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Australasian Universities Risk and Insurance Management Society The Client/Customer Relationship; Some Risks for the University As Service Provider Dr.

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Presentation on theme: "Australasian Universities Risk and Insurance Management Society The Client/Customer Relationship; Some Risks for the University As Service Provider Dr."— Presentation transcript:

1 Australasian Universities Risk and Insurance Management Society The Client/Customer Relationship; Some Risks for the University As Service Provider Dr John Toohey

2 Why this paper? Education (knowledge) is a valuable commodity - individually and corporately Universities are increasingly service providers Customer/Client relationships are being tested Universities are not prepared for clients Risks / exposures (opportunities) are real

3 What is happing out there? Globalisation - companies / universities (U21, Global Allia.) Technologically-mediated Delivery - flexibility and capability (time and place) Knowledge Management / Commodity - from muscle to brain - protection of IP Socio-political Issues - education - rights? duties? who pays?

4 Customer or Client? Customer Relationship - essentially an economic exchange/transaction, in which goods or service are exchanged for money e.g. buying a car the relationship is by its nature ephemeral and usually a singular event

5 Customer or Client? Client Relationship - a more open ended quest for service that meets a less specified need e.g. education, health relies on high levels of expert qualification e.g. doctor, teacher more indeterminate relationship e.g. may go on for some time outcome usually relies on high levels of trust and reciprocity between the parties

6 Universities have Student/Clients teaching - learning relationship(s) reciprocal roles and responsibilities high order expertise certification process trust relationship time independent (alumnus)

7 Universities have Other Clients In areas of... research and development commercialisation of knowledge business incubation joint ventures global associations adjunct appointments

8 The University now public or private responsibility (social policy) growth of fee-paying programs (mainly graduate level) partnering with like tertiary institutions community service standards conservative student body greater competition for resources necessity to partner with industry

9 What risks arise? INTERNAL inability to understand the service provider role and incapacity to develop internal expertise to deliver within a changing environment EXTERNAL inability to develop and deliver educational services commensurate with marketing assertions

10 Risks and Consequences - poor student management - inadequate teaching - inferior support (counselling etc.) - limited resources (library, computer labs. counselling) - poor quality learning materials

11 Risks and Consequences RESULTING IN … - loss of market share - weakening of brand - loss of industry / business support - poor public image - political vulnerability - possible litigation

12 New Education Models Interaction Content System Support Drives the teaching and learning process Study guides, text books, CD ROMs, online materials, library support Admin and communication systems, content preparation and delivery, assignment management,etc etc

13 Educational Negligence Educational negligence occurs when a student suffers harm as a result of incompetent or negligent teaching. Ian Ramsay UNSW Law Journal, Vol. 11, p.184.

14 Educational Negligence - Cases Open University, UK.. complained about the quality of his course and received damages to cover the majority of his tuition fee.. Guardian, 15 Sep 98, Higher Ed. J.Gill (Lawyer specialising in education), UK Students are increasingly taking legal action when the teaching or other facilities offered by universities … fails to meet expectations

15 Educational Negligence - Cases US - Due Process.. issues litigated include research integrity, civil rights, student behaviours... The National Law Journal, v14, n40,1992. UK - Student Under-performance.. pursuit of damages for a pupils academic under-performance… Liverpool Law Review, v20, n1, 1998.

16 Educational Negligence - Cases Australia - university activities as products.. perception that activities of a university should be seen as products.. legal protection should be afforded to consumers.. Queensland University of Technology Law Journal (12), 1996. NZ - Accountability for teaching standards.. statutes, duties and powers of school boards New Zealand Law Journal, September 1997.

17 Educational Negligence - Cases Australia / Canada - Liability for pure economic loss.. category of claims for negligent misrepresentation.. negligent supply of goods, negligent performance of a service … University of Western Australia Law Review, 28, (1), 1999.

18 External Scrutiny SENATE INQUIRY - … the operations and effect of universities commercialised research and development structures... - public liability consequences of private, commercial activities of universities... Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education Reference Committee, October 2000

19 External Scrutiny.. stiff competition also creates incentives for unethical traders to cut corners to beat their rivals … the incentive to cheat will always be too much for some businesses.. Professor Allan Fels, The Impact on competition policy an law on higher education in Australia, 24 November 1998.

20 Solutions? Quality Strategy (centralised but across whole institution) - marketing (offerings match hype?) - appropriate offer (e;g. language, capacity for non-graduates) - student servicing (right people & right job) - pastoral care

21 Solutions? (continued) Quality Strategy - internal coordination (central vs.faculty) - systems support (systems & finance) - pricing policy - brand leverage responsibilities - staff roles and development (academic and general)

22 Solutions? (continued) RISK MANAGEMENT - identification - assessment - control

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