Higher education providers face multiple questions in a transforming world. Cost pressures are universal. Improved digital infrastructure is urgently needed, but requires significant investment. Student expectations of learning flexibility and value for money are increasing; while volumes of international students are not guaranteed. Alternative routes such as apprenticeships and the government’s Lifelong Learning Entitlement have implications for the traditional tertiary education model.

At KPMG, we have the deep understanding and knowledge of the sector built up over many years to help it deal with the challenges. We bring incisive insights and fresh thinking to create a dynamic way forward. We draw on sector specialists and technical expertise to bring multi-disciplinary solutions in a trusted relationship that helps institutions transform. As an organisation that recruits over 1500 graduates and 600 apprentices each year, we also bring an inside perspective on the skills and attributes that are needed by employers to withstand the challenges in an industry that is also being disrupted by policy, technology and regulation

We worked with 130+ Universities last year and we ranked in the top education consultancy firms by consultancy.uk. We work in close partnership with higher education providers, such as our strategic partnerships for innovation with Leeds, Nottingham and Cambridge as well as UA92 and South Central Institute of Technology. In addition, our connections with government departments, regulators and funders gives us a wider strategic view of the policy making environment and direction of travel.

How KPMG can help

Our unique 360 degree insight means we bring both challenge and understanding. We deliver work that bridges the gap between strategy and execution across areas including:

  • Strategy development, including growth and deal options
  • ESG strategy and approach
  • Funding and debt advisory
  • Organisational transformation
  • Digital transformation
  • Modernised systems and cloud migration
  • Enhanced decision making through data & analytics
  • Risk and assurance to boards and executives
  • International support and advice, including international tax
  • Place based skills strategies
  • Informing policy making at all levels

Our difference

Our deep technical skills, sector knowledge and track record set us apart. We help institutions chart new pathways to sustainable systems, opening the door to greater efficiency, cost effectiveness and data-driven decision making.

Working collaboratively alongside universities and colleges as a trusted partner, we catalyse change for improved outcomes – helping build thriving centres of lifelong learning and knowledge.

Who are we working in collaboration with?

Insights for education and skills



Many of our diverse team at KPMG have backgrounds in the education sector, including providers and regulatory bodies. We have strong links with education teams in other KPMG practices (including the US, Australia, India, and China). We work closely with KPMG’s Learning and Development team. Our clients benefit from our broad perspective and in-depth understanding.

Examples of our work include:

  • Over the past 15 years, improving the organisational models and efficiency of university clients to provide a significant return on investment. The current focus is on achieving long-term operational and financial sustainability while improving how they interact with their students, academics, staff, and communities.
  • Working with government and regulators to support their work across the sector.
  • Working with local government to help address the skills issues in places – providing innovative solutions and data-led insight.
  • Developing the IT blueprint for the launch of a new further education college and managing its implementation.
  • Leading a consortium which works with the NHS Leadership Academy to design and deliver leadership programmes, reaching over 3000 NHS senior leaders to date.

Talk to our leaders