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Student retention and course completion rates are a huge concern to Education Institutions. Across the world, student retention rates are falling. Countries such as the UK, US, Australia and Ireland are all experiencing a rise in student drop-out rates year on year. So what is causing the issue, and how can Higher Education Institutions fix it?

Research indicates that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to drop out of HE or FE. This points to the need for ‘widening participation’ strategies aimed at students during their time at University, not just in enrolment.

Some of the most common reasons students drop out include:

  • a lack of financial aid
  • a lack of support or guidance
  • academic or course issues

The Challenge

The main challenge experienced by education providers in addressing these issues, is being aware of them before it’s too late. Answering the student retention question requires staff to know which students are struggling, or at risk. Many students who are struggling are not flagged to staff before the situation has escalated significantly or they have already dropped out.

University staff are often already overwhelmed with administrative duties and monitoring the wellbeing and progression of each individual student is not a possibility.

The Solution

To improve student retention, HEIs need systems in place to alert staff to students who need support. Modern technology enables HEIs to track student attendance and engagement levels. Systems can immediately alert staff when attendance or engagement gets low, enabling critical student out-reach and re-engagement before it’s too late.

Academic advisor working closely with commuter student

Student retention strategies for HEIs don’t need to be overly complex or resource heavy. The solution can be found in early identification and intervention for students with low-attendance, falling engagement and poor progression. The key to improving course completion rates is an automated, data-driven system that can:

  • Track student attendance & engagement
  • Identify at-risk students
  • Enable early alerts to staff
  • Create and progress students through custom case management workflows

With the help of innovative technology, designed to aid each student on their success journey from day one, improving student retention has never been simpler.

For more: See how Solent University improved Student Retention by more than 14% here.