By Michael King, VP Global Education Industry at IBM
It is a well-known fact that the quality of the student experience is critical to the success of an institution of higher education, so colleges and universities need to focus on student engagement to meet the changing needs of incoming and existing students.
The pressures have never been more intense. With schools, public and private, facing increasing competition from each other and from online schools, and with budgets tightening, every institution must work smarter to remain competitive.
Transforming the student experience requires a focus on preparing graduates to meet the challenges of today’s demanding workplace. To achieve this goal, an institution needs to achieve a holistic view of every student, so it can assess individual student needs and create a more personal learning experience that will help them prepare for professional life.
In an effort to transform its student experience, UK’s London South Bank University (LSBU) has chosen IBM and its Exceptional Student Experience (ESE) package of cloud services, a mix of analytics, mobile, social and security solutions.
The university chose the cloud computing model primarily for the flexibility and speed it provides. It’s able to quickly add new services, such as mobile access, collaboration environments, and student feedback mechanisms. In addition, by moving their computing into the cloud they have been able to transform their original data centers into classrooms.
Student success and retention is critical for the university and its students alike. By using predictive analytics in the ESE, LSBU will be able to identify students who are having trouble so it can intervene in a timely fashion and help the students catch up with their peers.
LSBU is in the vanguard of universities that are adopting data analytics, social, mobile and cloud technologies. Eventually, all universities will have to use these technologies to make themselves more responsive to student needs. Their futures will depend on it.