Make the best evidence-based financial resourcing decisions to optimise university performance and bring about the most positive impact on the student experience.

Tribal Performance Benchmarking helps universities improve the student experience and financial sustainability of operations; not as isolated aspects of performance, but as a truly combined approach to ROI. Evidence-based, sector comparative benchmarks show institutions what good practice looks like in terms of resourcing, efficiency, effectiveness, student satisfaction and ROI.

Helping university leaders make informed strategic decisions to improve performance

Tribal’s Performance Benchmarking has been developed to help universities improve the student experience and financial sustainability of operations, as a combined and inter-related approach to managing ROI.

It combines our two long-standing solutions, Financial Benchmarking and the Student Barometer survey, that have been used by the majority of UK Higher Education institutions, to bring transparency to the correlation between resource allocation / investment and student experience.


Performance Benchmarking will help answer the questions:

  • How and why does our expenditure profile and resource allocation differ to our competitors?
  • How does our student experience compare to other universities?
  • How do we improve both of these comparative positions?
  • What do students value, what features and services contribute most significantly to satisfaction, and how do we begin to measure ROI on these things?
  • How much should a satisfied student cost our university?
  • Optimise levels of efficiency, ROI and financial sustainability.

    • Ensure the core business is as lean as possible and identify opportunities for cost savings.
    • Ensure structural changes are bringing about the desired savings, efficiencies and productivity and have a positive effect on the financial sustainability of the institution.
  • Provide focus and objectivity for which levers to pull in order to optimise any aspect of operations.

    • Understand the wider impact of strategic decisions on the student experience, and the financial sustainability of the institution.
  • Overcome resistance to change by providing clear evidence for strategic decisions.

    • Understand and communicate the wider impact of strategic decisions on the student experience, and the financial sustainability of the institution.
  • Spend less time arriving at decisions that will deliver impact

    • Provide the context and reasoning behind differences in performance across student experience and financial performance.
  • Validate objectives

    • Draw upon sector benchmarks to establish evidence-based targets.
    • Optimise the contribution from each curriculum area by setting expectations on KPIs based on achievable sector benchmarks.
  • Ensure Management Teams make the right strategic decisions.

    • Forecast how investment decisions will impact performance across the institution’s services and across the student experience.
    • Evidence that strategic decisions are delivering to the plan or roadmap, and that progress is being made.

Three examples of how Performance Benchmarking helps tackle fundamental challenges in HE...

Delivering efficient and productive Professional Services


Resourcing for, and meeting, rising student expectations


Optimising service delivery for the international strategy


Call for participation in the pilot programme

We are collaborating with BUFDG and HESPA to introduce this pioneering solution to UK Higher Education institutions as we believe the evidence base it provides can make a real difference to how institutions inform their future resourcing decisions to positively affect the student experience and the financial resilience of the sector.

For further information about the pilot programme, including anticipated outputs, schedules and pricing, please see the Pilot Briefing