25 years in international Higher Education. What’s changed?

,

I realised recently that 2019 marks my 25th year in international higher education. This made me pause to reflect on what has changed over that period.

This article highlights three key changes – one at individual/operational unit level, one at organisational level and one at national/international level – and speculate briefly on what the future looks like. Observations are based mainly on the UK context, but some elements may resonate in other parts of the world.

Read more

For #IWD2019, let’s start with watching our words

, ,

The headline that “More FTSE 100 CEOs are called John than are women’ is certainly a striking one. A quick tally of UK university VCs tells us that it is not quite as bad in the higher education sector. (You’d need to include the Davids, Stephens, Stuarts, Nigels, Pauls, Peters AND Johns to beat the 25% of female leaders, which is still quite shocking but doesn’t quite have the same impact as the first headline).

Read more

Building a University for Life

, ,

 “The idea that you will be able at 18 to study something and three years later you’ll have everything you need to take you through until you’re 75 is fanciful. If it ever were true it’s certainly not true now.”

This view was expressed by Professor Kathy Armour (Pro-VC Education from the University of Birmingham) at a recent higher education roundtable event. The point is beautifully made and one that I wish schools and universities were better able to support. Given that a current 18-year-old will likely need to reinvent their professional selves at least 3 or 4 times during their working lifetime, education shouldn’t be a one-time opportunity.

Read more

Disrupting the Case for Support

,

A Case for Support is an oft-used tool in fundraising to set out your stall; its purpose to communicate the ‘Why’ of your campaign. It’s a working document designed as a group/workshop exercise to provoke discussion, tease out the campaign’s identity and find its most compelling elements. It constantly evolves and very, very rarely ever reaches a stage of print, design and publishing.

It’s a critical exercise to ensure robust central campaign communications. Whether you’re a Vice-Chancellor, a Major Gifts Fundraiser or a Regular Giving Officer, you must be fluent in the unique and compelling reasons to give to your campaign – and your Case is your script.

Why write a Case for Support? Because that’s what you do for a campaign. But let us not fall into the ‘because we’ve always done it that way’ trap.

Read more

Brexit + Trump = Time for Turbo-Charged Alumni Relations

, , , , , ,

Back in November 2016, Halpin Joint CEO Susie Hills wrote this piece, and it remains as relevant now as it was then. The smartest institutions are connecting and engaging with their international community in a meaningful and long-term way as an insurance policy against Brexit.

The winds of political and economic change are creating stormy weather for higher education institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. Both Brexit and the election of Trump have exposed deep divisions within our societies: our higher education institutions are seen to be part of the ‘privileged establishment’ for which many in our society are expressing their discontent. In both cases university staff and graduates were predominantly on the losing side of the vote, yet in the face of this divide, our universities must play their part in helping to bring communities together and tackling disadvantage.

Read more

Winning the dash to the UCAS deadline (and the race to the summer)

, ,

The UCAS deadline provides an intense pressure point for marketing and admissions teams – and this year the stakes are high. Fewer 18-year-olds, intense competition, the Augar review, political uncertainty…

The good news is that whilst there has to be a final dash towards the UCAS deadline, the race isn’t necessarily won or lost on that date.

At this pressured time of year, you can position yourselves to be in pole position for the next few months by taking a few simple steps:

Read more

Value for money in HE – denial is not an option

, , ,

The recent report by the House of Commons Education Committee ‘Value for money in higher education’ offers vital insight into the prevailing winds in HE, and how the concept of value for money for students is going to shape universities over the coming years.

So what is the report signalling, and what should universities be doing right now?

Here are some of the key messages in the report, and some suggestions as to how you might act now to reshape your plans for 2018/19 and beyond.

Read more

One in 5 British Universities is slowly dying. These five steps might just save them.

,

More than 20% of British Universities are slowly dying.  They are post-92 institutions who have seen their recruitment numbers fall every year since 2011. To read the Guardian and the Times Higher, you’d think this was all due to factors beyond their control.

The truth is that their decline is completely reversible because contrary to what the doom-mongers allege, the factors causing it are entirely within their control. Here are five steps which many other post-92 universities have taken with great success.

Read more

8 signs consultancy might be right for you

, ,

Have you ever wondered whether being a consultant is the right move for you? Having led two consultancy firms and worked as a consultant at various times in my career I think there are some key traits shared by all good consultants. I’ve come up with eight, but fellow consultants out there might have more to add.

Read more

We’re celebrating our first birthday!

,

We are 1, we are 50, we are 1100!

Read more