How JISC supports innovation in research and education

JISC has been inspiring innovation in the UK research and education for over 25 years and is now working on a new strategy for the future.

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Looking forward - a new strategy for a new environment

The UK education sectors are going through a lot of change at present. JISC needs to respond to the changing environment and is currently going through a review where we are looking at how the organisation has developed over the last 25 years, and ensuring that it is as effective and efficient as possible.

JISC will be writing its new strategy over the next year. We don't yet know exactly what this will include but it is safe to assume that in the future, JISC will be even more focused on helping the sectors with the challenges that face them - using ICT to provide an excellent student experience; providing good value deals for digital content; managing research data; keeping up to date with technology trends. We will place even more emphasis upon developing shared services that offer cost-effective solutions to the UK education sector - so cloud computing is going to be an issue, as are shared library systems. We will also continue to invest in small and large-scale change projects so that we can help the UK to respond quickly to new opportunities as they arise. The new JISC will be even more flexible and responsive to the needs of the people that it supports, than it is at present - and will be able to take advantage in some of the exciting developments in ICT to do this.

Sarah Porter is head of innovation at JISC, the UK government's technology consortium for universities and colleges. Her work involves leading the strategic investment in research projects that promote new uses of technology for the benefit of education and research.  This work also helps to build the capacity and knowledge of education and research professionals in communication and project management skills as they lead on JISC funded work.

Sarah has worked in the higher education sector for about 15 years at a range of institutions, including five years at the University of Oxford, and in national roles. She has been Head of Innovation at JISC since 2004. Her particular interest is in how technology can help universities to innovate the day-to-day business of education and research - in particular the central importance of technology users, institutional processes and practices - and to help higher education to respond to the ever-changing political, cultural and financial context.

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