Making the grade 2011
A study of the top ten issues facing higher education institutions
Making the grade 2011: A study of the top ten issues facing higher education institutions is a new Deloitte publication which focuses on the main issues that the sector is currently facing. In the preparation of this report, our colleagues consulted with other Deloitte educational practitioners from around the world. The publication also gives us an insight into the Canadian perspective on the current issues facing the higher education sector globally.
According to the report the top 10 issues are as follows:
- Over budget and underfunded
- Rivalry, competition to attract the best students intensifies
- Setting priorities, the danger of making decisions in the dark
- Technology upgrades are needed across the board
- Rethinking infrastructure, a renewed focus on asset optimisation
- Linking programmes to outcomes, where training and market demand intersect
- Attracting and retaining talented faculty
- A sustainable future by enhancing environmental performance
- Tackling diversity, accessibility and affordability
- Regulations and reporting, new responsibilities require better disclosure
Gerard Lyons, Head of Education, Deloitte Ireland comments, “The Irish higher education sector is not the only national education sector to have been negatively impacted by the global financial crisis. As a result of the downturn, most higher educational institutions are coming under severe budgetary pressures, and in order to survive the need for transformation is now greater than ever. Institutions are being forced to be more competitive and cope with their ever shrinking resources.
Some of the insights/recommendations offered in the report, may be worth further consideration, such as:
- Funding and revenue growth, through implementing an operational element into strategic planning, innovative public private partnerships, streamlining of the governance process to empower stakeholders to make informed decisions
- Operating margins, higher education institutions must continue to reduce costs in order to widen operating margins
- Asset deficiency, to include talent management, procurement, distance and online learning, rationalising IT and real estate infrastructure
- Enhancement of institutional brands, focus on building and developing strengths, benchmarking, leverage on technological innovation and sharing of best practices
The higher education landscape has changed, however these issues present an opportunity for further transformation, diversity and adaptation are the keys to survival in a changing environment.