University of Exeter kicks off £2.5m digital transformation drive

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 March 2019 in News
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Institution wants to become one of the top 10 in the UK

The University of Exeter is to embark upon a £2.5m programme of digital transformation to support its ambitions of becoming one of the UK’s top 10 universities.

Over the next two years, the institution wants to put in place an array of “cutting-edge digital products” for use by students, teachers, researchers, and other staff.

“The education service aspires to provide high-quality teaching and learning experiences to students, the research service aspires to multiply research impact by creating more avenues for research and collaboration,” the university said. “Technology-enabled interactive spaces, intuitive delivery and interdisciplinary learning play a key role to support staff better, use resources optimally, and build our impact regionally, nationally and globally.”

Exeter has issued two contract notices via the government’s Digital Marketplace. The first is seeking a supplier that can help “design and architect” the programme of work, while the second addresses the need for project management. The two engagements will be worth a cumulative total of up to £2.5m across a period of two years – during which various individual “work packages” will be commissioned.


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“Students need reliable and intuitive systems to support education and wellbeing, academic content, information about timetables or ways of working collaboratively with peers in both digital and physical spaces,” the university said. “Academics need to be enabled by digital tools to deliver high quality education content and support to students with clear information, including processing of work. To be able to engage in, produce, collaborate, track and store research in line with the highest academic standards, in accordance with funding body and partner rules. Administrators need clear, simple, reliable, integrated processes to support students and academics with seamless and responsive administrative functions.”

The chosen companies will work alongside Exeter’s chief information and digital officer, digital programme director, and assistant director of solutions delivery. The “wider Exeter IT team” will also take part in the programme of work, as will other suppliers.

The digital transformation scheme is intended to support the university’s ambition to be ranked among the UK’s 10 leading universities – and the top 100 in the world.

In the UK’s three main annual university league tables, Exeter was ranked 12th, 14th, and 18th in the most recent editions. The World University Rankings published by The Times placed the institution 141st globally.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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