Higher Education

Can higher education budget cuts create opportunities?


In a recent article published by Sean McElwee on Huffington Post, he noted: “Over the last decade, states have made massive cuts to higher education, with average state support falling from $9,729 per student in 2001 to $6,815 in 2011. While a large share of the blame for these cuts can be pinned on the financial crisis and subsequent recession, some of the decline is due to a deliberate effort to eviscerate public higher education.”


Colleges and universities are important the drivers of economic prosperity. The healthiest organizations – from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups to academic institutions – operate with a discipline that allows them to stay true to their core business, even in times of need. While budget cutting has reached agonizing levels, the leaders of colleges and universities also know that difficult choices now can strengthen an institution, help it reconnect with its core mission and position it competitively for the future.


They are achieving this by implementing a variety of cost containment strategies and approaches, such as:

  • Smart contract negotiation
  • Strategic purchasing initiatives
  • Assessing service levels and centralizing operations
  • Leveraging information technology, including distance learning
  • Utilizing digital technology
  • Achieving energy efficiency
  • Optimizing efficient use of space
  • Increasing staff productivity
  • Adopting smarter strategies with staff benefits
  • Exploring alternative revenue sources
  • Limiting travel, meetings, events, supplies, and resources expenditures


The leaders of colleges and universities have a tremendous opportunity to reshape and reinvent a sector, but to be successful they require budgeting capabilities that are not often available from conventional budgeting and financial management systems.


One of the proven budgeting tools for consideration is Questica Budget, a centralized, web-based budgeting platform that was purposely developed for the North American public sector and has been implemented by over 200 public sector customers ($55 billion in annual budgets).


It allows all stakeholders in the budgeting process access to the information they need, while maintaining organized workflows and secure communication.


Through our budgeting software, colleges and universities can conduct full-time equivalency (FTE) and enrolment reporting, funding gap and revenue analysis. Questica Budget Capital delivers capital improvement planning, forecasting and capital budget solutions with educational institutions specifically in mind. The platform is highly configurable through a variety of modules and widgets, supplying each department of the institution with exactly the features they need to plan, measure and control their own budgets – even allowing them to test countless future scenarios.


If you would like to find out how to turn a budget crisis into an opportunity for your institution, contact us today to arrange a demo of Questica Budget.