The College and University Business Officers (CUBO) has announced ambitious plans for 2019, which include raising the bar on member value as well as increasing its profile within the higher education sector and beyond.
CUBO, the professional association which represents senior managers of diverse commercial and campus services in higher education, including catering, accommodation, conferencing, retail, sport, nurseries and management of facilities, enjoys a membership base comprising around two-thirds of institutions within the higher education sector.
CUBO has said it intends to grow its membership and support the development of skills and talent within its ranks, while driving standards through sharing best practice and associated insights.
Chief executive Jan Capper says they will be focused on the development of specialist skills that sit behind each university's professional business team: "2019 will be a pivotal year for CUBO, not only as we start to see the impact of Brexit on elements such as recruiting skills to fill positions within university departments, but the growing concern over the continuing attraction of UK campuses to overseas students.
"Never has it been so important for universities to optimise their facilities, services and commercial standing, which brings us back to the importance of campus services. Our aim is to bring the value of these services right to the top of the higher education agenda.
"One of our first research studies will be into the impact of campus services on the student experience, identifying the value added of campus services, whilst identifying gaps for sharing and learning improvement."
Additionally, a review of the board to further strengthen CUBO's voice was undertaken recently and has resulted in the appointment of Julie Barker (former chair of TUCO) and Jo Hardman, head of commercial services at Lancaster University, with further appointments to follow in 2019.
"CUBO is playing an increasingly important role in supporting university business officers and their teams when it comes to front line efficiencies and optimising value from their activities, while showcasing the impact of those activities and celebrating their contribution," adds Capper.
"As an association, we listen to our members and respond to their needs, bringing together members and partners to share knowledge, and help them learn and grow. CUBO offers business advantage through learning and membership and is increasingly relevant in a highly competitive market, helping to deliver business advantage within the higher education sector."Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).