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Focus on student voice now, HEIs urged

Higher education providers need to pay attention to the student voice now more than ever, i-graduate has said, as the annual International Student Barometer is adapted to help the sector respond to the impact of Covid-19.

Photo: Tribal Group

Registration for this year’s Northern Hemisphere ISB intake closes December 31

Institutions have been advised to take stock of strengths and weaknesses with regards to student experience and satisfaction as the global pandemic continues to exacerbate pressure on educators and students.

“HEIs need to understand how their student experience is fluctuating through this era and beyond”

Operational changes and shifts in education delivery modes to online as a result of Covid-19 means universities must engage with students giving “open and frank” feedback.

“HEIs need to understand how their student experience is fluctuating through this era and beyond, particularly with respect to the online experience,” said Nick Pidgeon, head of Surveys and Benchmarking at Tribal Group’s i-graduate.

“For example, which student populations are being most affected, and what does this mean for the institution’s resourcing, retention and recruitment decisions, all of which face very different challenges than in previous years.”

The 2020 survey compiled by i-graduate and Tribal Group to evaluate and benchmark institutions’ responses to Covid-19 found that international students at UK institutions were “considerably more satisfied” overall than domestic students, but individual institution performances for overall satisfaction were well dispersed, ranging from 52% to 75%.

“This indicates that some providers are getting it largely right, whereas others are some way off the mark,” Pidgeon suggested.

i-graduate’s fully-managed ISB will help individuals to understand their student cohorts and identify areas where they need to improve. It also offers nuance to institutions with a wide range of international students.

“Our Covid-19 Barometer survey verified suspicions that initially, students were notably less satisfied with the online learning experience than the previous ‘on campus’ learning experience,” Pidgeon added.

“With online (or blended) learning set to continue for the foreseeable future, it is particularly key to continue to monitor students’ satisfaction with this aspect of their learning experience.”

The ISB enables providers to benchmark their level of student satisfaction across the entire student journey, giving results context and meaning against global or regional benchmarks.

New for this year is the introduction of near-live feedback of results and benchmarks during the survey phase, informing institutions’ more timely interventions where necessary. The independent nature of the survey also encourages students to give free and frank feedback, providing institutions with invaluable intelligence at this time.

Registration for this year’s Northern Hemisphere ISB intake closes December 31; the comparable survey for the Southern Hemisphere is due to run early next year.

Download the Essential ISB Information for 2020/21 here.

Sponsored content: in partnership with Tribal Group

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