in particular. Presentations by the NUS president reinforced the perceptions of challenge but also the opportunities. The sector will change and it will look very different in a few years time but that also means that we can identify new niches, new collaborations and new ways of working. I was able to give ARC a very positive update both in conference terms but also out online developments.

As mentioned earlier, the virtual side of SROC has really taken off. This has been helped by the need to understand the KIS! Discussion has been regular and by a variety of different colleagues from across different institutions; this is the kind of critical mass that we needed to ensure that debate becomes self-sustaining.

Please consider lending a few minutes of your time to pose a question every now and then on the SROC Linkedin site.

There has been some very successful co-working this year, specifically supporting the KIS ARC/SROC study days. This has been very helpful in informing the debate. A really good example of how we can engage in the national debate whilst supporting SROC delegates.

To all student records staff in HEI’s, can I take this opportunity to wish you well during the festive season, and look forward to seeing many of you in Newcastle.

Russ Roberts, SROC Chair.

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