Hands off – it’s ours! Taking back the reins

In 2017, the University of London launched a new website to combine its many London-based concerns (from institutes to accommodation) with its distance-learning arm, the International Programmes.

Among the many challenges this raised was the need to streamline our content ownership and governance. Previously, ownership of the distance-learning arm alone was divided among 50 colleagues, plus the dozen institutions that provide academic support for the courses. This created problems including inconsistency, inaccuracy, high maintenance and sovereignty.

The Web and Marketing teams resolved to take back the reins, which creates its own set of challenges. How would internal and external stakeholders respond to a more defiant stance to content ownership? Would senior leaders support us in our mission, or cede to pressure from outside?

Reflecting on a complex HE organisation with unusual structures, this case study could inform anyone with aspirations to simplify content ownership and governance.


  • Title: Hands off – it’s ours! Taking back the reins
  • Type: Plenary
  • Hashtag: #P9
  • SpeakerKeith McDonald, University of London
  • Date and time: 10.15-10.45 on Friday 13 July 2018
  • Venue: Main lecture theatre (SLB/118)