Preparing for the future

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How can Canada’s higher educational institutions stay competitive?

Canadian universities and colleges have long faced funding and service-level concerns. Current fiscal strategies are not enough to maintain operations, much less allow the sector to grow and enhance Canada’s competitiveness.

To succeed, post-secondary leaders need to rethink their business strategy and take a realistic look at how they operate, spend and deliver services. This translates into transforming their entire organization to become more effective by considering the following:

  • Integrated services instead of silos: By moving from standalone faculties and schools, universities and colleges can begin to understand their spending and make appropriate strategic investments in services and technologies.
  • Cost reductions not service reductions: By understanding where they spend money, institutions can identify cost efficiencies and ensure they gather the most value from their investments.
  • Making lasting transformation changes: By developing a fact-based case for change, engaging stakeholders and developing cost-effective processes, institutions can undertake the transformation initiatives they need to build and increase their competitiveness.

For a number of the institutions that PwC works, the focus to date has been on the delivery of administrative services. For many, this is only the first step in a bigger transformation vision. Administrators and academics alike recognize that there are additional change opportunities available on the academic side of university operations. Once universities have proven the success of their transformation initiatives with respect to their administrative service delivery, they can begin to examine their delivery of academic services in a similar fashion.