IHE is an association of members at its core, and as a community it grows in numbers, strength and friendship every year. A competitive spirit helps to raise standards for the people who learn and the people who work in our institutions, but there is a recognition also of the commonality of our experiences, and of the aspirations and occasional frustrations that we all share.

In each of the five years since IHE’s launch, we have added new networks and forums in order to offer more regular opportunities for members to share, and to learn from each other and from experts in their fields. Moving all meetings online by necessity in 2020 has made them more accessible than ever and set a new paradigm for how we connect and collaborate with others.

The Many Hands project which launched in 2021 with the financial support of the OfS and the government heralds a new era of collaboration between our members, delivering a shared service to support student mental health which would not be possible for one provider alone to achieve. Over the next three years, we will build on this as a model for other areas in which a shared service could add real value to the offer that our members can make to their students.

We will:

build a platform and operating model for offering shared services to members, by

  • creating a shared service in student mental health through the Many Hands project
  • engaging members to identify priority areas for collaboration or a shared service
  • creating a volunteer pool of staff to offer externality in appeals and similar processes

ensure members and new providers can access high-quality outsourced services, by

  • growing IHE’s consultancy offer for start-ups, scale-ups and regulatory milestones
  • identifying core functions that SMEs and start-ups find difficult to cover internally
  • working with partners to deliver interim and backstop services to meet these needs

explore new opportunities for high-value collaborative projects and campaigns, by

  • establishing relationships with representative organisations in different industries
  • identifying common interests and campaign goals shared by IHE members and others
  • supporting members and partners to pursue opportunities for collaboration, collective
  • innovation and knowledge exchange

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