Playing at university management

University management is just a game to some people. Paul Greatrix shows you how you can become one of them.

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

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Back in 2019 we welcomed the Sims 4 Discover University Expansion Pack, where Sims enrol before exploring “collegiate experiences” and enjoying extracurricular activities.

Of course this was very much focused on those experiences for the Sims who could choose, among other things, to

Live in a dorm room or off-campus, explore Britechester on a bicycle, spend time in the student commons, and have a study session at the library. Cheer on the student body at a school spirit event and wear school colors to show your Sim’s pride.

All good fun of course but what is on offer if you hanker after the bigger picture? What of those with university leadership ambitions rather than simulated student experiences?

Well, your prayers have been answered. The improbably named University Empire Tycoon game is clearly designed to appeal to would-be Vice-Chancellors everywhere:

Improve every detail and build new areas to turn your modest business into an educational institution, and compete with other universities!

Deal with the needs of employees and students, and take the proper decisions to expand your business successfully. Customize the classrooms, improve the administration department, provide the best sports facilities to students, or invest your idle money in hiring the best lecturers. Every single choice you make will have an impact on your growth strategy!

You have various options it seems to expand your campus, meet student needs and indeed manage your staff. With regard to the latter it is suggested you need to be a “worthy boss” and :

Control your expenses and hire and fire workers depending on your workflow and your strategy. Employ maintenance personnel, builders, janitors, or office workers. Don’t forget to recruit the best teachers for all the school subjects available. Each department will cover basic needs in your business, and you should manage your team wisely to make your university profitable.

Yep, better not forget to hire those teachers.

Better still you can apparently also “compete against other universities online and work your way up to appear in the rankings” – it doesn’t get more realistic than this. And if you do really well then there is no limit to your potential as you can

Transform your small business into the most renowned university and become the best university manager of all time!

And surely any aspiring Vice-Chancellor would want to put that on their CV!

Do please let us know if you have actually played the game and how well you have done.

(Many thanks to a number of readers out there who drew my attention to this outstanding game.)

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