The time is right to be thinking about student experience

The time is right to be thinking about student experience


Crafting an attractive student experience has become, in recent years, an essential arrow in the university’s quiver. Enabled by new technologies and pushed by greater transparency of comparative metrics, many institutions in the UK have sought new ways to anticipate and meet students’ needs, and create seamless processes.

The upside of getting the student experience right is happier students and higher satisfaction scores, both of which can help attract and retain students. But the downside of getting it wrong is more than just the converse. The UK’s current set of reforms seeks to link student ratings of their study experience with funding levels and the extent to which universities can charge fees. So optimising student experience should be a critical consideration for university decision makers.

Student habits and expectations, and system rules and incentives, are changing rapidly. But so are the potential means of delivering an outstanding student experience. Recently, we’ve seen universities rethinking old challenges in a host of clever new ways, including:

  • Moving all transactional interactions with students online and onto tailored apps
  • Undertaking research to distinguish which student support services are best delivered face-to-face and transforming the service culture through which they are delivered
  • Using Wi-Fi and GPS tracking data to design informal and social student spaces
  • Crowd-sourcing the reporting of facilities and amenity issues and feedback for campus improvements, all done in real-time to allow for a quick and targeted response.

While many recent innovations have revolved around technology, an excellent student experience extends beyond digital interactions. Deakin University, one of Nous’ Australian clients, has recently undergone a transformation of its own student experience, with a focus on mass personalisation through digital innovation; excellent in-person service delivery; and prioritising student safety and comfort.

Get in touch to find out more about Nous’ work in student experience.