Effective Student Attendance Management can Hedge Substantial fall in Student Registrations

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BQu Student Attendance Management System to help Universities comply with Tier 4 Regulations.

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) has announced that there was a fall of 6.3% in the number of students registering for 2012-2013 compared with the previous year. Read more here.

This is a substantial fall in student numbers and it is thought that the increase in student tuition fees to £9,000 per annum is one of the key factors in the decline.

The financial implications for UK universities are extremely serious and Vice Chancellors must be looking critically at ways to safeguard their revenues, whilst minimising operational costs, without impacting adversely on the student experience and the quality of the education being provided.

In the context of current difficult staff relations, between senior management and their employees and the constant haemorrhage of high student dropout rates, which are costing £millions at each university, this is a tremendous challenge.

An effective Student Attendance Management System can facilitate a way to optimise student retention, completions and achievement, thereby increasing revenues through reduction in dropout rates.

It can also help to improve communications and staff morale by empowering staff to make a real difference and add value to the organisation instead of having to use systems that are just not fit for purpose.

When students drop out, universities face the loss of tens of thousands of pounds of tuition fees, teaching grants for higher-cost subjects, and fees for accommodation and other services. This quickly adds up to £millions of pounds lost out of a universities budget.

Over 100 UK universities have student populations ranging from 10,000 to 40,000. The current average dropout rate of 7.4% means the average cost just of lost tuition fees is between £6.7m and £26.6m per university. The other losses are on top of this.

Successful institutions are taking a more proactive approach and using technology to flag up early warning signs of disengagement, so that staff can actively intervene early and make a big difference to reducing dropout rates.

A good Student Attendance Management Systems (SAMS) can quickly add value to any institution. Attendance and engagement data is gathered, collated and processed in real time, saving hundreds of hours of staff efforts. Information on unauthorised absences and late attendance (both highly significant indicators of potential dropout candidates) is highlighted to responsible staff, who an then view the context of the student’s overall attendance history and then contact them by text message, email, telephone or letter through the SAMS there and then.

Without a good system, the same process takes several weeks, by which time the problem is likely to have become entrenched and therefore insoluble.

Additionally, an effective Student Attendance Management System, which operates in real time, ensures that issues are identified proactively and quickly

Repeatedly keying in attendance data onto spreadsheets invariably brings in unintentional errors, so as well as being late and costly, the resulting information is often unreliable. This is massively demotivating for the staff involved as they know that the system they are doing their best with is not fit for purpose and costs far too much.

A good Attendance Management Policy supported by a good Student Attendance Management System can deliver the following benefits to Students and their institution:

  •     Improved Student Retention
  •     Improved Student Attendance and engagement
  •     Improved communications with students and staff
  •     Reductions in operational costs
  •     Improved staff morale
  •     Improved student attainment
  •     Health & Safety, Duty of Care
  •     Improved student retention
  •     Improved revenues
  •     Improved institutional reputation
  •     Increased demand from new students
  •     Tier 4 Compliance

BQuSAMS (Student Attendance Management System) ensures that users can easily implement their Student Attendance Policy, helping to improve attendance and engagement, improving the student experience and helping to meet Tier 4 compliance in an efficient and cost effective manner.

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Jacques de Cock
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since: 09/2011
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