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JUSTIN BOKOR

Deep Experience. Practical Advice.

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Justin Bokor is a senior advisory professional with more than 20 years’ experience assisting clients to solve their most complex issues.


He has particular expertise in the higher education sector, advising universities on institutional and financial planning, leadership, sustainability, organisational structures, operating model design, governance and risk management. His academic background is in development economics, international politics and languages, where he holds postgraduate qualifications from the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.


Justin is regularly published in the media on a range of higher education policy issues, including opinion pieces in The Australian’s Higher Education Review and as an expert commentator in the Times Higher Education.


Justin has been operating as an independent advisor in the education and not-for-profit sectors since 2016, working as a trusted advisor to senior executives across Australia.

Prior to that, he spent 15 years at blue-chip advisory firms EY and Accenture and three years in a senior role at Monash University. During his time at EY, Justin authored the landmark University of the Future report, which received widespread national acclaim, as well as multiple other pieces of higher education thought leadership.

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Justin Bokor is a sought-after media commentator and writer on the higher education sector and a regular speaker at industry conferences. Contact Justin if you are looking for a thought-provoking presenter and facilitator for your event.

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2022 FINANCIALS: A ONE-YEAR BLIP OR A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME?

Times Higher Education, July 6th 2023

John Ross, Times Higher Education’s Asia Pacific Editor, has taken the time to sift through Australian universities’ 2022 annual financial reports – and they make for grim reading. Combined deficits across the sector tallied more than $1.2 billion. Does this provide a foretaste of the financial position of the sector in the years ahead or will a rebound in the international market enable universities to ‘right the ship’? This extended feature includes interviews with Justin Bokor, Andrew Norton, the Vice-Chancellors of Monash University and La Trobe University, the Group of Eight’s Vicki Thomson, and other sector leaders.

POSTGRAD ENROLMENTS: STUCK IN A RUT OR READY TO REBOUND?

Times Higher Education, June 21st 2023

Postgraduate enrolments and the associated fee income have barely moved over the last four years. Is this the start of a permanent shift to a lower level of student demand or will postgrad bounce back in the post-pandemic world? Times Higher Education Editor John Ross interviews Andrew Norton, Justin Bokor, and the Vice-Chancellors of Griffith University and UTS to hear their views on this crucial part of the sector.

COMMUNITIES AND STUDENTS: THE HEART OF A UNIVERSITY

The Australian, June 22nd 2022

Justin’s second feature in The Australian about his new report, The Decade Ahead, elaborates two drivers of success: communities and students. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, made a career executing his famous maxim: ‘we’re either first or second or we exit’. Many non-Group of Eight universities are not ranked number one or two in their state markets. For them, embedding themselves into their local community and aligning their offerings to the needs of their main student cohorts are the keys to their long-term viability.

OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND FOR ALL

The Australian, June 7th 2022

Justin writes in The Australian about his newly-released report, The Decade Ahead, expanding on universities’ business models and their academic program and workforce. His analysis reveals a diverse mix of institutions occupy the top 10 positions nationally in indicators of business and academic strength. Reputation is a major asset, but the performance of lesser-ranked universities demonstrates the possibilities available to all.

CANBERRA RISING: A NEW DAWN BECKONS FOR UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

The Australian, May 24th 2022

Justin's opinion piece in The Australian reflects on the aftermath of the federal election and the implications for universities and their relationship with the new government. This will not flow through into windfall funding for the sector – far from it – but the causes of the Coalition’s downfall and the inclinations of the incoming Labor administration will change the policy dynamic for years to come.

PANDEMIC BEGONE: AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES AND THE DECADE AHEAD

The Australian, May 17th 2022

Tim Dodd, Higher Education Editor of The Australian, writes about The Decade Ahead, Justin Bokor’s new report on the higher education sector’s prospects for recovery post the pandemic and the drivers of success.

SET TO SOAR: THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET IN THE YEARS AHEAD

The Australian, March 16th 2022

Geopolitics look as dire as they have done for many years, but look beyond that and you’ll see a strong case for a return to sustained growth in international education. Justin's analysis in The Australian outlines the factors that will bring millions of new students into the international market in the decade ahead. The challenge for leaders in the sector will be how to channel this demand into an enduring benefit for their institution.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION:
MAY THE FUNDAMENTALS BE WITH YOU

AUSFOG Conference, October 6th 2021

Justin Bokor was a keynote speaker at the Australian University Finance Officers' 2021 annual conference. With university finances - and CFOs' moods - looking grim, Justin presented a break-down of the underlying demographic drivers of the international market and how they still augur many years of strong growth for Australian universities. Times may be tough, but the prospects for the future are brighter than you think.

THE INTERNATIONAL GRAVY TRAIN - WHAT TO DO NEXT TIME?

​Times Higher Education, March 31st 2021

The Times Higher Education's major feature story looks back at the rise of the international student market and how Australian universities might have responded differently to reduce their risks. This is more than just a ‘retrospective’. Though COVID-19 remains rampant globally, at some point borders will reopen and the international market will start growing again. How should university leaders and their boards respond next time? Justin Bokor and Gavin Moodie offer their thoughts along with university Vice-Chancellors from across Australia.

GOING DOWN? INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FEE RATES TO FALL POST-PANDEMIC

​Times Higher Education, April 21st 2020

​The impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s international student sector is well-known. Near-shut international borders have been a hammer blow to student numbers for universities across the country, not to mention the impact on the students themselves, whether already here or stuck in their home country. But it’s not just a ‘volume question’ – falling fee rates will amplify the loss of revenue in the years ahead.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND UNIVERSITY SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS

​Times Higher Education, April 2nd 2020

Despite the shock and despair wrought by COVID-19, deeper threats face the planet, none more so than the impact of global warming on ecosystems and societies across the globe. Universities have a crucial role to play through their education and research and the way they run their own operations. John Ross's extended feature includes interviews with the Vice-Chancellors of QUT, UTS, UniSA, Justin Bokor and Vicki Thomson from the Group of Eight.

COVID-19 AND UNIVERSITY BAILOUTS

​Times Higher Education, March 31st 2020

​The university sector has been one of the hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19, but this hasn't swayed decision-makers in Canberra to support the nation's universities. Featuring interviews with Justin Bokor, Professor Stephen Parker and Conor King, Executive Director of the Innovative Research Universities.

UNIVERSITIES AND RECOVERY FROM THE 2020 BUSHFIRES

​The Australian, January 22nd 2020

Justin's opinion piece in The Australian, reflecting on the impact of the bushfires, was a clarion call for the return to prominence of science and reason. The onset of COVID-19 has reinforced the primacy of 'fact over fantasy', though not all leaders globally have heeded the call. The journey continues!

VICE-CHANCELLOR SALARIES: STORM IN A TEACUP OR EXCESS WRIT LARGE?

​Times Higher Education, September 9th 2019

John Ross of the Times Higher Education reveals the salaries of the Vice-Chancellors of Australia's 37 public universities. Average salaries tip the million dollar mark, much to the chagrin of many in the sector, not to mention their political masters in Canberra. Justin Bokor and sector guru Andrew Norton take up the cudgels.

UNIVERSITY TEACHING COSTS: THIRD ITERATION OF THE DELOITTE REPORT

​Times Higher Education, August 9th 2019

University teaching costs can vary wildly from one university to the next for ostensibly similar courses. Measuring and comparing teaching costs accurately is notoriously difficulty. The federal Department of Education has commissioned Deloitte to do so on a number of occasions. Justin Bokor and Dr Peter Bentley from the IRU discuss the implications.

FINANCIAL RESILIENCE: ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT DOWNTURN?

Higher Education Finance Conference, August 5th 2019

Justin Bokor spoke at the 2019 Higher Education Finance Conference, outlining the long-term drivers of university profitability and a framework for measuring university financial resilience. The presentation included a discussion of future scenarios. Risks in the China market featured heavily but a global pandemic was not on anyone's horizon!

BEACON ON THE HILL OR GRATUITOUS GLOSSY: WHAT'S THE VALUE OF A STRATEGIC PLAN?

​Times Higher Education, July 4th 2019

What is the purpose of a university strategic plan, beyond providing a ready target for the derision of staff? Times Higher Education Editor John Ross interviews Justin Bokor, Stephen Parker, Gavin Moodie and Vice-Chancellors across the globe to hear the why and how of a meaningful strategic plan. Along the way, he teases out that most intangible but crucial missing ingredient: culture.

POST-ELECTION TANGO: UNIVERSITIES START A NEW DANCE WITH THE COALITION

​Times Higher Education, May 23rd 2019

The 2019 federal election did not pan out as hoped for most in the higher education sector. But worrying about what might have been is a fruitless exercise. Sector observers Robert Griew, Stephen Parker and Justin Bokor share their thoughts on how university leaders can rebuild relationships in Canberra and forge new policy directions.

2019 ELECTION OUTCOMES FOR THE HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR

​Times Higher Education, April 23rd 2019

​John Ross, Asia-Pacific Editor of the Times Higher Education, interviewed Justin Bokor on the eve of the 2019 election about the prospects for Australian universities. Executives across the sector were hoping for a Labor victory and the return of the demand-driven system, but as we know Scott Morrison's self-declared 'miracle victory' put paid to those hopes.

FINANCIAL FALLOUT FROM THE DEMAND-DRIVEN SYSTEM

​The Australian, April 17th 2019

Justin Bokor's analysis of the impact on university finances triggered by the 2012 introduction of the demand-driven system plotted the steady downward trend in university finances over the decade. The report presaged the risk to universities' books from the haemorrhaging of the international student market in the wake of COVID-19.

UNIVERSITY OF THE FUTURE

​Landmark EY report

​As a founding Director of EY's education sector practice, Justin Bokor lead the development of hard-hitting, insightful white papers and industry reports. The University of the Future report, which he authored in 2012, was a landmark piece which triggered soul-searching across the sector on the future of different institutions and their readiness for a rapidly changing, highly-competitive university landscape.

HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE POWER OF CHOICE

​Canvassing the impact of demand-driven funding

​The introduction of the demand-driven funding system on higher education enabled rapid growth and unleashed profound change. It enabled thousands more young Australians to get a place at university, but at the same time created new 'consumer-market' forces that university leaders were unfamiliar with. Justin Bokor's EY report explored the impact and potential ways to adapt.

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