Human resources (HR) management in higher education (HE) has been transformed over recent years, boosting the productivity of such services, new research has found.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) claims that funding has helped to support the effort of UK universities and colleges to modernise their HR functions.

Some £888 million was used in total to transform HR facilities in HE, the independent study by Oakleigh Consulting reveals.

Steve Egan, deputy chief executive of HEFCE, said: "[Universities and colleges] can take full credit for responding very positively and making HR an integral part of their strategies by developing effective and modern practices."

And David Lammy, minister of state for HE, said flexible, adaptable and strategic HR arrangements will be "vital" in the future to meet any challenges within the sector.

Meanwhile, Monster’s Employment Index recently revealed the number of HR job vacancies in the profession was at the second-lowest level for over a year.