1. Flip-flops. The Australian Federal Government will flip to supporting Higher Education and then flop with a cost cutting measure.
2. Tourists. The Americans will be touring Asia much more frequently cutting everyones’ grass. Business lounges and university restaurants will get louder.
3. Scanned everywhere you go. Like the wave that hit Customs/Homeland Security a few years ago, this will be the year of big data analytics for universities. If they could fingerprint everyone and iris scan they would (in IELTS this has already started). Universities are going to want to know everything about everything.
4. You over-spend you suffer. 2013 was the year that ‘Delivering Excellence through Cost Optimisation’ began. A couple brought in the big consultants, a couple got in deeply themselves, some did long range forecasts and felt sick, everyone has it near the top of the agenda. This year the suffer bit starts. Unions living in another dimension about the amount of free cash available are going to start finding that cashing big wage claims doesn’t mean Universities can afford to pay.
5. Love you long time. Short term things that sound great at the time actually turn out to be not much or bad decisions. Strategic Planning will start to be completed by most Universities in a much more systematic, data-driven and action orientated way. No need to get shots.
6. Don’t tell my mother……I went to the places SmartTraveller warns about politely but actually means: ”You are kidding right?” The 5 Star Restaurant in Shanghai was so nice – how about a road side stand in Kurdistan? How about Africa? Kidnapping capitals anyone?
7. Left your home unattended? While many will have their eyes on what more can be seen – the rise of private providers will start to impact core business offerings, coming in the back door and stealing the valuables.
8. TripAdvisor rules the world – social media is growing faster than the fungus you got from not wearing sandals in the showing in Outer Watchamacallit. Students will have a view of you that is controlled by the crowd and trusted by them – can’t offer free cakes to reviewers?
9. The new places are more interesting – nothing better than a gear shop at Katmandu? We love China, for many Universities this is like Disneyland, we keep going back because it keeps getting better. We know there are other places like Brazil and Indonesia that are cool but we want an adventure – we want to go there before all the tourists wreck it. Where will we go? Russia, Africa, Central Asia and the Stans. Where can we go that others aren’t that interested in?
10. How do you feel a few days before you come back to work from a nice holiday? The same way VCs and COOs and DVCs and Deans and FGMs feel about managing all the changes that are happening and coming in 2014.
2013 was our first year, well half year anyway. To our clients and friends – thank you so much for the opportunity you have given us – because of you we have started our new little business and a far happier than we could have imagined.
Hope you have a great holiday and an even better 2014.