Government Policy / Political Landscape
The current political instability and uncertainty around government policy is seen as a major risk. This uncertainty to some extent reflects how tuition fees became one of the central themes of the 2017 General Election and the perceived influence of the student vote.
The lifeblood for many institutions, student recruitment remains a constant on risk registers. Whilst in previous years there have been specific concerns around postgraduate or international recruitment, now the risk appears to be present across all areas of recruitment.
Given some of the bad publicity the higher education sector has received over the last twelve months it is, to some extent, no surprise that specific risks on reputation have moved up risk registers.
The need to be GDPR compliant and the ever increasing and complex threat of cyber-attacks has meant Information Security has re-entered the top 5 risks identified by institutions.
Financial Sustainability (including Pensions)
The perennial risk area of Financial Sustainability remains high on risk registers, with Pensions being deemed as the highest individual risk facing the sector at the moment.