An outsourcing era: UK university procurement notices reveal need for services

With the majority of universities in the UK classified as public organizations, they are subject to open procurement procedures to ensure reasonable competitors. What this implies is a lot of details are shared openly about the objectives of a university through particular outsourcing jobs and strategies.

The result is an interesting look into where the pressure points might be, and a scope on what the outsourcing spending plan may be for at-need services that are best delivered through a third party.

The PIE has actually been sorting through the tender procedure to learn exactly what universities are seeking external help and support for – – and just how much they are allocating for this in terms of investment.

While this might not be news to some, it will definitely help signpost lots of in the sector to the larger deals occurring on the ground. We often report on public-private sector partnerships once the deal has actually been done, however public notifications supply a fascinating source of additional information consisting of the estimated procurement worth, contract length and number of tenders received or thought about.

As Tim O’Brien, a senior director at INTO observes, “The very quick boost in trainee demand from South Asia particularly has stretched traditional processing and engagement models to their limits.”

INTO is among lots of international education companies that partner with universities on joint efforts that may cover scholastic delivery as well as outsourced trainee recruitment. Its most recent collaboration announced is with UMass Amherst, revealed in September.

“Rising demand seems to have influenced a basic rethink”

O’Brien continues,” [Rising demand] seems to have actually influenced a basic rethink of how finest to serve trainee need in emerging markets around the globe. The flurry of external tenders for backend admission processing and student engagement appears to reflect those dynamics.”

Contracts Finder is the UK government’s single platform for offering access to public procurement related details and paperwork free of charge. There are several other sites that list public contracts such as,, Public Contracts Scotland and

A quick search exposed the broad spectrum of procurement occurring in the global trainee recruitment sector– from developing an Indian in-country office operation to seeking outsourced admissions support in global offer-making. Procurement values included edtech assistance for online learning up to ₤ 50 million investment.

Take a look at the list below of tender invitations from the last few months to see some of the contract briefs we found.

University of Leeds

Title: Digital education service structure for online knowing design, development, technical and job management services
Deadline:September 28, 2022
Procurement value: ₤ 800,000
Description: The University of Leeds digital education service looks for to establish strong relationships with providers of online learning design, advancement, technical and job management services for project-based working.

Sheffield Hallam University

Title: Online programme management service
Deadline:October 10, 2022
Procurement value: ₤ 50 million
Description: Sheffield Hallam University is seeking a commercial partnership to develop, scale and grow our online portfolio and extend our brand name nationally and globally, in an operationally and financially sustainable way.

University of Worcester

Title: Admissions support in global offer-making
Due date:October 12, 2022
Procurement value: Unknown
Description: The University of Worcester is aiming to designate a provider who can support the University’s admissions group in processing applications from international candidates. This will include evaluating applications and issuing conditional offers.

University of Birmingham

Title: Digital marketing services
Deadline:October 31, 2022
Procurement worth:₤ 400,000
Description: The University of Birmingham invites tenders for the supply of digital marketing services consisting of media buying and preparation (UK and International) amongst three other lots.

University of Bath

Title: Postgraduate taught – – deal conversion services Due date:November 2, 2022
Procurement value:₤ 100,000
Description: The University of Bath is wanting to select and deal with a professional service provider of student conversion and engagement services to boost postgraduate taught offer conversion and increase enrolments across a variety of University Faculty programmes

Coventry University

Title: Salesforce UK Ltd License
Deadline: Open listing, no deadline offered
Procurement value: Unknown
Description: Coventry University needs to procure Salesforce licensing and this can just be done directly through Salesforce. The contract in between Coventry and Salesforce has some sensitivity in its nature, as some R&D and IP has actually been developed for Coventry on Salesforce platform for SEP.

. Goldsmiths College, University of London

Title: International Recruitment Services for India Office
Deadline: Closed September 5, 2022
Procurement worth: Unknown
Description:This tender looked for the arrangement of handled services for Goldsmiths, University of London, for an India Office in the classification of company services: law, marketing, consulting, recruitment, printing and security.

University of Greenwich

Title: Online learning program
Deadline: Closed September 15, 2022
Procurement value: ₤ 10 million
Description: The University of Greenwich has procured a tactical partner, with which to develop a range of online knowing (OL) arrangement, which may include building the platform, developing the modules and the recruitment of students.

Queen’s University Belfast

Title: Global student recruitment – – lead management services
Due date: Closed October 3, 2022
Procurement worth: ₤ 700,000
Description: The global student recruitment group at Queen’s University Belfast has actually recognized the requirement for a provider to supply a service to manage the increasing number of leads for UG and PGT programs throughout key international markets (MENA/Sub Saharan Africa/Pakistan) and support and support the market leads through to the application phase.

Royal Holloway and Bedford New College

Title: Marketing, recruitment and admissions service to global trainees
Outcome: Awarded to Study Group
Procurement worth: ₤ 25 million
Description: The special third-party company of the marketing, recruitment and admissions option to International Students on behalf of the University recruited through the agent channel with the exemption of Australia, New Zealand, North America and Western Europe has actually been awarded to Study Group Limited with a procurement worth of ₤ 25 million.

University of Westminster

Title: Media preparation and purchasing services
Result: Awarded to Hunterlodge Advertising
Procurement value: Approx. ₤ 200,000 – – ₤ 350,000
Description: The University appointed a tactical partner marketing company that will assist to deliver effective and targeted UK and worldwide marketing campaigns. This will consist of media purchasing and preparing services, utilizing a combination of digital (consisting of, however not restricted to Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing and display screen) and offline channels (consisting of Out of Home) to attain project and brand objectives.

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