Transforming Our Professional Services


Staff satisfaction with UCL Professional Services has significantly improved

22 March 2019

In 2018, almost 4,000 colleagues across UCL – that’s 30% of UCL staff - completed a Service Effectiveness Survey (as part of the UniForum programme run by Cubane Consulting). 

Image of UCL's portico from the side

This benchmarking survey, shows how satisfaction with our professional services compares with the Russell Group and other universities from across the globe. 

Colleagues across UCL initially completed the survey in 2015 and 2016. And these early results placed UCL at the bottom of the Russell Group.

However, a few years later we’ve seen an encouraging improvement

In 2018, satisfaction with UCL’s services has improved significantly. We’ve moved from the bottom of the Russell Group to the median and we’re above the median in around half the surveyed activities. We’re also the joint most improved university from the global benchmark group of 33 universities (across the UK, Australia and New Zealand) and are the most improved university in the UK. The results also show increased satisfaction in all 11 faculties.

Anthony Smith (VP Education & Student Affairs and TOPS Programme co-sponsor) commented: 

"This is a brilliant achievement and testament to the work, and continued commitment, of all our professional services colleagues across UCL." 

And Fiona Ryland (Chief Operating Officer and TOPS Programme co-sponsor) added:

"And there is still more we can do, in particular in the areas where we scored least well in the survey." 

The results show improvement across professional services, most notably in Finance, IT and Student Support. Some External Engagement (e.g. Alumni Relations) and Student Support services are rated amongst the highest in the entire benchmarking group.

The Transforming our Professional Services (TOPS) programme was established in October 2016, partly in response to the initial survey results and with an aim of improving service effectiveness in order to increase satisfaction.

Over the year ahead, TOPS will start working on ways to improve the processes and systems that are causing the most frustration for UCL colleagues including parts of finance, research support and estates.

More information