How to prevent your university course from crash and burn

Student girl studying-2
Mark Britton
by Mark Britton 19 July 2019

There’s never enough hours in the day.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

Tomorrow will be more productive.

It’s the thought process we’ve all been through at some point, when you get to the end of the day only to find you’ve been unable to accomplish all the tasks you set yourself. Fortunately for most of us, we can simply start again the next day but for university students, as Miles Davies said: “Time isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing.”

One of the biggest challenges at universities is ‘course crash,’ the dramatic phrase used to explain the difference in contact hours between students studying two different topics, for example someone studying an arts degree and someone studying a science degree. Contact time varies enormously between different university courses, even if the fees are the same. For example, BA students have significantly fewer contact hours than people studying a BSc, yet they still pay fees of up to £9,000 a term. This can lead to some students feeling they aren’t receiving the same value for money as others and can not only affect their own academic achievements, but wider student morale.

Universities looking to attract and retain student talent have two challenges on their hands; firstly how do you close the gap in the student experience and secondly, how do you ensure that students get the most out of the limited contact time they have been allocated?

One way is to effectively leverage technology such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. When used in line with the wider organisational strategy, such solutions can improve the student journey by providing contextual content, and equipping staff with updated academic and personal records. Student attainment and attendance can be monitored closely and simple notifications such as alerts and reminders can help students effectively plan their time and prepare for exams more effectively, thus enhancing the student experience and filling the gap between contact time.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has rich and deep functionality that can help to personalise the student journey when limited contact hours can’t. By regularly analysing data held on student performance, it is possible to cultivate relationships through personalised activities based on a holistic view of each individual student. You can automatically identify patterns of student behaviour and adapt the way you engage with them accordingly. Furthermore, through bespoke marketing workflows, it is possible to send individualised promotions, messages and notifications to ensure that every student receives the personalised service that they deserve – and which their course fees pay for!

At Crimson, we offer a dedicated Assess2Progress workshop, which helps marketing, IT and student liaison leaders to evaluate the potential of their Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution to attract retain and engage with students. Specifically tailored to the unique needs of a university, our team maps priorities against the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and our own university accelerators. This includes techniques on utilising technology to manage and support vulnerable students, tailor targeted communications and benefit from more effective alumni management.

To book your own Assess2Progress workshop, call our team on 01675 466 477. You can also find out more information about our services for Higher Education here. After all, time waits for no man…

Topics: data insights, higher-education, student information systems, IT strategy, information technology strategy, student journey