Challenges faced by UK higher education sector that lead them to transform their ERP Systems across Finance and HR

Fusion Practices


Feb 28, 2023

Some of the challenges faced by UK higher education sector that lead them to transform their ERP systems across finance, HR and student systems are 

Manual processes

Regulatory submissions such as HESA, HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), and RAE require institutions to collect data from various sources, including student systems, research systems (both pre- and post-awards), teacher evaluation management, research publications systems, and research quality data. This data collection process can be time-consuming and inefficient as institutions often prepare a lot of data for reporting or analysis manually. To streamline the process, it is essential to have an ERP like Oracle Financials, HR, Grants Management, and GrantsNow which can enable automation and integration across various research, publication, and student management systems. 

Compliance with UK payroll for the public sector

In the UK, public sector organizations must adhere to various HR and payroll regulations, including pay scales, pension schemes, sickness entitlement rules, and others. Universities in the UK offer different pension schemes, such as the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) for academic and support staff, the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for local authorities’ employees, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), the Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme (STSS) for Scottish teachers, the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) Pension Schemes, and the University of London Pension Scheme (ULPS) for academic and support staff at the University of London and associated colleges. Implementation of Oracle Cloud HCM along with Oracle Cloud Payroll provides a unified platform for managing all these pension schemes in one place. 

Multiple sources of truth

Higher education institutions need a reliable, single source of truth data repository or system for making informed decisions regarding student planning, staff planning, research expenditure planning and course offerings. Add to this the complexity for lifecycle of students who become employees and then ex-employees, and later return to the institution to conduct research must be tracked as a single entity. However, managing this process can be challenging and inefficient when using multiple systems, excel spreadsheets, and manual processes. Such practices can lead to operational inefficiencies and pose risks to the organisation’s effectiveness specially during RAE submission that requires 360 degrees view of staff contributing to research activities. 

Integration with pre-awards systems

Full economic costing and other costing models such as Horizon, ABC (Activity Based), SCM (Standard Cost Model), Marginal Costing, TDABC etc require finance and HR data, and a lack of integration can lead to inefficiencies in research proposal management. Systems such as GrantsNow are pioneers that support all these costing models via configuration and comes pre-integrated with Oracle Grants Cloud and Oracle HR Payroll Cloud within the Oracle Cloud ERP. 

Streamlining student management, integrated billing and reconciliations

Managing the student billing process can be complex and often requires integration between specialized student management systems and ERP systems.  

Standardizing HR processes across faculties

Different faculties may follow different HR processes, systems, and have siloed operations, making standardization and consistency a challenge. 

Supporting new types of roles and talents

The rise of gig economy, and multiple roles requires HR departments to reassess their talent management policies to cater to those looking at working in multiple roles. 

Effective workforce planning

Higher education institutions need to simplify and standardize processes and build a single source of truth to improve their workforce planning and financial budgeting. Implementing proper HR solutions can empower their workforce and improve their workforce planning and financial budgeting. 

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