Conference aims to boost HE procurement skills

The Conference On University Purchasing (COUP) is the HE sector’s premier event for developing procurement expertise

There is growing pressure to maximise the value achieved from all aspects of government spending, especially within the higher education sector. Never has it been more important for all HE staff to ensure that they get the most from their budgets and demonstrate that they are delivering value for money. Both the 2011 and 2015 UUK reports on Efficiency in UK higher education highlight the necessity for effective strategic procurement.

COUP’s programme is perfect for any university or college staff member who has an interest in procurement; from finance directors, heads of procurement, FM managers, estates and IT directors, category managers and buyers to staff based outside the procurement department such as technicians, business managers or academics. The strategic importance of procurement is ever increasing, and events like COUP are pivotal in supporting the function.

COUP brings together a diverse mix of consultant-led sessions, interactive mini-training, and case studies from the sector to support delegates in implementing new procurement innovations back in the office. Sessions will cover both theory and practice, and will address topics such as category management, estates procurement, sustainable procurement, spotting fraud in the supply chain, negotiation and stakeholder engagement. COUP offers a balanced blend of expert-led sessions focusing on both procurement strategy and operation.

“This is the must-attend event for anyone involved in procurement in the HE sector,” says Susan Wright, Head of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium which is organising COUP. 

“We have developed a diverse programme and are very excited by the line-up of experts from within and outside the sector.”

Speakers will include representatives from the Universities of Exeter, Lancaster, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield Hallam, Surrey and West of England, along with other procurement experts. Attendees will also hear from experts within the Higher Education Procurement Association, the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and Crown Commercial Service, among many others.

Beyond the stimulating session programme, COUP attendees will also benefit from a 92-stand supplier exhibition highlighting suppliers that specialise in serving the HE sector.

The Conference On University Purchasing (COUP) is the HE sector’s premier event for developing procurement expertise and takes place from 8 – 10 September at the University of Kent. 


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