Supporting and enhancing the ‘student experience’ throughout the student life-cycle is critical to the success in higher education today.
The student experience encompasses all aspects of student life from academic to social to welfare to support and with the help of surveys such as the ‘National Student Survey’ and the ‘Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey’ we can ensure our students are having the best possible experience.
The National Student Survey
Over 320,000 final year students completed the National Student Survey in 2014 and since 2005 the NSS has helped over two million students make their voices heard about the things that matter to them. These voices have helped to bring about significant and positive change in higher education so it’s important your students are having the most amazing experience while they are with you.
Students as the consumer
Students increasingly see themselves as consumers of, rather than simply participants in higher education. Those who are very conscious of paying for the experience become more conscious of what they’re paying for. That sense of being a consumer means continually weighing up the perceived value of goods and services versus the price paid for them, and this extends beyond tuition.
Finance, therefore, is an important component of the student experience. In a 2013 UK survey, “students spoke as often about immediate financial concerns, such as money for food, rent and transport, as about tuition fees and student loans”.
With MonitoIT’s transaction management solution you can be sure of that satisfied consumer feeling among your students due to ease and functionality of its one card, one ID, one solution philosophy. However not only does it increase satisfaction for your students but it has the added bonus of making your organisation run smoothly while increasing on-site spends by up to 20%.
The same survey suggests that students expect institutions to take on responsibility, oversight and partnership for things such as varied as accommodation, transport, car parking spaces, cheap/healthy food options, and social activities. It says that students also “focus on functional aspects of IT infrastructure, including ease and reliability of accessing resources and quality of wireless internet”, and that they value a sense of community and belonging, and a high-quality environment.
MonitoIT have taken on these student views while development their transaction management solution. The solution allows students to manage their account via the internet from anywhere, at any time for maximum convenience. It also provides students with complete control over their spending as they can view detailed statements online on all spends and activity throughout campus from car parking to vending machine payments and much more.
Students expect institutions to invest in wider aspects of student life, all supported by the latest technology. Students have a loud collective voice in this highly competitive market, of which universities are only too aware. The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, for example, takes into account a much broader student experience than the learning-oriented NSS survey.
The student experience affects retention and recruitment
Student retention – preventing students from dropping out – is of growing concern to institutions, but improving the broad student experience can help to cut withdrawal rates and is ‘pivotal’ to the ability to attract students.
Attracting international students
The government is concerned that the UK isn’t attracting enough international students, who make a significant contribution to the economy. Certainly, British universities see the recruitment of international students as lucrative and highly competitive. While international students’ perception of student satisfaction doesn’t necessarily drive their choice of institution, it does have a bearing on their decisions.
Furthermore, once they have arrived in the UK, international students can face particular challenges with regard to paying for goods and services. For example:
- Accessing a UK bank account
- Ease of receiving money sent by parents
- Language difficulties
- Problems with understanding currency conversions, calculating and counting change, etc.
- Lack of parental oversight on spending.
With MonitorITs transaction management solution we can enhance that student experience and help you the institute be the best.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can start your journey to a better campus for your students then why not watch our short video or contact our solutions team on 01494 565 066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org