Case Study Trailer

A Blue Ocean Shift from Insolvency to Excellence in Higher Education: Turning around the Universidad Provada Boliviana – A Reflection on My Journey to Blue Ocean

Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, OLAVE, Manuel, OLENICK, Michael


The case narrates Manuel Olave’s blue ocean journey as Rector of the Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB). After he took the reigns in 1999, enrollment dropped and faculty fled as a result of the unstable economic and political situation in Bolivia. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Case Study
Teaching Note

Teaching Materials

Blue ocean pedagogical materials, used in over 2,800 universities and in almost every country in the world, go beyond the standard case-based method. Our multimedia cases and interactive exercises are designed to help you build a deeper​ understanding of key blue ocean strategy concepts, developed by world-renowned professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.
Materials available from Harvard Business Publishing
Blue Ocean Shift | Strategy materials available from The Case Centre
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