Birmingham University signs 10-year £15m deal for online learning

Written by Sam Trendall on 11 January 2021 in News
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Institution retains incumbent supplier on long-term contract

Credit: Descrier/CC BY 2.0

The University of Birmingham has signed a £15m contract to support the delivery of online learning for the next decade.

Newly published procurement documents reveal that the institution entered into a decade-long engagement with specialist supplier Wiley Education Services on 25 September. The deal was awarded without prior competition; the university said this was because the investment of time and money it had already put into working with Wiley – coupled with the demands and constraints of the coronavirus crisis – meant that the supplier represented “the only viable option”.

“The University has made a considerable investment in the technical, operational and cultural integration required for Wiley Education Services to deliver these services efficiently and effectively,” the contract notice said. “This has included the implementation of modified working practices and staff training.”


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It added: “Timescale is also a consideration as the university wishes to go to market with these new courses in summer 2021. The internal resources required to set up the technical and operational integration with a new supplier are currently focused on urgent mitigations required as a result of Covid-19, as such it would be not be possible to achieve the desired timetable with an alternative provider.”

The value of the deal, which runs until 30 September, is listed as £15m.

Ranked as the 12th best university in the UK – and just outside the top 100 worldwide – Birmingham has 34,000 students on its books, almost one in four of whom are from overseas, with about150 countries represented.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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