Selected infrastructure indicators 2000-2008
Figure 4 shows the development of infrastructure in HEIs that support the emerging priority of responsive knowledge exchange with business and the community. Businesses (especially SMEs) have commented in the past that it is difficult to access the right products and services from HEIs given their scale and complexity. This is less and less the case: Figure 4 shows that over 90 per cent of HEIs provide an enquiry point for business. Universities are also improving the education provision for external partners by creating distance learning provision and even bespoke courses on companies' premises. HEIs are also embedding the existing interactions more fully so as to maximise the benefits by building lasting relationships with clients; an example of such is where HEIs require staff to use a central process when engaging in consultancy so as to reduce the administrative burden on the academic and allow them to focus on intellectual input while the specialist staff look after any technical issues such as insurance.