Our latest report shows how the UK’s digital body for research and tertiary education delivers high value for members and to the wider economy.
Frontier were asked by Jisc, a UK not-for-profit technology agency for tertiary education, research and innovation, to provide an independent assessment of the economic value they generate for their members and the taxpayer.
Through a newly-developed theory of change model, the report finds that the publicly-funded agency generates high value for money for its members and the taxpayer, helping the sector save time and money with their services.
The report focuses on a core of Jisc’s services:
- connectivity and cybersecurity
- cloud services
- trust and identity
Jisc also provide value through their ability to broker favourable sector-wide deals for licences and digital resources, acting on behalf of the higher and further education sectors as a very large single customer. The agency’s bargaining power and ability to negotiate advantageous terms when purchasing services in bulk lead to considerable cost savings for its members.
The research shines a light on the benefits of the Janet Network that Jisc manages, a significant piece of national infrastructure that connects UK researchers with each other and the rest of the world. A key pillar of Jisc’s connectivity service, the network provides enhanced interconnectedness of education and research institutions within the UK, and with other European and worldwide National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), helping to aggregate demand and deliver the network at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible.
Key findings from the report include:
- An estimated total savings for the higher and further education sectors of up to £300m per year.
- Members receive a return in excess of £3 for every £1 invested in terms of savings
- Wider economic benefits associated with Jisc services are estimated to be worth over £1.5bn per year.
The approach to articulating the benefits of Jisc’s services meant developing a theory of change using a logic model framework, based on review of the documents and data provided by Jisc and a review of the available literature. Frontier’s economists held workshops with experts to reach these findings, gaining a deeper understanding of services and helping to quantify cost savings to members, as well as the wider value which flow from the use of Jisc services.
The report also notes that Frontier’s estimates of economic value are likely to understate the true contribution of Jisc. Alongside the core services considered in the report, the agency also offers data analytics and student services which help the sector to provide the best experience for student, whilst other services such as advice and consultancy, training, events and creating communities of practice help the sector to thrive. With findings focussing on the subset of services above, estimates provide a lower bound of the benefits for members and the wider economy.
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