A man sitting by a large window in a modern library space while working on a laptop.

How to put students at the center of a digital strategy for higher education

In the second episode of our series, Tim Hume, Chief Information Officer at Macquarie University, reveals how being “frank and fearless” can help the sector overcome challenges and realize opportunities.

In this episode of Leading into Tomorrow, Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tim Hume shares how he delivered a digital vision, strategy and road map for improving the student experience at Macquarie University in a collaborative way.

Tim also gives lots of practical advice during his chat with Oly Jones, EY-Parthenon Global Government & Public Sector Leader, and Catherine Friday, EY Global Education Lead. This includes the importance of partnering with organizations (public or private) that have delivered projects on a similar scale.

Catherine observes that while some providers are integrating digital into parts of their strategies, Macquarie University is unique for putting digital enablement at the heart of its future. It’s also a leader in placing students at the center of the design, which both she and Tim see as crucial to success.

If you’d like to explore the challenges and opportunities facing the higher education sector in more detail, EY has published a new report: Are universities of the past still the future? With interviews from education leaders in India, Singapore, the UK, the US and Oceania, it looks at the changes that are starting to reshape the higher education landscape. It posits five plausible “what if?” scenario questions that every university leader should consider to chart a course from present to future with greater confidence and clarity. Read more about the universities of the future. 

Three insights to take away:

  • Change begins at home. You can’t ask the organization to buy into a transformation unless your own environment is as lean, efficient and service-focused as possible.
  • Success is dependent on engaging deeply with students to understand what they value most. Listening to their unfiltered views can also reveal pain points you might otherwise not have been aware of.
  • Don’t take no for an answer. It might take a few hearings to make your case, but transformation is a matter of survival. And for those that achieve it, the future’s never been so bright.

The podcast is also available to listen to on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts.

If you’d like to read more, a full text transcript of this podcast is available.


Episode 02


13m 32s