The Higher Education Sector has experienced a fundamental cultural shift in recent years with students viewing themselves as consumers. This shift has brought an increased level of scrutiny to the door of institutions; requiring them to demonstrate ‘value for money’ for the quality of education being received by the students against the tuition fees payable. For the sector; the challenge has been to strike the right balance between the provision of high quality yet affordable education whilst maintaining financial stability and encouraging investment and growth.
Sector funding cuts, increased operating costs, inflationary pressures on pensions and reductions in research grants are just a sample of the challenges institutions have to manage in an increasingly competitive market to attract both domestic and international students through their doors.
The sector is evolving and working hard to keep pace with advances in automation, artificial intelligence and unprecedented access to data. There remains unpredictability in the sector with many influential factors outside of the institutions’ direct control such as Brexit, change in Government Policy and the impact of a global pandemic.
Risk Management has never been more important. The reputation of institutions can make or break their ability to attract both students and much needed funding – and can mean the difference between survive and thrive.
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