Stopping Just One Student Dropping Out can pay for a system to safeguard University Finances

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BQuSAMS to aid Universities in saving costs and retaining students

The recent comments from Sir Christopher Snowden, the president of Universities UK, when he said that it would be “economically short-sighted” to cut direct state support for students, highlighted the precarious nature of finances in the HE sector. Read the full article from The Telegraph, published on 24 January 2014.

He urged the Government not to proceed with proposals to scrap the £322m student opportunity fund that helps universities teach the poorest students.

The intervention comes before the publication of an annual grant letter to universities in England outlining funding for 2014/15.

At a time when universities are also seeing average dropout rates of 7.4%, costing £million’s for each institution, the funding cut would be a big financial blow to the sector.

There is a way to safeguard and improve revenues from students. Student Attendance Management Systems (SAMS) provide a cost effective way to quickly and effectively improve an organisation’s finances.

Organisations can take action now to safeguard their financial position by taking a more proactive approach and using technology to flag up early warning signs of student disengagement.

This means that staff can actively intervene early and make a big difference to reducing dropout rates, which has an enormous impact on increasing the retained revenues.

For many organisations, stopping just one student dropping out will pay for a system

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 can then view the context of the student’s overall attendance history and contact the student 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

An effective Student Attendance Management System can deliver 4 key benefits for educational institutions:
1. Improved Student Experience by identifying ‘at-risk’ students in a timely manner
2. Increased revenues through improved student retention
3. Lower administrative costs
4. Tier 4 Licence compliance

Most manual systems involve the taking of registers, transferring data into spreadsheets before collating, further data transfer and then data analysis, before being able to identify potential issues. This all takes up an enormous amount of staff time, in academic and administrative departments, so the operational costs are frightening and present a major opportunity for efficiency improvement.

The time this process takes often means that it is too late to take any meaningful action by the time any issues have been highlighted.

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 Attendance and engagement
  •     Increased Revenues
  •     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 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 compliance with Tier 4 licence obligations in an efficient and cost effective manner.

A good Student Attendance Management System (SAMS) will produce accurate data to evidence the engagement and progress made by their students and enables cost effective reporting to their stakeholders.

A further benefit is that the system’s real time reporting enables staff to easily identify students whose attendance and engagement is below expectation immediately. They can then make effective intervention to work with the student concerned and provide appropriate support and encouragement to get them back on track.

This has a profound positive affect on student retention, which greatly improves revenues with.
It also leads to improvements in the numbers of students completing and attaining their qualification, which enhances the reputation of the university.

The SAMS also enables colleges to fulfil their requirements for Tier 4 licence compliance for tracking student’s attendance and study engagement and to be able to quickly provide evidence if required. This can be an enormously time consuming, costly and inefficient process, which often fails to deliver the necessary information needed to comply.

BQuSAMS are happy to discuss individual organisational needs and to match a system in both functionality and cost to our customer’s needs.

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Jacques de Cock
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since: 09/2011
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