Nous Group is pleased to commence data collection for the second instalment of the Nous Group University COO Survey – an annual study of the insights, priorities, and experiences of COOs (and their equivalents) at universities across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and Ireland.

Research for the inaugural report took place as we were collectively emerging from the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the perspectives gathered from over 70 COOs were shaped by where their governments, borders and societies were at that unique point in time. Since then, volatility in global markets, increased competition for international student revenue, rising costs and tightening cashflows have forced professional service leaders to respond not to an acute crisis, but to a chronic one of long-term structural pressure.

The 2023 Survey will build on the previous year’s themes, and explore critical questions such as:

  • How has the role of the COO continued to evolve as part of the university executive team?
  • What steps are being taken to restore long-term financial sustainability?
  • How should we shape campuses to meet the current and future needs of students, academics, and the communities in which they operate?
  • How can we attract and retain people with the skills to respond to evolving challenges, and shifting priorities?

We are pleased that the Survey’s first outing created such valuable discussions within institutions and across the sector. We look forward to growing its reach and impact in 2023 as we go deeper into the challenges and topics you and your peers have indicated you want us to explore in greater depth. To encourage frank honesty, all responses will be anonymised.

The survey is being conducted by Nous and NousCubane, two organisations with extensive global experience in higher education and a deep commitment to the transformative value of education:

Nous Group is an international management consultancy with more than 700 people working globally. Nous is a trusted partner to vice-chancellors, presidents, and senior academic and professional service leaders. We have contributed to nationally and internationally significant higher education agendas including shaping the policy future of higher education, designing new academic models, improving research performance, reimagining universities and their civic role, and transforming professional and administrative service delivery.

NousCubane is a world-leading provider of higher education benchmarking services. NousCubane is the expert guide ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of UniForum, a unique 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.

We trust this next instalment will make for compelling reading for global higher education leaders, and plan to release in May 2023.

We invite all university COOs or equivalents to participate in the survey, which will be open until Friday 3 February. For more information, contact [email protected] or [email protected].