Higher education risk register analysis 2017

The higher education sector landscape continues to evolve, presenting new risks that need to be identified and managed. 

Following the Higher Education and Research Bill, the architecture of the sector will change. In light of growing competition and increased student choice, institutions will need to understand and manage the implications of the new Teaching Excellence Framework and how the new Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation will operate. This is coupled with plans for higher education institutes to be more involved with schools and the potential for further explicit stipulations in future should institutes wish to charge higher tuition fees.

All this comes at a time when the future of Britain's position in Europe is uncertain, which has clear implications for a sector that increasing looks at student recruitment and partnerships outside of the UK. Theresa May's Brexit speech on 17 January 2017 set out the negotiating objectives for leaving the European Union including withdrawal from the single market alongside 'controlled immigration' however; the impact for students from the EU wishing to study in the UK is not yet clear.

Therefore higher education institutions need to look for opportunities, such as closer partnerships working locally, to facilitate progression to the institution as well as potentially developing a higher apprenticeship offer to take advantage of the apprenticeship levy and providing provision for young people who choose a technical or professional route.

In understanding our risk register analysis we have classified each risk by theme. Our reports highlights the major risk themes across the risk registers reviewed and provides a comparison against the key themes identified in 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Our analysis shows that finance, organisational factors, estate and people related risks continue to be of signification risk areas for institutes. Yet, our latest analysis highlights some changes in risk profile and arising issues, which we examine in further detail.

  • What does Brexit hold for higher education institutions?
  • How will changes to 'freedom of movement' rules impact students and academics?
  • Will your institution achieve its student recruitment targets?
  • Does your estate meet the rising expectations of students?
  • What are the implications for research funding?

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