In our previous blog on international student recruitment, we shared some pretty shocking statistics from a mystery-shopping piece of research from UNIQUEST that revealed the volume of student enquiries to UK universities that go unanswered, and the manner in which others are followed up. It’s perhaps unsurprising when we consider that in 2015, just 3% of institutions utilised a CRM to support the full student lifecycle from initial enquiry, and many universities are yet to make the most of their solutions. The key findings that Uniquest uncovered demonstrate the gaps in student expectation versus experience and shows that international students are typically enjoying a better experience than domestic students.
Two weeks ago we looked at data on overall happiness and satisfaction from the live data from this year’s Student Barometer. This week I want to focus on aspects of the learning and living experience as students have now had a few weeks back on campus and we can review their reflections from data from 18th November which has data from over 10,000 students from institutions across over 10 countries (including the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, China and Singapore). The survey is live from September to mid-December each year and we expect more than 50,000 students to have responded by the close.
Benchmarking has long been considered by strategic leaders in education to be a vital tool for data-driven decision-making. Particularly in times of sector restructure or funding cuts, benchmarking data is used by individual institutions to mitigate risks and stabilise or strengthen their financial position by modelling operations on similar, leaner universities.
Over the last few months, we’ve been filled with hope as institutions have begun to open their doors to students from around the world. Inevitably, countries have taken differing approaches with some more cautious than others, but what remains clear is a desire at all levels to get back to some form of normalcy and with a return to our campuses we can begin to re-create those vibrant communities of learning.
If you want to know how students are really feeling we, at Tribal i-graduate, are uniquely positioned to give insights in real time on the global views of international students. Our bi-annual student barometer process is now live (since early October) and we already have responses from over 7,000 students. Each participating institution gets a ‘live’ dashboard of their own key results and we can aggregate the data to give everyone a global view. The data we have highlighted here is from 8th November 2021, so as up to date as you could possibly wish!
How can universities keep up with student expectations for support services? - Panel discussion at the Higher Education Conference 2021
The past year has proved the importance of university mental health services in uncertain times. A recent report from the digital charity Mental Health Innovations revealed that the university experience had been far from rosy for many students, who have had to navigate the usual stressors and anxieties now compounded in the landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have been working in the Singapore private sector for the last 6 years providing benchmarking of the student experience using the Student Barometer. This has contributed towards enhancing quality and providing key benchmarking data which institutions have used for their external audits from CPE as well as contributing to EduTrust status.
For all of us, the last 18 months have been some of the most challenging of our professional and personal lives. We maintained at Tribal i-graduate that it was vital that institutions continued to listen to students to ensure they were still meeting their needs.
Tribal is proud to work with the vast proportion of the 41 universities that have recently joined Student Minds University Mental Health Charter. The first 32 universities were announced in July, with a further 9 institutions signing up in September. The team at tribal are delighted that so many of their customers are demonstrating a commitment to improving support for staff and student mental health in the wake of the Covid-19 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.