Higher Education Consultants work with your team to build internal capabilities.
While it may sound confusing to collaborate with higher education consultants if there is a need to develop autonomy and independence, however, higher education consultants specialising in regulation and compliance are able to make better decisions and choices about developing your internal capabilities.
Building internal capabilities are critical to creating a high quality higher education provider. This means working on developing systems, plans, policies, as well as governance and management arrangements. Higher Education Consultants can ensure that there are staff experienced in academic functions such as course design, teaching and learning, assessment and compliance supporting your organisation.
Higher Education Consultants can help you decipher and understand regulations and compliance.
A core capability for higher education consultants is to help decipher and understand standards, compliance and regulation. While it is important for key stakeholders to become familiar in higher education standards and regulations, it makes little sense to neglect business growth or development to gain expertise in that area.
Higher education consultants can help you simplify complex legislation and standards. They can also help you understand and identify what evidence, processes and systems can lead to compliance with particular standards.
Higher Education Consultants can help with teaching and learning.
Finding higher education consultants who have taught undergraduate and postgraduate students, have supervised research students, and have both managed as course co-ordinators and lecturers.
While some higher education consultants complete research degrees at 2nd or 3rd tier universities, it is best to look for academics from the best universities. There are large quality differences between those who work and teach at different levels of tertiary education. Check if the higher education consultants have strong academic credentials as well as meaningful experiences in both teaching and learning and administration.
Higher Education Consultants can support you develop internal operational performance.
Higher Education Consultants are best when they operate as a team. A classic mistake for many organisations looking to grow their higher education operations is that they believe hiring a limited number of academics will constitute effective operations.
Just as any business would operate effectively with core team members, this also applies for higher education. Some higher education consultants will advise on their approach. However, these individuals tend to lack breadth or depth. As they tend to be quite old-fashioned or semi-retired, it is almost guaranteed that their knowledge will not approach the insights of a team.
Most regulators are keen to see that any higher education provider has effective internal capabilities and resources. The role of higher education consultants is not to replace this internal capability but provide insights and guidance into how to build this internal capacity and capability.
A failing of many prospective higher education providers is that they believe that they do not need to be responsible or accountable (or they can outsource this accountability to government agencies or standard-settings). This is absolutely not true.
Higher education is a team sport.
Higher Education Specialists can provide research insights into higher education services and higher education online.
The best higher education consultants conduct research on areas such as benchmarking, reviews of changes in compliance and regulation and the impact these have for organisations.
As private higher education organisations face significantly different issues than universities or not-for-profit organisations, higher education consultants should be abreast of developments in changes in education. This includes an awareness of online higher education, quality in higher education, distance education, and diversity in higher education.
Higher Education Consultants can support your governance board efforts and provide advice on shortcomings or areas that require improvement.
An expectation of higher education providers is that they will have an academic and corporate governing body that works. For those unfamiliar with university-style governance it may be confusing and seem at times pointless in having countless meetings on academic matters. For those with a propensity for action, or those who are used to being in control at all times (especially founder/owners) having a board to answer can be confronting.
Higher Education Consultants can help support and encourage you and explain the role and function of governance boards. While it is not uncommon for some founders/CEOs to resist the development of a governing board, in effect, the design of high functioning boards can create stability, experience and solid growth. In the worst case, some board members can create toxicity and chaos. Getting governance right is both art and science.
Higher Education Consultants can provide experience in approaching curriculum design and assessment.
One shortcoming of many of case managers is that they have little to no teaching or learning experience. For those with experience in teaching and learning can provide insights into the ways higher education differs to vocational education and training. Some of these differences surround the ways that graduate attributes and alignment are composed, the means and approaches to assessment, and teaching and learning materials. While study guides and the like are popular in vocational education, they are less so for most higher education institutions. Having said that, reading packages and references are important for academic study.