Strategy 2026 KPIs

Julian Todd made this Freedom of Information request to University of Liverpool

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was partially successful.

Dear University of Liverpool,

I read with interest that, advised by PwC, the University Council is measuring its performance against a set of KPIs defined in reference to its Strategy 2026. [University Council meeting 13 October 2020, item 4(xi)]

Unfortunately the Strategy 2026 document is somewhat short on details of what these KPIs are. There is also no publicly accessible table of these values as they emerge. Nor is there an indication of what sanctions, if any, would be applied to members of the leadership team if these KPI metrics missed their targets. [ https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/strategy-2026/ ]

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Please can I be sent copies of:

(1) The "Quarter 1 Performance Report" provided under Item 7(i) of the 9 February 2021 Council Meeting, including its headline "dashboard style format" and its "revised success measures from the refreshed Strategy 2026"

(2) The "Quarter 2 Performance Report" provided under Item 3.1(i) of the 13 April 2021 Council Meeting "including the latest Environment Scan, an Overview of Key Performance Indicators and Risks, and a League Table Measures Summary."

As a student and keen observer of management performance and corporate leadership of large and complex institutions I look forward to receiving from you an exemplary case study that is up to date with the latest research in theory and practice in the use and application of these metrics.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

Dear Mr Todd,

Thank you for your FOI Request. The reference number is 294 and your response will be due on 21 July 2021.

Kind Regards,

Dan Howarth (he/him)
Data Protection Officer / Freedom of Information Manager
Legal & Governance
University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 7ZX
T: +44 (0)151 794 2148

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

show quoted sections

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Todd

 

Further to our email below. Unfortunately, due to annual leave of
University colleagues, I am not in a position to provide a substantive
response by the response deadline.

I hope to be able to do so by 2^nd August at the latest, although I will
aim to respond sooner if possible. Please accept my apologies for the
delay.

Kind regards, Kirsty

 

Kirsty Rothwell (she/her)
Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

 

[1]Signature-Footer

 

 

show quoted sections

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd

 

I am writing in response to your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act (our reference FOI/2021/294). 

 

Please find attached the University's response.

 

Kind regards, Kirsty

 

Kirsty Rothwell (she/her)
Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

 

[1]Signature-Footer

 

show quoted sections

Dear University of Liverpool,

Thank you for your response on 2 August to my FOI request sending me the Quarter 1 Performance report with about 70 redactions, and the Quarter 2 Forecast report with over 100 redactions.

These redactions were all justified by the claim that the data would be "very beneficial" to other universities who could "tailor their own business strategies to match or exceed" Liverpool University's strategy which would "harm" its "market position".

This doesn't make any sense with regards to these KPIs.

Take "Reputation and Brand", for example. This is a measure of how the University is seen by people from the outside in terms of positive and negative press (eg notable research output vs. the number of strikes and boycotts of the institution in the last year). How does publishing what you have measured as its value help any other competitor with information that they already know? The whole point of a reputation is it's what the outside world can see. Where's the secret? Please publish that figure. The same applies to "Global Standing" and "Globally Connected", whatever those mean.

Then, under Education, you have blotted out the NSS national student satisfaction measure. Why? That's an external figure given to you by the Department for Education. Not a secret. And so on and so forth.

There is also "Achieve a net zero carbon campus by 2035" KPI, redacted. What possible reason can there be for that? How on earth does publishing this help other universities in a way that is detrimental to anybody, let alone Liverpool University?

Not one of the redactions in these documents has been properly explained. Please look again, and either publish them as requested, or give at least a relevant reason for each one of them.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

Julian Todd left an annotation ()

Although they've redacted all the numbers, this is supposed to be the complete list as seen by the senior management. It is notable that extremely few of these KPIs could be described as Operational and relevant to the job of teaching students. Relevant KPIs in relation to that task would be student attendance at lectures and lecture hall utilization. Instead these KPIs put at their head "Global Standing" and "Globally Connected" which are not really performance measures.

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

Dear Mr Todd

 

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review of
your Freedom of Information Act request. Your reference number is
FOI/2021/294/IR.

 

The University will aim to respond within 20 working days of receipt – 1
September at the latest. 

 

If you have any queries about this email, your request, or the way in
which your enquiry is being handled, please do not hesitate to get in
touch.

 

Kind regards, Kirsty

 

Kirsty Rothwell (she/her)

Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator

Legal & Governance

 

show quoted sections

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd

 

I am writing in response to your request for an internal review of your
recent request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (our
reference FOI/2021/294/IR). 

 

Please find attached the University's response.

 

Kind regards, Kirsty

 

Kirsty Rothwell (she/her)
Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

 

[1]Signature-Footer

 

show quoted sections

Dear Kirsty,

Thank you for your release of these KPI documents with slightly fewer redactions than before.

The information reveals that it is the top policy of management to chase the rankings rather than to set their own policies, so if the ranking system rates research paper citations seven times higher than staff-student ratio, then it makes sense to fire teaching staff.

Also, the use of the Section 43(3) (publication of the KPIs would help other universities to do better and compete with us) is highly implausible, given the total lack of actionable detail in this information. Even if it were true, it is odd how the University does not understand that it is in the public interest to share best practice and information that could improve the performance of hundreds of other universities in the country from which the public derives services.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd