Background to the project
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Distinctiveness as a route to sustainability for Higher Education ...

Why distinctiveness?• Distinctiveness concerns the values you hold, the culturein which you do things, and the things that you offer• There are cogent reasons for elaborating a distinctivestrategy:• Firstly: distinctiveness confers a competitive advantage. This isimportant because, in this increasingly challenging HEenvironment, the need to compete will undoubtedly increase• Secondly: a clear and cogent organisational identity enablesthose who interact with the organisation to identify with it, andbecome loyal to it

What do Vice Chancellors think?• Distinct conducted a survey in the summer of 2011.131 VCs in England approached to take part.• Responses received from 21% (28) of those canvassed,including representation from all types of institution.• More than 50% of HE institutions seem to believe that itis the student experience that makes them distinctive.• Risky?• Most VCs prefer ‘learning on the job’ over formal andinformal training methods• What are the implications for supporting leadership?

Resources available to youFor example…• Mission statement exercise• A tool to get you thinking about how distinctive your institution’smission statement really is• Supporting claims of distinctiveness• A briefing note to support you in developing an evidence basefor your institution’s distinctiveness strategy• Understanding your institution• Techniques for uncovering the values of your core constituents

Where to find out moreWeb: up to our e bulletin: / Twitter: Distinct in HEEvents: Distinct will be presenting final researchoutcomes and resources at events aroundEngland in May and June 2012Dr Anne Gwinnett, Distinct project sponsor

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