2014 Higher Education Industry Outlook Survey

A syllabus for transformation

A syllabus for transformation

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higher education

The landscape of higher education is changing. Rising tuition is putting pressure on enrollment, which along with cuts in government aid, is affecting revenue at colleges and universities. At the same time, competition for students has never been greater, as young people become more discriminating about choosing a school.

To meet these challenges, administrators will need to guide their institutions to transform not only how they attract and interact with students, but also their existing business models to deliver education more efficiently and more cost-effectively—with a focus on accountability for outcomes—to make the college experience more affordable and more rewarding for more students.




For higher education, transformation can mean addressing the regulatory mandates around cost, access, and quality. But this year we’re also seeing an emphasis on organizational transformation as officials move from cost-cutting measures involving administrative support functions to the academic side of the business to assess ways to improve education delivery.

Milford McGuirt, National Segment Leader, KPMG’s Higher Education, Research & Other Not-for-Profits (HERON) practice




Select highlights and survey results from the report.


Technology has produced profound transformative changes across all industries, including higher education. Colleges and universities will need to keep up with advancing technologies to remain competitive.

Q: A number of broad trends have emerged in the educational marketplace, e.g., increased use of technology, consumer demand for more educational delivery models, pressure to reduce tuition costs, etc. In response, many institutions are modifying their business models. What changes are taking place at your institution to respond to these trends? My institution is:


Leveraging new technologies is key to transforming the business model to optimize administrative costs, explore opportunities for alternative revenue sources, and change educational delivery models. 

Q: Technological change and innovation are major challenges for higher education. Which of the following apply to your institution?


Maintaining current enrollment levels is a top concern for many college and university administrators. Many institutions believe that parents’ and/or students’ inability to pay tuition and competition from peer schools are significantly impacting enrollment.

Q: What are the major factors affecting enrollment at your institution?


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