The quiet revolution - How strategic partnerships and alliances are reshaping the higher education system
The results of PA's fourth annual survey1 of leaders of Higher Education (HE) institutions in the UK show that in comparison to recent years, the past year has been a period of relative stability for universities and other HE providers. The future funding and fees regime and the approach to managing student numbers are now largely settled, at least for the short term, and past fears of institutional failures and collapsing student demand have not materialised.
However, this short term calm has not allayed longer term uncertainties around student demand, Government policies and market competition. Our survey explores how these uncertainties are viewed by institutional leaders, and how they are responding to them. Among the findings from the survey are sector leaders’ views on:
A polarised two-tier system - the great majority of HE leaders expect to see the emergence of a divided system, with a small elite group of strong research universities and a long tail of providers competing in low-cost, no frills teaching services, with a difficult outlook for those institutions in the ‘squeezed middle’
Unintended consequences of government policies - while some institutions still expect traditional degree programmes to sustain their future growth plans, the majority believe that Government policies are forcing them to look outside public teaching and research for business growth and to find new partners to help them do this.
A quiet revolution…
Overall, we believe there is a quiet revolution happening below the radar of the UK HE system. Structures for delivering teaching, research and related services are being reshaped through a variety of business partnerships and alliances, blurring the boundaries between public and private, domestic and global provision
To request a copy of the survey or to discuss the findings as they might affect your institution please, contact us now.
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1 We surveyed around 300 sector leaders and received 95 responses, covering nearly 90 providers and all parts of the UK. The responses reflected a good cross section of institutional types and sizes.