Strategic initiative for RMIT

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1. Introduction

This report was constructed by synthesizing five different perspectives from the past two assignments. Research conducted illustrated significant impacts of the external environment on higher education (HE) (Lichy & Enström 2015). These impacts were identified as challenges that RMIT faces. A research question will be framed to support comprehensive analysis based on various management tools to offer effective recommendations.

Therefore, the purpose of this report is to propose a new strategic initiative for RMIT to resolve their management challenge. This will be achieved through using management frameworks to support it, developing a three-year implementation plan to identify specific areas for improvements, justified through SAFe framework and risk assessment and ending with a balanced scorecard to evaluate performance.

2. The Management Challenge and Research Question

2.1 The Management Challenge 

Summarising analysation from previous assignments, social-cultural and technological factors were key catalyst in influencing other aspects of the external environment. This was attributed to the significance of technological advancements in changing educational perspectives (Serdyukov 2017). Different analysis performed concluded that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are operating in an ever changing and uncertain environment (Lewis 2014). This explains why RMIT is adapting towards technological integrations to meet socio-cultural changes (Stanley & Trinkle 2011). Findings were concatenated through SWOT analysis, framing management challenges imperative for RMIT to overcome.

Exploiting educational technologies in HEIs shaped innovative forms of learning, illustrating the importance of technological advancements for educational reforms (Bhati et al. 2013; Okita et al. 2013; Gao et al. 2011). This annotates transformation of business environments that culminates in new educational paradigms today (Min & Khoon 2014; Siemens 2005). However, findings from previous assessments indicated immense challenges from technological disruptions, augmented by emergence of newer technologies (Goundar 2014; Schindler et al. 2017). Despite benefits, previous research lacked evidence in adopting technological practices on its effectiveness on pedagogies (Dintoe 2018; Carrier 2017; Kennedy et al. 2008). While HEI possesses array of technologies (Flavin 2012), there is limited use in relation to education (Lai & Hong 2015). Therefore, RMIT faces the challenge in determining technologies that will align and attract potential students.

Socio-cultural factors discussed through past reports extrapolated declining birth-rate, migration trends and aging population (Department of Statistics Singapore 2018; Koh 2012), summarised as demographic changes (DC), are detrimental to HEIs’ sustainability. Chong and Cheah (2010) noted how lesser students in the generation y and beyond raised concerns over lower enrolment rate (Gleason 2018), escalating competitive rivalry. Despite Singapore’s plan to attract international students to mitigate for its declining population (Sim 2017), increasing costs is a deterrent (Davie 2014). Normile (2007) described how Singapore’s demographic consequences implicated foreign HEIs sustainability. Such trends result in demographic challenges, bespeaking imperativeness for RMIT to develop strategies to remain competitive and sustainable in a country with negative demographic outlook.

Research from antecedent assignments illustrated intense competition as a key challenge that is associated to a saturated market (Ministry of Trade and Industry 2018; Singapore Government 2016). Competition levels within HE industry are further proliferated by reducing number of students driven by DC (Klemencic & Fried 2015), increases in student intake by local universities (Davie 2017) and technological threats. Strong competitive rivalry affects HEIs’ profitability and sustainability (Kaunyangi 2014), suggesting that RMIT faces the challenge of developing strategies to address rising competitions for sustainability (Pucciarellia & Kaplan 2016).

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