In a previous blog, I said that Attendance Monitoring has been on the agenda of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the UK for a few years now, and that one of the main drivers for this concerns the desire to improve student retention, especially for recruiting universities, which rely on attracting and retaining sufficient student numbers to provide their required level of funding.
This has become even more important as fee levels rise and the culture shifts towards students and parents being considered as “customers” or “clients”. It turns out that not many HEIs know how much it costs them to recruit a student, or how much it costs them if a student leaves prematurely. But I have seen figures from Mark Byrne at Southampton Solent University which show the lifetime cost to an HEI of a student leaving early could be over £25,000 and rising for a UK student, and even more for one from overseas. As fees rise and students and parents become choosier about which HEI to attend, it will be increasingly important to be able to demonstrate the use of modern technology to ensure value for money is provided.
Some HEIs have also started to consider the value of attendance data in the event that they are challenged by a student or parent for academic failure in an “expensive” course. And some professional courses require 100% attendance, such as Health and Social Work.
Another driver in some institutions is the desire to make better use of facilities, as the cost of maintaining buildings rises and there is heightened awareness of environmental impacts. Attendance monitoring can help to spot under used facilities, which can aid efficiency and reduce carbon footprints.
In the next blog I’ll talk about the approach to attendance monitoring and pastoral care.
Fenbrook Consulting advises Higher Education Institutions on the business and technical aspects of campus card systems