Public Sector

Education

Deals Activity: Moderate

Restructuring Activity: Low

Student numbers remain strong, but financial pressures remain.

Deals activity in Education

  1. 1. Deal activity has remained relatively steady in recent years, with a notable drop off before and during the pandemic.
  2. 2. The sector has seen significant consolidation in recent years, as education providers (from schools to FE establishments) look to divest of non-core operations and raise cash.

Restructuring activity in Education

Education

Following the impact of COVID, HE/FE admissions have held up remarkably well. International student numbers are estimated to rise a further 50% over the next five years as non-EU applicants replace those from the EU post-Brexit, according to UCAS forecasting.

Despite demand for courses likely to remain strong over the next five years, several financial challenges remain for the sector.

Debt levels

Institutions have invested heavily in teaching and pastoral facilities to encourage applications and improve ranking positions. This commendable investment in higher education has led to balance sheet weakness for some, which is difficult to resolve quickly under the current funding structure.

Rankings

Whilst demand for the top-ranking universities remains as strong as ever, those with mediocre ratings or lacking a unique proposition may still struggle to achieve the necessary admission volumes to cover costs.

Cost control

Operating in a quasi-public arena, cost control is increasingly important in the current inflationary environment, alongside balancing the continual need for investment to drive admissions and high-quality research.

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