A short thought piece from PA Consulting proposes that less money, fewer students and increased competition might produce three types of university.
- The oligarchs, a small super league of large, research-intensive universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, UCL and Manchester operating on a global level
- The innovators, those institutions that are developing enterprising ways of doing business and engaging with students, employers and other client groups, and hence will be able to grow new sources of revenues
- The zombies, those institutions that are unable or unwilling to invest in change and hence risk finding themselves in a spiral of decline, characterised by continuous cost-cutting and retrenchment.
As always the oligarchs seem to be the winners, but there’s a huge area to compete in around work based, part time, flexible or employer engaged learning, as well as creating a distinctive offer for on campus students. After all, no-one want to be :