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Educational institutions should assess, prioritise, and manage a wide range of risks to be successful in a volatile and unpredictable environment. Marsh’s specialists can help you devise strategies that improve your resilience to risks that could impact your reputation and bottom line.

Educational institutions globally face a wide range of challenges and risks. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has led to further uncertainty about the future, causing leaders at many academic institutions to rethink existing business and education models and their associated risks. Beyond traditional property and casualty risks, enrolment, distance learning, cyber, and campus safety risks are significant concerns for many institutions.

Risk management is key to weathering this volatility, and in a rapidly changing world, it's valuable to have a strong risk advisory team. Marsh’s Education Practice understands the education environment and its unique exposures. If not properly addressed, these risks can damage your reputation, profitability, and even viability in the face of increasing public and government demands for board and trustee accountability.

Our risk assessment capabilities — backed by our dynamic risk mapping technology — and our consultative approach to risk management help you benchmark, quantify, and manage your financial and operational exposures.

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In today’s evolving academic environment, institutions are facing a more diverse set of risks than ever before. Traditionally, educational institutions had to manage exposures like facility operating expenses, educational integrity, campus safety, and staffing matters, such as tenure decisions.

The shift toward online learning and dispersed campuses was already occurring before the COVID-19 pandemic, which further accelerated the need for such offerings. With these changes come a different set of risks and challenges for educational institutions, including cybersecurity, academic integrity at a distance, and maintaining enrollment.

Educational institutions face a wide range of risks, some of which can be managed on their own, and others of which should be managed with the help of a risk advisor. If not addressed properly, risks in an academic setting can damage an institution’s reputation and profitability.

Prevention is always the best way to manage risk. Developing a risk prevention strategy involves identifying and quantifying your risks and exposures. Beyond this, it is important that you create a crisis response plan, because not all risks can be prevented.

Identification and quantification of risk exposures should ideally be a discussion that involves internal and external stakeholders, as well as a qualified risk advisor. It's helpful to have the insight that guides the collection of supporting data on various risks within your academic institution, as it provides an objective foundation for the ensuing conversation about prioritisation of risks. Today’s risk advisors often use sophisticated risk assessment tools to help with data collection and analysis, which in turn helps you better quantify your exposures.

Risk advisors typically have the capability to collect and assess valuable data on an academic institution’s various risks, helping with prioritisation, and can offer insight as to big picture or emerging risks within the global academic landscape. Further, in times of crisis, it is helpful to have the support of risk management specialists, who can use their experience to help guide your institution through challenges.

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Barry Bernasconi

National Practice Leader, Education

  • Australia

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