I help education organisations identify their best opportunities for success in the digital higher education industry. Current and former clients include ed-tech start-ups, government agencies, colleges and universities, non-profit education providers, private colleges, education publishers, and investors.
Launched in 2008, hem.digital serves as a platform for my work, as well as a place to think-through the changes shaping education, educational media, and markets.
Keith Christopher Hampson, PhD
Strategy for Digital Higher Education
I’ve worked in digital higher education for roughly twenty years. Starting as a university faculty member, I moved into management - leading Ryerson University’s online education, where my colleagues and I generated 500% increase in revenue and won six national awards.
For much of the last decade, I’ve worked as an independent advisor for universities, vendors, and governments. In my travels, I’ve built go-to-market strategies for ed-tech start-ups, designed strategic plans for government projects, pleaded with multinationals about where not to invest, built pitch decks that made all the difference in the life of a young company, made that one critical introduction to the “right” person, supported acquisitions for foreign investors, delivered provocative keynotes at sales conferences, and sat on a variety of advisory boards. Most of my engagements have been in North America; the remaining divided between Australia, the UK, Switzerland, Spain, and others.
Analysis as the Basis for Strategy
There are few organisations as complex as higher education. While it shares characteristics with businesses - the need to compete for funds, layers of administration, market segmentation, and the like, it is also a social institution with a mandate to improve the quality of life for the populations it serves - whether “good business” or not.
Decisions in higher education need to account for the interests of an unusually wide variety of stakeholders and partners: government funding bodies, regulators, faculty, students, student loans, alumni, the labour market, and more.
It can be a highly political space to navigate, particularly for outsiders. In part, because the objectives are harder to define in education, and frequently a point of contention between players. Age-old debates as to what constitutes quality in higher education haven’t led to consensus.
It’s for these reasons and more that making smart decisions in digital higher education requires an understanding of the institution - its’ culture, processes; what it does well and what it doesn’t. Technology will ultimately reconfigure the institution, but making the right changes, at the right time, is rarely as simple as it is in other sectors. Often, it doesn’t matter if you’ve created a better mousetrap.
Those that prosper in the coming years will do so because they have a strong grasp on all of the moving parts.
A selection of short essays from the last decade can be found under “Drafts”.
You can learn more about the type of work I do, as well as my clients, by visiting the “Work” page.
To connect with me directly, please use the “Contact” page.