Where have all your students gone?05th December 2019
Figures have shown that 1 in 5 university students do not want to return in January. Over Christmas the website My Voucher Codes surveyed 1,204 university students in the UK, asking: “Are you planning on going back to continue your studying at university after the Christmas break?” They found that 73% were confident they would be going back, whilst 20% said they would not be and 7% were undecided.
But why? Why is it that students become so discontent over this period that they feel like they don’t want to return to university life in the new year? Well, there are a number of reasons, some of those we looked at to investiagte further why students may find themselves feeling that way.
Home is where the heart is!
Reason: For many students who have been living away from home since September, this is their first time back since they joined the university. Living away can be an amazing experience, but after the buzz of freshers has dimmed, it can become a stressful and lonely place to be. With their first taste of exams and assignments happening, they may feel under pressure and that it is only going to get more intense. Students might feel more comfortable at home, so they decide to stay there.
Solution: Support! We’ve all had those Sunday night blues where we don’t feel motivated for the week ahead. There is nothing better than somebody giving you a pat on the back and helping you to gather that drive to keep going and achieve what you have set out to. Utilising communication streams such as social media, newsfeeds and push notifications will give timely reminders that whenever your students need you, you’re there for them.
I’ve got exams when I return…
Reason: The new year brings new challenges. Students are gearing up for (sometimes) long months of exams and assignments, which are all part of university life. However, those who haven’t experienced this before may be apprehensive and nervous about returning.
Solution: Organisation! Giving your students a central hub to access key content and data will give them a chance to coordinate their timetable, access course details and give structure to a very busy period in their academic journey. The difference between a VLE/LMS app and digital campus is that students don’t just access one system per day, they access lots, so give them somewhere with the ability to access them all!
I don’t like my course.
Reason: Even though students have been studying for over 2 months now, there are still those who aren’t really sure whether they are enjoying their course or not. Realising what you enjoy or don’t enjoy about academic life might not be realised within the first few weeks, so feeling trapped into a degree and not wanting to complete it can often result in quitting and the belief that there is no way to sort it out. Even worse, this could mean that students go home and attend a different university who have a course they want to study, essentially losing them to the competition!
Solution: Switching courses is a tough ask, especially when a student is a whole term into the academic year. However, offering your students a chance to move into a subject that is more suited to their preferences will not just raise the chances of them completing their degree, but build trust for future relationships once they do. Be flexible, open up that space on a full course and make your students feel special. It’s better for them to complain they aren’t happy and you sort it, rather than them leaving and telling all their friends about their bad experience.
To conclude, it seems a tough ask for all universities to implement these techniques to every student at their institution, but understanding why these things happen could save a number of students from leaving. Implementing a digital campus has become more affordable than ever before. Communication, organisation and collaboration are essential in modern-day learning, don’t get left behind by other institutions who are innovating their approach.
Want to hear more about how myday can help you retain students? Get in touch below!