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‘New Universities academically more effective and efficient than those in the research-led Russell Group’

United Kingdom, 24 May 2007 - Controversial research has quantified the greater academic effectiveness and efficiencies of post-1992 (teaching orientated) universities compared with members of the Russell Group (research orientated) universities - the opposite of the widely accepted position of UK universities in published league tables.

The paper entitled ‘Benchmarking the performance of English universities’ uses data currently in the public domain, provided from the reports of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Statistics Agency and The Times Higher Education Supplement. It contains highly original analysis of the data which leads to logically inescapable findings.

Authored by Jeff Pursglove, a freelance Performance Management Consultant, and Mike Simpson of Sheffield University Management School, the research benchmarks the two types of university for one academic year in the areas of academic effectiveness and efficiencies. Pursglove and Simpson state that ‘the mean academic effectiveness of the post-1992 universities is considerably greater than that of the Russell Group. Indeed not one Russell Group university has a score which exceeds that of any member of the post-1992 group’.

News of the research has already been featured in The Times Higher Education Supplement – a leading specialist HE publication in the UK and Europe, the education section of The Guardian national newspaper and appears on many websites with a global presence e.g. BBC China.

Drs. Pursglove and Simpson are currently seeking funding to enable them to carry out further work in order to answer some of the questions posed by their research.

Benchmarking: an International Journal regularly reviews different approaches to benchmarking to help develop and refine the best possible approach for organisations. By examining the actual performance of other companies, benchmarking helps set demanding, but realistic and achievable performance improvement targets. ‘Benchmarking the performance of English universities’ is published in volume 14, number 1, 2007, and will be made freely available at until Friday 15th June 2007 in order for more to gain access to this important research

Authors interested in contributing to Benchmarking: An International Journal should visit for more information. The journal is available as a standalone subscription or as part of the Emerald Management Xtra database of management articles and abstracts which recorded 15 million users around the world in 2006.

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