Solent University

Student Attendance

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Solent University

The Situation

Solent University is an institution of Higher Education that enrols 11,000 students a year. Retention and achievement are a key business focus with attendance and engagement being indicators of student success.

Challenge – A modern, intuitive system was sought in 2016 that captures student attendance and engagement data alongside having the ability to develop in future predictive learner analytics. The system needed to provide continuity by integrating with Solent’s current card readers.

Solution – SEAtS Early Alert combines attendance reporting with targeted student support with automated student communications for better outcomes. SEAtS monitors all students attendance with work employer funded students, international tier 4 students and government funded students.

Impact – SEAtS has been an effective tool to improve retention rates at Solent, bucking the sector trend for non-continuation. Repeating students saw a 14% increase in
retention, while students who paused for a year saw a 9% improvement in their eligibility to progress. Attendance improved by 8% in the first semester on average each week compared to the previous year.

“SEAtS have allowed Solent to proceed with their vision of using data to support students, to support future learner analytics and in support of wider retention and achievement aims.” Caroline Barfoot, Head of Student Experience, Solent University

“SEAtS has been a very effective tool to help improve student retention rates, bucking the trend for non-continuation. Solent saw a 14.4% increase in the retention of students repeating a year from the first year of implementation.” – Alexandra Banks, Deputy Head of Student Experience (Achievement), Solent University

Why Solent chose SEAtS

What set SEAtS apart from other vendors was their passion for student success and feature rich product offering. The following are just a few of the reasons why Solent University chose SEAtS:

  • Continuity – SEAtS integrated with Solent’s existing card readers which provided consistency for students, while also being cost-effective.
  • Intuitive presentation – SEAtS intuitive dashboard allowed for quick adoption amongst our staff.
  • Matched Attendance – SEAtS provides matched attendance which allowed us to compare student attendance against scheduled events. Reporting capabilities allowed us to filter by student, course, school or the entire campus.
  • 4 Stage Attendance Workflow – SEAtS worked with us in developing a 4-stage workflow where we automatically contacted students every couple of weeks about their attendance.
  • Visa Compliance Workflow – Similar to the above workflow but more sensitive where international students would be contacted immediately if their attendance fell below the minimum requirements set out by government regulations.
  • Automated Communication – SEAtS reinforced high student expectations with targeted emails.
  • Scope for future Predictive Learner Analytics.

“Solent worked with SEAtS to collect student engagement data like submissions, wi-fi access, library access and online resource; and in developing data scoring to identify students at-risk of academic failure.” Louise O’Donoghue, Student Achievement Team Leader, Solent University

Early data analyses by the team identified a strong correlation between attendance and academic achievement. The team collaborated with the Management Information Systems teams and Business Systems team to review the attendance monitoring process and determined a series of aims & objectives.

Aim: To improve attendance to improve retention and achievement

“Looking at both the attendance data from SEAtS and our achievement data, we can see that those with higher engagement and attendance do go on to do better at Solent.” Sarah Longbottom– Student Achievement Team Leader, Solent University

  • To develop a sophisticated attendance monitoring system personalised to each individual student’s pattern of attendance
  • To have timely intervention/communication with students when attendance drops
  • To have consistency and efficiency in attendance monitoring
  • To contribute to setting high expectations from the outset

“Solent’s commitment to achieving the highest standards in teaching makes them an ideal partner as they help us drive student success.” Noel Dooley – CEO SEAtS Software


SEAtS has been a very effective tool in the work of the Student Achievement Team to improve student retention, with impact evident from the first year of implementation. In the first semester, attendance improved by 8% on average per week.

SEAtS attendance data was used to inform retention initiatives resulting in a 9% improvement for suspended returners, and a 14% improvement in repeat level students.

Students who received one-to-one intervention saw an 11% increase in achievement/progression compared to those who did not.

Following the successful roll-out of SEATS Attendance Monitoring Solution, Solent are now working with SEAtS to introduce a Student Engagement Monitoring Solution which will use machine learning to analyse additional student data including student demographic data, health and wellbeing data and entry qualification data to further support students.