Analysing the business case for a new Australian university campus

Analysing the business case for a new Australian university campus

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The institution is a Group of Eight university with tens of thousands of students spread across several campuses.

A university was considering a new campus in a regional city

A major Australian university was considering creating a new campus at a prime location in a regional city. The university approached Nous to better understand the potential and risks associated with the opportunity in order to prepare a business case for the university’s council.

Deep analysis helped to surface vital details

Nous worked with university leaders to better understand the opportunity. We:

  1. determined the space required at the new campus through analysing student demand, refining the education offer and staffing requirements, and identifying potential research and innovation activities
  2. conducted qualitative and quantitative market testing of the education offer in six Asian markets to confirm student demand and forecast anticipated revenues and acquisition costs
  3. developed a detailed financial model, building on information provided by the university, to determine the net present value of the campus under various scenarios; and produced full sets of financial statements (including cashflow, financial position and profit/loss)
  4. conducted high-level economic modelling of the benefits of the campus to the host city.

Detailed report informed the university council’s decision

Nous produced a detailed report that articulated the opportunity enabled by the campus, presented anticipated student demand, assessed the initiative’s alignment with the university’s strategy, analysed the key risks and provided financial analysis of possible future scenarios.

Our report was well-received and contributed significantly to the business case presented to the university’s council. We also produced an external report to assist in discussions between the university and government agencies.

What you can learn from the university

Major strategic decisions require analysing large volumes of information from a variety of sources.

Various scenarios – including pessimistic, neutral and optimistic outcomes – can help focus thinking on possible futures.

Internal capabilities and external conditions both need to be assessed to inform big commitments.