students technology needs

Students: University technology not meeting our needs–here’s why

Students say lack of digital technology options and tedious online protocols make them think less of their university.

Student Admin Systems not Meeting Expectations

According to the multi-national research Unit4 survey—conducted by DJS Research in March and April 2016 among more than 2,000 full time and part time students studying in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Benelux, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand—one-third of students feel student administration systems do not meet their expectations, making them less likely to recommend the institution. Nearly one-third of students in the US and one-quarter of students in Canada think less of their institutions because of their digital strategies, and around half of North American students expect it to be easier to manage their academic lives because of the costs associated with their university or college.

The survey also found that 7 in 10 students would recommend that their universities review and change its digital strategy.

The research was designed to deliver insight surrounding the digital experience around university administration, and whether providing a great digital experience to students gives institutions a competitive advantage. Specifically, the goal was to measure students’ perceptions of their universities’ current digital offering for administration.

Student responses were fairly consistent across undergraduates and postgraduates and from country to country, finding that students want their universities to do a better job in digitizing student administration and collaboration.

Less Time Spent Studying

Globally, 44 percent of respondees said that student administration is managed digitally “a little or not at all,” and in the U.S. and Canada, 40 percent and 35 percent of respondents, respectively, stated that administration is so complex it means they spend less time studying. Additionally, course transfers proved exceptionally problematic for U.S. and Canadian students with only half of respondents rating their digital administration process “good.”

The research also found that a lack of modern, digital solutions for student administration has a negative impact on the student’s perception of the university.

For US respondents, 44 percent said they would have a better experience if they could interact more digitally with their university, and 45 percent would be more likely to recommend their university if digital interaction was better.

“Universities face growing competition for students. Those that embrace digital and deliver a user experience similar to the apps students use on their many devices every day, will succeed above the rest,” said Jami Morshed, VP of the Global Center of Excellence for Education at Unit4, in a statement.

“One of the surprising results to come out of this survey showed that over a third of students in the US have three or more logins for university-related accounts,” said Scott Kamieneski, managing director, Unit4 North America. “While this is not only inefficient and cumbersome, many universities also require that students come to campus to handle tasks that could be digitized.”

For more information from the survey, including what specific experiences students said they’d like to have, as well as what digital inefficiencies they’re most frustrated with, read the full summary here.

(Next page: Unit4’s Infographic on student disappointment with campus technology)