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Strategic Cost Management in Higher Education

A proactive response to reductions in Government funding. The 2017/18 Commonwealth Budget made what some describe as ‘catastrophic’ changes to funding for higher education. This course takes a proactive response to the inevitable disruption funding formula changes drive. The course examines revenue and expenditure opportunities to ensure higher education providers survive and thrive despite funding reductions.

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Understand specific changes to Commonwealth higher education funding for 2019
  • Review the sustainability of the higher education sector and its parts
  • Recognise funding performance targets
  • Appreciate the interrelationship between student profiles and future government funding
  • Identify the potential operational impact
  • Manage revenue risk and opportunity
  • Examine cost management opportunities to meet the 2.5% efficiency dividend

About the Course

Higher education is vital in upskilling the workforce in a global economy and the Australian higher education sector is a major source of export earnings of approximately $20 billion per annum.

Higher education funding has been on the Commonwealth Governments radar for the past three years and changes become a reality in 2019. The time for strategic planning on how to survive and thrive, despite funding decreases, is NOW.

This practical course examines and reviews the higher education funding model to define a sustainable higher education business model. The review ensures all options are considered noting different providers will choose different options to meet their specific needs.

The facilitators experience as a long-term Cost Management Specialist will blend with participant’s insight to stimulate a practical and achievable way forward for each participant to stimulate debate back at their workplace to assist all decision makers plan to survive and thrive.

Enterprise change is never easy. Funding reductions drive change and impact broadly. This course will assist participants and their employers in managing both the change and the impact to achieve a positive outcome for all stakeholders.

Who Will Benefit

  • Deans
  • Council Members
  • Faculty Managers
  • Academics
  • Researchers
  • Corporate Service Managers
  • CFOs
  • CIOs
  • Registrars
  • Project Managers


John Cleary

Conversation with John Cleary

P17GL13 Strategic Cost Management.indd

We at the Informa Corporate Learning interviewed our expert course instructor John Cleary on all aspects of the higher education funding model to assist with strategic direction to define a sustainable business model. Below are some key points you will learn from the discussion:

  • Strategic planning and cost management frameworks in Higher Education
  • A better appreciation of the broad range of options available
  • How significant are the proposed changes in Commonwealth Government funding for Higher Education?
  • A framework for facilitating in house discussion to make informed decisions and define a sustainable business model
  • How will strategic cost management in higher education course assist?



Great amazing facilitator – very knowledgeable.

Very good understanding of subject and communicated clearly.

Very informative and useful. Your style also made it very easy to apply to our business.

Spot on. People need your workshop if only to demonstrate what’s possible.

Pointed in right direction in planning, what to look for, relationships & implementation.

Course Outline


Day 1

Welcome, Objectives and Revenue Imperatives

  • Ice Breaker and Objectives
  • Competition for Education & Research funding
  • Higher Education for the Real World
  • Stakeholder ‘Return on Investment’ in higher education
  • Government/Students/Business as stakeholders
  • Stakeholder Management Essentials

Sustainability of Higher Education and its parts

  • Historical Perspective – the higher education landscape
  • Performance Perspective- how the sector has performed
  • Innovative Perspective – evolving Higher Education sector
  • Global Economy Perspective – IoT Anything, Anytime, Anywhere
  • Drivers of higher education choice and market share
  • Business model implications of higher education choice

Strategic Cost Management & Higher Education

  • The Higher Education Value Stream
  • Constraint management, Capacity and Target Utilisation
  • Workforce Planning and Labour Management
  • Asset Management and Utilisation
  • Best Value in the Supply Market
  • Features of a sustainable higher education business model

Optimising Funding – Government & Non- Government

  • Revenue drivers – current and future revenue streams
  • Student Profiles and Completion Rates
  • Student Employment Outcomes
  • Business as a customer
  • Research as a revenue stream
  • Assets as a revenue stream

Higher Education Case Study

  • As Is and To Be using the 2019 Funding Formula
  • Quantifying Revenue and Expenditure Outcomes
  • Foreshadowed Operational Implications
  • Case Study Debrief

Operational Impact of 2019 Higher Education Funding Formula

  • Revenue Focus – the prospect to client pathway
  • Change Management – people, process, product, productivity
  • Direct, Indirect and Discretionary Expenditure
  • Workforce Planning and Labour Management
  • ICT investment, Asset Capacity and Utilisation
  • Strategic & Sustainable – mission & competitive advantage


Day 2

Day 1 in Review

  • Operational Impact revisited
  • Strategic Cost Management in Higher Education
  • Market demand and market share

Revenue Risk and Opportunities

  • Pareto Principle and Revenue
  • Revenue Streams – opportunity and risk
  • Business Intelligence, Student Relationship & Marketing
  • Ongoing Education, Loyalty & the long-term student
  • Non-Government Funded revenue
  • Investment in Completion Rates

Cost drivers, risk, opportunity & 2.5% efficiency dividend

  • The Ouroboros Effect, Victoria Bitter and Murray Goulburn
  • Identifying and Selling Value to diverse market segments
  • Raise the Bridge, Lower the Water, Improve the Flow
  • Direct, Indirect & Discretionary Costs
  • ROI and Target Costing
  • Labour & Asset Utilisation

Strategic Planning in Higher Education

  • Internet of Things, higher education and the digital age
  • Understanding the market, & market share
  • Differentiation, centres of excellence & competitive advantage
  • High tech, high touch – optimising the student experience
  • Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Defining a sustainable business model

Higher Education Case Study

  • Sustainable by Design using the 2019 Funding Formula
  • Revenue, Expenditure & Operational Implications
  • Case Study Debrief

Higher Education Sustainable Business Model

  • Marketing Imperatives
  • Student and Customer Experience Imperatives
  • Outcomes Imperatives
  • Collaboration Imperatives
  • Revenue Imperatives
  • Expenditure Imperatives

Workshop in Review & Action Plan

  • Higher Education in the Real world
  • Demand Planning and Strategic Cost Management
  • Stakeholder Management & managing change resistance

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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