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KPMG: College & University Leaders Are Optimistic
September 9, 2012
By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
According to the inaugural Higher Education Outlook Survey by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, a majority of higher education officers believe their institutions will be in a better financial position in five years and will be able to either gain or retain their share of research funding.
Milford McGuirt, KPMG’s national Audit sector leader for Higher Education, Research & Other Not-for-Profits comments:
“Our poll reveals a dichotomy,” he said. “Fifty-seven percent of the higher education leaders we polled predict their institution will be in better financial shape in five years and 58 percent say they will either gain research funding or retain their proportionate share of funding. Yet they are clearly worried about how they will fund capital projects and maintain enrollment in the future.”
Despite this optimism, the 102 officers recently polled also expressed some concerns about the future. A whopping 84 percent were either very concerned or somewhat concerned about their institution’s ability to fund future capital investments and 66 percent expressed concerns about their ability to maintain current enrollment.
Dealing with the impact of government cuts to higher education was also examined. Asked which measures their institutions have adopted or are considering as a result of cuts, the most popular selection (53 percent of respondents) was increasing tuition, followed by delaying capital projects (cited by 45 percent of respondents), offering more online courses (35 percent) and eliminating programs/disciplines that reflect less demand (34 percent).
The higher education leaders were also asked about technological change and innovation and that 46 percent indicated that ‘investing in better data security’ was on their technology agenda, with another 44 percent saying they were taking steps to improve their institution’s social media capabilities. More than one-third (36 percent) also said they were cutting costs by implementing cloud computing technology.