SalesforceStudents call for flexibility, holistic support and more career help

Students call for flexibility, holistic support and more career help

The Connected Student Report finds that personalisation is vital to the future of higher education

By personalising the student experience, institutions can increase their ability to grow healthy and employable graduates, said Frédéric Leclère, senior manager for industry solutions education at technology company

During the THE Student Success Forum, Leclère presented the findings of the 2021 Connected Student ReportSurveying more than 2,000 students, faculty and staff from 10 countries on three continents, “the report not only highlights what’s top-of-mind for students and staff, but also provides insights into how universities can adapt and ensure the success of students throughout their learning journey”, he said.

The overarching theme of the session was that institutions needed to understand their students deeply to provide the right level of support throughout the student journey.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health and graduate career prospects are major concerns for students. About three-quarters of those surveyed considered their well-being to be in question, with a third wishing for more online wellness support from their institution and requesting more access to mental health experts, the report found.

“Hopefully, with technology, universities can implement targeted solutions to address this vital need by setting up community platforms and using social tools to connect students virtually,” Leclère said.

Students were also eager for personalisation and flexible learning solutions. In fact, one in four students said that their institution could best support their well-being by offering more flexible learning options. “In short, universities should not only consider flexibility in learning as a new method of teaching but rather as an approach and an opportunity that can be applied to multiple dimensions,” Leclère said.

Additionally, flexible learning is becoming increasingly important as labour markets develop and institutions adapt to keep up with change. About half the survey respondents considered their future career prospects to be a determining factor in the decision to enrol in university, while a third wanted greater connections with employers. Students also wanted more one-on-one tailored advice to guide their career prospects.

“Bringing companies closer to the classroom has a tremendous impact to create opportunities for students,” Leclère said. “Companies are more and more willing to get involved in shaping the future of education, mainly because they can foresee the market trends” and want to ensure that they have the right skills available, he concluded.

Watch the session on demand above or on the THE Connect YouTube channel.

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