The pursuit of financial sustainability can start in different places

We can all agree that the Higher Education sector in the UK is a diverse and resilient one. However, whatever the size and shape of your institution, financial resilience and sustainability is currently a priority board issue. A combination of energy shocks; inflationary pressures; uncertainty around policy decisions (such as on international students) and fee stagnation, alongside increasing investment demands are putting the sector in the eye of the storm.

The question might be the same but there are different starting points

Whilst the issue is consistent, all Universities will be at different starting points or phases of their journey towards financial resilience and sustainability. You may be needing to stabilise your institution with some shorter term interventions, or realign and prioritise existing activity to deliver the best return on investment, or you may be looking at how to grow from an already stable base. Or of course a combination.

Depending on your starting place, external pressures and desired outcomes and priorities, Universities will approach the issue from different angles. In each case your specific financial situation, mission, strategic focus, diversity of income and point on the change cycle will need to be taken into account. So whilst the question is fundamentally the same, there are different responses depending on the starting point.

Please click on the link here and use this as a self-assessment tool to help you consider which stage your University might be at, to understand what you should prioritise as actions and where your destination is in the short, medium and long term and of course where KPMG can support.

There is no quick fix

It is also true to say that whilst there are short term levers that can be pulled if needed, our view is about the long term and re-shaping the Institution to meet future needs across academic areas, professional services and embedding sustainability.

How can KPMG help?

Our team can help you throughout your journey through supporting your:

  • Academic portfolio modelling
  • Legal entity set-up
  • Transformation and change management including operating model design
  • Commercial and diversification prospects
  • Digital and technology structure
  • Procurement processes
  • Visibility over cash and working capital
  • Corporate finance options
  • Strategy support

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