The cost of not having a good retention solution

Friday, 1st June, 2018

There has been much written about student retention and the need to reduce dropout rates. The last reported figures for dropouts was, according to Social Market Foundation (SMF), 7.4% for 2014/15 and rates for full-time, disadvantaged undergraduates was, in statistics released by the Office for Fair Access for the same year, 8.8% (up from 8.2% the previous year).

It goes without saying that each student lost represents a loss of revenue to the institution, not only in tuition fees but also accommodate costs and wider campus spend.  It also represents a loss of potential and low return for the students themselves, although conversely some students’ decision to drop out is driven by financial considerations and they feel relief in not facing a considerable debt to repay.

Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, talks about the golden triangle of retention, which takes a high level look at students in context, the institutional culture and a sense of place, you can read the full article here.

Investing in an attendance and engagement solution as a key part of your access and participation plans will help with the management of and interpretation of data relating to retention, forming part of the institutional culture and understanding how students engage, not just academically but in wider university life gives clearer indications of a student’s sense of place and can act as an indication of students mental wellbeing.

Lack of attendance or failure to submit assignments are strong indicators of an at risk student, as is a student that doesn’t use the other campus facilities such as libraries, sports or food outlets.  So armed with the insights attendance and engagement solutions can offer, the university can have better coordination and management of student welfare and improve retention.

Going back to Mary Stuart’s points about students in context/institutional culture – it’s also important that your students know that you are using attendance and engagement tracking, why you use it and the benefits it brings them in driving them towards a rewarding and successful experience.  After all, if a student doesn’t know to use their ID cards to tap into a lecture or that lack of attendance generates an email/SMS which requires them to respond quickly then your best efforts will fail.

AIT offer a cloud based attendance and engagement solution which is a powerful cloud based system them brings together, under one portal, attendance recording, curriculum planning, timetabling and schedule management – making data and insights easy to manage and act upon to improve student retention and reduce expensive dropouts.

For more information download our datasheet here or contact one of our experts on 0113 273 0300.