Well we voted Lib Dems and got the Tories:-)  And from what I read in my Twitter stream on Tuesday night there is a feeling of gloom and despondency shared by many who work in higher education.  It will no longer be “Education, Education, Education” (even the Daily Telegraph acknowledged that “Education spending increased from £36 billion in 1996/97 to £56.9 billion in 2006”). Rather after the budget we will be seeing the promised cuts in the public sector, especially in those areas which do not provide front-line service.

So how should those of us involved in providing national IT services across higher education respond?

The question provides a suitable political and economic context for a one-day workshop on  “Engagement, Impact, Value” which, as I described previously, will be held at the University of Manchester on 24 May. This event (for which there is no charge) is being organised jointly by UKOLN and Mimas.  We will hear a number of case studies of the approaches services have taken to pro-actively engaging with their users in order to maximimise the impact of the services and provide value for money.

This workshop, which is aimed primarily for those working for JISC services and involved in JISC-funded project activities, will be followed up by a number of other workshops which will be aimed at the wider HE community.

At this event we will be exploring ways in which we can demonstrate the value our user communities place on our services and obtain evidence that can be used to support our case to decision makers.

We might also, of course, look at the ways in which innovative approaches are being used to support our user communities and the metrics we will need in order to make persuasive arguments to those holding the purse strings.