When coronavirus first began to spread in the UK back in March 2020, Student Minds made the decision to pause and listen. We wanted to truly understand what students were experiencing, how the pandemic was affecting them and what we could do to help. We gathered insights from thousands of sources and conducted our own primary research to build as accurate a picture as possible. Almost 18 months later, following continued listening, the launch of Student Space and a shift to online delivery of our peer support and training, in August 2021, we collated and published our findings, reflections and recommendations in ‘University Mental Health: Life in a Pandemic’. The report explores the wide-reaching impacts of Covid-19 on higher education communities, focusing on four themes from Student Minds’ University Mental Health Charter: Live, Learn, Work and Support. By exploring the disruption to each of these themes and taking a holistic approach to student mental health, we were able to develop policy recommendations for universities, students’ unions, and the Government, which we believe will support students as we move beyond the initial impacts of the pandemic.
UK HE is facing a range of financial challenges, like never before. Changes to policy and university funding are only part of the problem. Even before the outbreak of Covid-19, a record number of 114 universities were reported to be in deficit. The recent release of financial data for 2019-2020 has also provided some early indicators of how the pandemic is affecting the sector, with a significant rise in costly, short-term borrowing and the sharp decline of residences, catering and conferencing making headline news. For the first time, even universities with large reserves that have embraced commercial ways of thinking have felt the loss of income from students and ‘associated activities’.
The world of student marketing and recruitment has always been fast-moving and highly competitive. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit added into the mix, even the most experienced student recruiters have been challenged beyond anything previously imaginable during the past few years.
COVID-19 has enormously impacted the international education sector. Results from the 2020/21 edition of the International Student Barometer (ISB) show a marked negative impact on student satisfaction. However, as demonstrated in i-graduate’s recent global report The global student experience; 2021 insights and analysis from the world’s largest student survey, satisfaction amongst international students studying in New Zealand has remained relatively high.
From online student recruitment to integrated AI
The advancement of technology and the importance of digital channels in student recruitment for higher education institutions (HEIs) was already firmly on the trends radar before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The many Student Experience benefits of moving your student information system (SIS) to the cloud have been the focus of our recent blogs. However today, we look at the risk management benefits that are now making migrating your SIS the most cost-effective way to source the IT security you need to reduce the likelihood of crippling service disruption or data breach.
As institutions globally rethink how they deliver education and the wider student experience, they continue to listen to the student voice. As such, i-graduate’s latest global surveys, the Covid-19 Response Barometer and the International Student Barometer (ISB) have been able to deliver valuable insight to the sector. Here we share just some of the findings. (The full global report, including regional focus reports, can be accessed here.)
As part of our annual Empower Online: Higher Education Conference, Tribal’s Higher Education Sales Manager, Matt Avery talked to Cloud Pre-Sales Technical Consultant, Paul Scott to discuss the journey to cloud and what considerations should be made, including understanding the potential cost of delay.
The BBC News article, Students: ‘Uni definitely not good value this year’, published in June this year gave further exposure to the student voice in the UK, and supported the findings of i-graduate’s student satisfaction survey, the International Student Barometer. The scrutiny placed on value for money has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. How do UK universities fair against their global counterparts, and where should university leaders focus their efforts and finite resources to improve value for money?