What trends are we noticing in the sector?

The HE sector is now intensely competitive as students, mindful of fees, exercise greater thoughtfulness in their selection process. Continued investment in facilities and academic offerings is essential in delivering an education experience that will attract both domestic and overseas students. With access to EU research funding and students uncertain, the pressure is on to perform.

There is a sustained emphasis on ‘internationalisation’ projects as universities look for growth outside the UK and Europe. Partnerships with overseas education providers overseas are a way of delivering the core qualities of a UK education to meet international demand.

Business Partnerships

Universities are forging deeper relationships with the business community through both research and teaching collaborations, including degree apprenticeship programmes. These new links help ensure that students leave higher education with the right qualifications to safeguard both their own future and that of industry in general.

What do we predict for HE in coming years?

With universities able to enrol as many students as they can accommodate and a stated government intention of simplifying the process for HE providers entering the market, competition in the UK will only increase. The winners will be those providers who can demonstrate the best educational and recreational facilities, the highest level of pastoral care, plus the strongest connections with domestic and international industry.

With more UK universities funding their own improvement programmes, we've seen a rise in the use of bank debt markets, private placements and the number of public bonds institutions offer. HSBC has acted as agent and/or bookrunner on all recent public bond issuances in the sector. Our team's experience of debt issuance, allied to HSBC's wider services, amplifies the support we can provide in the sector.

In summary

The HE sector is increasingly competitive, both at home and overseas. Investment is essential in facilities, technologies and teaching quality. Strong partnerships with business will be critical for an institution’s survival. The bottom line is that more HE clients are looking to source more funding, connect with local business partners and seek out valuable international collaboration opportunities. The HSBC team is ideally placed to facilitate these activities for UK universities’ future success.

How to compete with the global elite

With every new intake, fierce international competition makes recruitment tougher for UK universities. Read how the University of Birmingham is among those adapting to the realities of a globally-mobile academic community.

Partners for prosperity

Collaboration between universities and businesses is growing but much remains to be done.

How can higher education stay the course?

As the UK’s higher education institutions face up to threats on multiple fronts, we must not lose sight of the value they bring to our society, says Suzy Verma, Head of Public Sector & Education at HSBC.

Macquarie University leads the way for sustainability bonds in Australian dollars.

The strong demand for the recent Macquarie University sustainability bond is proof that higher education’s environmental and social footprint is being rewarded, writes Andrew Duncan.

School 21

Real world learning programme

Andrea Dann examines how technology will transform the way education is delivered for a new generation of students as part of our Times Education sponsorship

The concept of edtech was born in the 1960s as an experiment in education delivery. It has grown into a multi-billion-dollar international market, driven by a new breed of technology entrepreneurs working closely with the education community.

Find out more

Our Public Sector and Education team focuses on supporting Universities, Independent Schools and Local Authorities. We work alongside local relationship directors to share our experience and insight, support our clients' ambitions and fuel their growth.

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