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As academics are driven by excellence in teaching and research, and professional services are driven by excellence in strategy and financial performance, education providers face unprecedented challenges in balancing their academic pursuits with commercial imperatives. Equally, businesses are increasingly seeking to align their learning and development initiatives with the academic world to ensure that their workforce is equipped with the skills they need. Education Advisory addresses this challenge by enabling education providers to harmonise their academic and commercial priorities seamlessly.

By paying equal attention to the educational and financial needs of a new programme or new investment from the outset of its design Education Advisory enables education providers to accelerate the alignment of their academic and commercial priorities. Involving the academic and commercial teams from the outset removes the guesswork, bottlenecks, and conflicts of interest that create resentment and dilute the student experience and sustained value.

“Education institutions not only need to deliver exceptional learning experiences but must also navigate the business of education effectively. Similarly, corporations recognise the value of collaborating with academia to create a skilled workforce. Education Advisory was founded to provide a bridge between these worlds,” says David Maclean, founder of Education Advisory.

David has built a reputation as one of the leading thinkers and implementers of educational and commercial priority alignment in learning organisations. As organisations experience increased pressure on their time and resources, David provides the thinking and action partnership to connect return on learning with return on investment.

“With pressure for providers and new programmes to be profitable, it is easy to offer recommendations without evidence. I work closely with an organisation’s academic and business teams to deliver solutions and implementation tailored to their actual needs and opportunities. By doing this together, we can liberate more people through good education, we can transform society and create meaningful, sustainable employment for generations to come.”

We asked David a few questions about his service:

They can if they have the time and expertise. My service has been developed over two decades of working with learning organisations that struggle to achieve alignment of their academic and business objectives. Thanks to ever-decreasing government and corporate funding, all education providers, regardless of their governance structure, are under pressure to think, plan and execute in a way that continually progresses the academic quality and financial sustainability of their organisations. 

Prior to commencing a project, I establish the measures of success for the project in partnership with the client. This provides the parameters for a Service Level Agreement (SLA) against which efficacy of the project is measured. We pay equal attention to the return on learning for faculty and students and the return on investment for the organisation. I will only commit to a project if I believe I can contribute to both.

While an organisation may have fewer resources than it would like, this should not dilute its commitment to its educational mission and financial sustainability. I provide the expertise to accelerate these objectives in partnership with the organisation.

Due to the complexities of aligning a provider’s academic and commercial priorities, a workshop or two is simply not sufficient. The service and solutions provided by David Maclean Education Advisory are required to achieve these objectives.

Far from being the all-knowing consultant coming in to ‘fix’ things, my ethos of partnership is reflected in my client list and related testimonials.

If you operate in the education or corporate learning space, connect with David Maclean to move the ways we learn beyond legacy structures to advance learning experiences and financial sustainability equally.

For more information about David Maclean Education Advisory and its services, please visit