International management consultancy Nous Group has acquired Cubane Consulting, a world-leading provider of higher education benchmarking services through its collaborative UniForum program, to form an authoritative higher education service business operating in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada.

For more than a decade Nous has worked with many of Cubane’s UniForum clients supporting them to achieve transformative change. This acquisition will ensure the consultancy is ideally positioned to advise the full breadth of universities as they emerge from challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic and seek to reimagine their structures and priorities in a highly competitive market.

In these increasingly uncertain times universities are realising they need to change significantly and to do this quickly. Combined, Nous and Cubane can provide a seamless and strengthened service moving from benchmarking insights to benefits realisation more rapidly, with less disruption and more certainty.

Tim Orton, the Founder and CEO of Nous, and Edward Curry-Hyde, the Founder and Group Managing Director of Cubane, said they and their teams were excited by the opportunity this presents to bring deeper and broader expertise and more international insights to their clients, as well as expand the business further into Europe and the United States.

Tim said the acquisition would build on Nous’ existing strength in higher education consulting.

“Nous is committed to the transformative value of education, so we are constantly looking to grow the quality and range of work we do at all levels of education – and in particular in higher education,” Tim said.

“Learnings from our work in Australia, Canada and the UK offer our clients fresh perspective and understanding, which is critical for institutions looking to evolve and gain a competitive advantage.

“As the UniForum program is the most comprehensive, detailed and unparalleled benchmarking service currently available, Nous’ acquisition of Cubane represents an exciting opportunity for us to help our university clients globally to act on Cubane insights and improve their performance.”

Edward, who will remain as CEO of Cubane, said the acquisition ensured that Cubane and the UniForum program is well placed to grow and further develop its benchmarking offer and services to clients.

“We believe there will be substantial benefits for Cubane clients who choose to then work with Nous through needing less disruptive data collection, less reinvention of insights, and quicker progress to conclusions and benefit realisation,” Edward said.

“UniForum will be even more valuable if clients also have access to Nous’ expertise to help shape and implement their improvement programs.”

  • Nous’ scale and expertise will allow Cubane to accelerate development of its benchmarking offer to benefit existing and prospective clients. Nous envisions:
  • Accelerating development of the current UniForum product in areas that simplify the data collection or add value to the collected data, such as through strategic planning apps that use UniForum data
  • broadening benchmarking for universities into areas including academic activity, student experience, campus utilisation and non-salary expenditure
  • growing in current geographies and potentially in new geographies
  • exploring other sectors in which Nous has expertise.

Nous Group will retain its current identity and Cubane will now refer to itself as a Nous Group company. There are no job losses associated with the acquisition.

About Nous Group:

Nous Group is an international management consultancy operating in 11 locations across Australia, the UK and Canada. For over 20 years we have been partnering with leaders to shape world-class businesses, effective governments and empowered communities. This includes working with universities including Monash University, the University of Alberta and University College London.

Our work reflects our optimism and ambition for a better future. We are your partner in the pursuit of performance and positive influence.

About Cubane – a Nous Group Company:

Cubane is a world leading provider of higher education benchmarking services. Operating in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada, its approach to consulting is focused on enabling clients to drive change in their organisation using the path that best suits their culture and needs.

Cubane operates UniForum, a unique benchmarking program for exchanging data, insights and best practices in a moderated forum setting. The UniForum program provides university management with the means to manage strategically their administration and support services, leveraging the power of sharing information, learning from one another and collaboration.