Conference Debrief: LH Martin Service Improvement and Innovation

We were proud to sponsor and support the LH Martin Service Improvement and Innovation Conference down in Melbourne Oct 25 – 26.  We were also pleased to assist Ray Fleming from Microsoft with his workshop, where we dug into ways data can support decision making, which we will go through later in this post. The […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Requirements #10-11: Budget Process Improvement and Scenario Planning

Every university goes through an annual budgeting cycle.  There are about as many budget processes as there are universities but they all have one thing in common:  the need to take account of changes in enrolment, governmental support, and other external factors.  This is not easy because each potential factor affects various parts of the […]

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Cost of Teaching: Let’s benchmark and look beyond just the Cost per EFTSL

Important Note: All of the dollar amounts shown below have been changed to protect the data privacy of our client institutions. Benchmarking within the university sector is not new.  It happens at nearly every level – between schools, faculties, peer group universities (private, public, research intensive, regional, etc), and even internationally. Although this blog is […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Requirements #9: Improving Program Review

Previous blogs examined how the Pilbara model helps identify programs for investment and disinvestment (#5) and illuminates the economic relationships between programs (degrees) and individual courses (subjects).  Now we turn to “Program Review” – a deep dive into the specifics of particular programs. Traditional reviews look at a program’s curricular structure, the institution’s capacity (in […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Data Requirement #8: Course and Program Relationships

Combining the analytic insights from using a tool such as Microsoft Power BI together with a robust cost model can open up a previously hidden set of views to management, particularly with respect to courses (subjects) and programs (degrees).  In the past, this data has not purposefully be hidden, but rather it’s simply not captured […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Data Requirement #7: Tuition Price Setting

Tuition pricing decisions must balance each program’s expected student demand (at a given price) against its per-student contribution margin and recover the institutions full costs when all the programs are added together. The Pilbara model calculates fully loaded and net margins (based on gross tuition and fee revenue, offset by financial aid / scholarship / […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Data Requirement #6: Marginal Enrollment Cost and Break-even Analysis

Marginal Enrollment Cost and Break-even Analysis are two of the hardest concepts to both calculate and analyse as you need to have a detailed and robust cost model to support your decision-making process.  Among other things, you need to be able to differentiate direct costs from support costs, and fixed from variable costs, at the […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Data Requirement #5: Identify Candidate Programs for Investment or Disinvestment

Thinking in terms of degree and other academic programs is essential when considering your institution’s revenues, costs, and margins. This kind of thinking goes beyond analyses based on faculties, schools, and departments. It is the program portfolio that connects the institution to the student marketplace, so that is the place where resource allocation strategy should […]

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Higher Education Shared Governance Data Requirement #4: Identify Course Candidates for Redesign or Elimination

It is not uncommon for schools to receive pressure to address their low enrolment courses (subjects). For example, they may be told that they shouldn’t be running courses with fewer than, say, six students in them. So how do you go about distinguishing the ‘good’ courses from the ‘bad’ courses? It is not a simple […]

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