Having worked in the public sector, I can guess a defence for Oracle here (and it really applies to most vendors) - mobile goalposts. What happens is the customer (Uni management) says "We need an over-arching system to c-ordinate X, Y and Z" because they just can't have enough control. The internal techies (Uni sysadmins and lecturers) say "yeah, no probs, we'll rope in some students, give us a few months and we'll handcraft some portal or other, in the latest trendy coding language, and with lots of features you never really wanted, and it might actually work some day far in the future". The management don't like the egghead option, even though it is cheap, because they worry that students and lecturers will build in backdoors and/or get access to stuff they don't want publicised, and there is no guarantee of success, so they turn to the "professionals". Enter, stage right, Mr Oracle Rep, who offers a proven, "off-the-shelf" solution ("which may need a bit of tailoring"). Clue here - the pain is in the tailoring!
So off the Uni goes, actually not really sure what they want to achieve, but dazzled by the 50-slide Powerpoint presentations and the case studies from other academic institutes which probably have very little in common with the Uni. Now there are Oracle consultants onsite, and they see and endless pot of consulting oportunity - tailoring! Several project re-jigs later, after the goalposts have been moved all over the place to accomodate new ideas brought in as a result of continual redesign by commitee (and all these public sector jobbies have more commitess than braincells), and the project has ramped into stellar over-budget figures, the Uni has no solution in place, and some beancounter finally steps in and says "woah, stop spending the cash!" So, what is the Uni to do? They can't start from scratch, that would look wasteful (and bruise too many egos), but how do they salvage something useful from the mess they have created? Of course, they go get more "professionals"! Up starts a new gravy train, more Powerpoint presentations, lots of new promises, and the it all starts off again!
BIG HINT - set the project objectives early, peg the goalposts, and do NOT let others change them for you! Big companies doing consulting will not object to moving goalposts because they will see more consulting money as the outcome, and there is usually little penalty for them as they can argue out of penalty clauses if you change the project definition (and that's if you're smart enough to include penalties in the original negotiations, and most don't!).
Without more info I can't really blame Oracle here (even the Oracle PMs as they would probably be under pressure to accept changes from sales), so I'm more looking at the Uni management.