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The library shelves should be empty. The lecture theatres should be packed. The halls of residence should be buzzing with excitement.

But instead – silence. With universities on lockdown, and the rest of the country for that matter, it’s slightly eerie out there… But this is our lives, so we must adapt and prepare for the ever-shifting situation.

Regardless of what the future holds, students should continue studying. A global pandemic shouldn’t change their ambition or desire to succeed. Niche, an education research company, surveyed 69,000 high school and college students, as well as parents, to gauge the impact the COVID-19 global pandemic is having on the education sector and found that

70% said how an institution handles this situation will affect their decision to enrol next year.

In addition to this, the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) asked 1,000 full-time undergraduate students and over 500 applicants to higher education about how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting them.

70% of students think the messaging from their university on coronavirus has been clear.

The majority of students are feeling reassured that their institution is sharing clear messages to them. Therefore, they have a good understanding of how the college or university is dealing with the situation. This reassurance will leave them feeling more positive. This means that institutions must continue to enhance the student experience and keep them feeling positive, in order to maintain student numbers.

Now, amid the recent discussions from the government about capping admissions, the student experience isn’t just a way of attracting individuals to your university. It’s about making the experience as straightforward and engaging as possible, to those new students and existing.

 

Why?

Well, back in 2013, a few years after the recession, Forbes released an article that said historical trends had suggested that when the economy takes a dive, more people seek improvement in education as this will give them a competitive edge when the economy returns – Great, right?!

However… As the economy improves, student enrolments decline under the theory that plenty of jobs will be available and qualification may not be as important in the job search.

Data proved this wrong as 53% of job openings called for candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Overall, 2.2 million jobs required either an associate degree or higher.

In 2020, The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) released a report which stated in that 2020, 12% of jobs will require an associate degree, 24% will require a bachelor’s degree, and 11% will require a master’s degree or higher. They also said that workers with a bachelor’s degree, or higher, actually gained jobs during the recovery period of the recession, while those with lesser educational credentials continued to suffer losses.

This just goes to show the importance of encouraging students to continue studying and exploring their full potential. Delivering an outstanding student experience may be the one thing that impacts their decision on whether to either apply or return to YOUR institution.

Although the future is unpredictable right now, there are plenty of opportunities here too. An opportunity to review current processes. An opportunity to reflect on trends and patterns. An opportunity to improve and develop. As mentioned earlier, 70% said it’s down to how you handle this situation that will affect prospect students' decision on whether to enrol next year. You can make a difference!

And remember - "In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein.

If you want to explore ways on how you could enhance your student experience for when the world returns to “normal”, click below and check out our new student experience guide.