The importance of coaching in higher education


Felicity Gasparro, FOUNDER of Oyster Outcomes and SUMS Associate Consultant discusses current insights into higher education coaching following an extensive and successful coaching assignment with a high-profile red-brick university.

The key takeaways of this study include – 
  • Coaching has grown in popularity across UK universities and may be delivered through the People (HR) function; through internally trained coaches; or contracted out to experts in the field. Each model has a place in the university workplace, as no Coaching client’s needs and coaching goals are the same.
  • University staff must be enabled to optimise their performance to allow for strong and consistent workplace performance despite sector and global turbulence. Staff must be able to put on their own oxygen masks first, to enable them to navigate ambiguity and uncertainty, and remain focused on delivering the totality of ultimate benefit from their HEI to the communities it serves.
  • Throughout the 12-month lifespan of the coaching assignment with a SUMS member, great progress was made. The benefits of taking a holistic and systemic approach to the Coaching work meant that every team member received an investment in their personal development. This enabled personal and team growth, as well as greater collaboration between the distinctively different, but collegiate teams.
  • The case in favour of Coaching being an important part of a university’s personal development toolkit is clear, as are the circumstances at play in the sector in creating the need for optimal performance and staff agility, resilience, and focus. The positive management of performance is a critical success factor which will influence the ability of universities to withstand and excel in the winds of change, and successfully adapt to current and future themes.

Download the full coaching in higher education case study here

As ever, please contact either SUMS Consulting and / or Oyster Outcomes Ltd to explore your coaching requirements.