Higher Education

Higher Education

Universities are under pressure like never before. Although circumstances appear tough, the good news is Australian universities have proven themselves world-class in the past and so have the tools to adapt.

To reach their potential, universities need to be outstanding in teaching, research and civic engagement, with global top quartile performance achievable. Efficient and effective administration is a vital enabler of performance.

Our consultants are strategic advisors to a variety of higher education institutions. In the past three years we have completed more than 300 projects with our 50 global university clients, covering the full range of university functions. We are the partner-of-choice for leading universities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Our work in higher education is complemented by that of NousCubane, a Nous Group company. NousCubane’s administrative benchmarking enables clients to drive change in their organisation.

Our consulting services include

Institution and faculty strategy

Impactful strategy requires analysing the operating environment to inform decisions, and then developing plans to guide the execution. We help universities to articulate and solve complex challenges. We offer support for strategic direction, digital strategy, market analytics and positioning, economic impact assessment, new market opportunities, and partnerships and alliances.

Organisational performance

Transformation in university performance is critical to enabling universities to do high-quality research and deliver strong education outcomes. We use our transformation expertise to develop the institutional infrastructure to deliver these results. Our consultants can support you with functional restructuring and service design, digital capabilities, system and process improvement, campus and asset utilisation, and financial performance.

Research focus and productivity

Many universities are striving to further their impact and enhance their reputations through improved research performance. Our consultants support universities to build a research focus and attain the capability to drive performance and recognition. Our consultants can help you to develop research priorities and talent strategy, and improve research outcomes, including commercialisation.

Educational direction

Universities need to ensure their education offer connects to their vision, strategy and the changing expectations and needs of students. We partner with institutions to optimise and refine what is offered, to whom and how. Our consultants can support you with domestic and international strategy, course architecture, pricing and discounting, and delivery models and modes.

Change through people

Leadership and culture is a key enabler of university performance. While academic leadership has traditionally focused on the professorial status of leaders, universities are building the capabilities of a broad range of leaders to drive performance. Our consultants provide expert guidance on developing people capability. We can support you with major transformation, workforce strategy, leadership, culture and change, and strengthening professional services.

Student experience

A quality student experience creates meaningful relationships, a sense of belonging and a unique learning experience. We help universities to craft an outstanding student experience that harnesses ideas from across the globe and improves employability outcomes. Our consultants can support you with student services, completion and outcomes, as well as alumni strategy.


From promise to pragmatism: Delivering a better student experience

We are pleased to share the results of the inaugural Nous Group Student Experience Study. This groundbreaking research is the first of its kind to tap into the sentiments of university leaders responsible for student experience at institutions across Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Nous Group Study of Higher Education Professional Services Leaders 2023

The report, Closing the divide, explores the main challenges, priorities, and critical enablers to driving whole-of-university change. It makes clear that today’s leaders are operating in a complex world full of contradictions: the need to make big capital investments while operating deficits loom.

AI student experience

The AI revolution is transforming the student experience in higher education

We analyse the effects of AI on student experience, consider AI’s benefits and risks, and identify 11 strategies to support universities.

University mental health

Here’s how university mental health services can rise to the challenge of surging demand

As the student population grows and becomes more diverse, universities face new challenges in supporting students to remain enrolled and achieve academic success.

Colleagues in thoughtful discussion

University as connector: How to align industry needs and student demands using data

Organisations around the world are seeking new ways to fill critical workforce gaps, and governments are searching for an equilibrium that ensures all sectors of the economy can access their share of graduates.