JISC announces new structure to reshape for the future

Today JISC is announcing how, by bringing the leadership from across JISC into a more cohesive structure supported and enabled by the creation of a legal entity, it will reshape itself for the future.

“This is the start of an exciting future for JISC,” said Professor Martyn Harrow, Head of JISC. “We are determined to continue and develop our crucial role in supporting UK colleges and universities and skills providers, keep at the forefront of best practice. This has never been more important than now at a time of tighter funding and unprecedented challenges to the sectors.”

The changes are designed to provide a firm footing for the organisation as it responds to the recommendations made in the Wilson Review in JISC which was published in February 2011. The Review was commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in response to the current economic environment looking at the value of JISC.

“It was important that we take the time to study the recommendations made by Wilson,” continued Professor Harrow. “We therefore set up a Transition Group, made up of expert representatives from across the communities that we serve to go through the Wilson report in detail.  The Group, so ably and skilfully led by Professor David Baker, Deputy Chair of JISC, has provided recommendations that will help us secure a better and more sustainable future for JISC and the sectors we serve.”

One of the first changes will see JISC will become a company limited by guarantee on 1 August 2012 managing the JISC offering across its products and services.  The new company’s primary focus will be on three distinct areas for UK education and research:

•    Infrastructure services:  networks, access management, cloud services
•    Data and content services: procurement, data hosting, data management and interoperability
•    JISC Futures/Solution Services: focussed on supporting education, students, research, and the running of institutions as businesses

JISC will be set up initially as a holding (parent) company and following this, step by step, the current elements of JISC will be brought into this new company structure.

Professor Harrow said, “While it is too early to detail of all the changes, we can say with certainty that our guiding principle will be to ensure that the new model for JISC meets the needs of all our stakeholders.  Our challenge is to do the same, or more, with less, but I am determined that the changes will not compromise our record of providing excellent services to UK colleges, universities and skills providers. It is very clear to me that JISC itself must change if we are to meet the challenges that all our sectors are facing, and we must create a new JISC for new times.”