Improving University Recruitment And Retention: Image shows university pillars

Recent surveys have left several UK universities falling behind bench marks set for student satisfaction. Furthermore, application rates have decreased in 2017 by 4%, while research from 2016 indicates that only 37% of British students believe that their university offers value for money.

It is clear that many factors such as increased fees and less applications from overseas are contributing to a decline in enrolment rates. However, it is worth asking the question: what can universities do to improve the student experience to encourage more applications and satisfy current students?

Embrace technology and innovation

Education technology is constantly developing and there are many opportunities for it to be utilised to enhance learning. When possible, universities should embrace innovation that could have a positive effect on the student experience or improve learning outcomes.

Listen to feedback

The reasons for dissatisfaction among students may vary depending on the university, therefore it is important that students are asked specifically what they are satisfied with and what they feel should be improved.

Once feedback has been obtained it is important that the university acts on it, if feasible, and continues to monitor satisfaction rates to determine whether any changes made have had an impact on how students are finding their university experience.

Equality and accessibility

Universities should strive to promote inclusion for all students. This can range from making sure that all learning materials are available in a variety of formats to ensuring that the university website is accessible for students using screen readers.

Support services

Reports that almost five times as many students compared to ten years ago have disclosed a mental health condition to their university highlights that it is more important than ever for there to be sufficient support services. This is further emphasized by separate figures indicating that the number of students with mental health issues that have dropped out of university has risen by 210% compared to five years previously.

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