United States

Higher Education

KPMG leverages our experience serving more than 200 colleges and universities across the country to provide valuable insights to help higher education leaders address the critical issues they face in a rapidly changing industry.

On the 2018 higher education audit committee agenda
Drawing on insights from our recent survey work as well as interactions over the last year with audit committees and senior management of colleges and universities, we have highlighted several areas under two banners – core responsibilities and enterprise risk management – that audit committees should keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2018 agendas.
Getting schooled: Identity and access management
Like most enterprises, colleges and universities rely on their internal computer networks to operate effectively. But when it comes to managing access to their systems, schools face a number of unique challenges given the number and variety of users who need access to their systems— incoming freshmen, graduate students, alumni, faculty, and even parents. The complexity of keeping track of all these users can lead to lapses in access security, which can offer an easy way in for cyber criminals. This new paper offers an inside look at why colleges and universities need to be more vigilant in managing who can access their networks.
On the 2017 higher education audit committee agenda
Drawing on insights from KPMG's 2017 Global Audit Committee Pulse Survey as well as interactions over the last year with audit committees and senior management of colleges and universities, this publication highlights four key areas that higher education audit committees should consider as they carry out their 2017 agendas.
Education Sector Findings: Harvey Nash / KPMG Survey 2016
The Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership study in the world. This Education sector snapshot provides survey responses from over 110 educational institutions on the key topics impacting IT and highlights several areas where this sector's responses were significantly different from those across all sectors.
On the 2016 higher education audit committee agenda
Even in the absence of any new agenda items, the risks that many audit committees have had on their plates for some time—e.g., cybersecurity and IT risk, legal and regulatory compliance, conflict of interest, and related-party transactions—have become more complex, as have the audit committee’s core responsibilities. Keeping the committee effective and efficient requires an agenda that is focused and manageable. This document outlines topics garnering the attention and time of audit committees. In addition to outlining the key challenges related to these topics, the publication also offers suggestions about the steps audit committee members can take to address the demanding agenda.
2015-2016 Higher Education Industry Outlook Survey
With rapidly changing technology and evolving demographics, college and university administrators are facing a brave new world of challenges to keep their institutions up to date and attractive to new students. This report highlights the challenges voiced by the more than 100 administrators from public and private colleges and universities. To address their perennial and emerging challenges, institutions are leveraging innovation, including adapting technologies such as data and analytics, cloud, ERP, and cybersecurity to enhance their operations and business functions. In addition, schools are using innovative approaches to develop new revenue streams and financing methods for capital projects.
Higher Education Construction: Key challenges facing college and university capital investment
In an increasingly competitive higher education market, institutions are focused on improving facilities to attract and retain high-quality students and faculty. However, capital spending at most colleges and universities represents a significant allocation of finite resources. Whether they face funding challenges or not, institutions can better leverage capital funds by implementing long-range capital planning, project prioritization, and project management control processes to execute large capital projects.
On the 2015 Audit Committee Agenda
While financial matters still remain at the top of the agenda, audit committees are increasingly being called upon to oversee other kinds of risk. This document outlines topics that have recently garnered the attention and time of audit committees, including financial reporting, internal controls and external/internal auditors; Enterprise Risk Management; compliance with laws and regulations; technology; conflict of interest/related party transactions; and institutional data integrity. In addition to outlining the key challenges related to these topics, the publication also offers suggestions about the steps audit committee members can take to address these issues.
2014 Higher Education Industry Outlook Survey
The landscape of higher education is changing. Rising tuition is putting pressure on enrollment, which along with cuts in government aid, is affecting revenue at colleges and universities. At the same time, competition for students has never been greater, as young people become more discriminating about choosing a school. To meet these challenges, administrators will need to guide their institutions to transform not only how they attract and interact with students, but also their existing business models to deliver education more efficiently and more cost-effectively.
Extending the campus
Many higher education institutions are looking to take advantage of growth opportunities outside their national borders in order to enhance their brands, scale, and revenues. This report outlines some of the lessons learned arising from both our work in this area and the experiences of a number of institutions which were kind enough to share details of specific international initiatives they have undertaken.

Past Industry Outlook Surveys

2013 Higher Education Industry Outlook Survey
Institutions Consider Transformative Strategies Amid Challenging Operational Environment
2012 higher education outlook survey
Leaders Optimistic About Institutions' Financial Future Despite Concerns Over Funding

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Contact David Gagnon
David Gagnon

National Audit Leader, Higher Education
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