Last month’s launch of Unistats by Vince Cable is a positive move during a time of great uncertainty for students, which will help to reassure those that may be questioning the value for money they will be getting from their University now they are paying higher fees.
We’re experiencing the most radical changes to the Higher Education sector in decades. The student experience will naturally evolve as a result – but it’s important that undergraduates who are starting their University careers this Autumn feel it is changing for the better. As well as judging value for money on factors such as teaching hours and future job prospects, our own research* tells us that students are scrutinising access to support facilities such as libraries (60%) and the provision of more than just basic ICT so they can develop the ‘essential’ skills needed for the workplace.
We welcome this fresh approach to supporting students in navigating the new obstacles they face in choosing a University. But for it to have real impact, University Vice Chancellors must ensure they’re in a position to be able to meet the demands of the next generation of student, particularly with regard to the provision of industry standard technology which many young people consider to be instrumental in helping them secure employment later on. Needless to say, those able to adapt their strategies will be far more appealing to students looking for reassurances that they’ll have more than just debt to show for their University careers.
*Adobe Digital Campus report, September 2012