Students expect personal data to improve university experience

Majority of US students think the supply of personal information will transform college experience in 10 years

November 8, 2016
Student on campus
Source: iStock

More than three-quarters of US students (77 per cent) think that universities should use more of their personal information to enhance their college experience, according to a recent study.

A survey of 1,000 US university students in October found that 98 per cent of respondents said they want their college to use their personal information to improve academic processes, such as tracking graduation requirements and progress (62 per cent), selecting and registering for courses (59 per cent) and scheduling academic advising sessions (53 per cent). 

The students also wanted their university to use the data to enhance their experience outside the classroom, including their student life (95 per cent), obtaining student healthcare (49 per cent), securing housing (46 per cent) and joining student organisations (44 per cent). 

The study was conducted by market research firm Wakefield Research for Ellucian, a global higher education software and services provider.

When asked to pick an institution best able to use their personal information to improve their experience, a college or university was the most popular option, chosen by 42 per cent of respondents, ahead of a doctor’s surgery (23 per cent) and a financial company, such as a bank (12 per cent).

In addition, more than four-fifths of students (82 per cent) said they believe that the personal information universities collect will transform the college experience in 10 years.

However, the vast majority of students (93 per cent) expect to only provide their personal information to their institution once, with 53 per cent agreeing strongly with such an approach. 

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