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Student support champion calls for analytics to support their wellbeing


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Professor Edward Peck
Professor Edward Peck
Image source: Nottingham Trent University

The Government’s student support champion has urged higher education providers to use data to support student services and wellbeing.

Professor Edward Peck has highlighted the issue in a new report, Student analytics: A core specification for engagement and wellbeing analytics, launched at today’s Jisc Digifest conference.

Peck, who is vice chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, has based the report on canvassing opinion in the education sector, from which he found that student services are coming under pressure due to rises in registration, the cost of living crisis and funding challenges.

He said he wants to show that student analytics, and the data governance that underpins it, are vital to the effective scaling of student services as enrolments increase.

Beginning of journey

“My intention for this report is to help higher education providers (HEPs) begin a journey towards good data governance to support student services. It illustrates that there are a relatively small number of data points required to deliver insights into student engagement and wellbeing and these are probably being collected by institutions already,” he said.

“I hope it inspires and challenges HEPs to consider how an effective and sustainable system of support can be accomplished only through the integration of analytics into its design and delivery.”

The report has been produced with the support of the data analytics team at Jisc – the membership organisation for technology services in tertiary education – using a pilot project at Northumbria University, supported by the Office for Students, as a model of best practice.

Jisc chief executive officer Heidi Fraser-Krauss said: “Data governance must become an acknowledged priority for HEPs, alongside cyber security, estate management and financial planning. The sector’s leaders must invest time to build new data strategies involving infrastructure and training.

“These strategies will facilitate a new breed of student services, driven by data and predictive analytics, that will improve the whole student experience, reduce regulatory burden, and create efficient and effective services.”

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