The first of which advises the student mental health and wellbeing issue should become a strategic priority for the sector. Variation exists across the board when it comes to the delivery of a strategic response to wellbeing. No two institutions are alike in their approach to mental health challenges and there is little in terms of guidance around sector best practise on how best to support the student community. The IPPR (2017) found that 71 per cent of UK universities do not have an explicit mental health and wellbeing strategy.
Many of our customers cite organisational culture and processes as the main barriers to a successful engagement project. An approved strategy could seek to address challenges around University-wide buy in for the adoption of a digital software solution.
The second point for consideration is to focus on early intervention, risk management and specialist care referrals through use of a University-wide digital platform. The IPPR claim the use of software to monitor attendance promotes self-determined learners and can be invaluable in the identification of disengaged students – in light of this, the study found that only 29 per cent of UK institutions do not monitor the attendance of all students.
It is widely recognised that institutions embark upon Learning Analytics projects for a variety of reasons; often to enhance the student experience, to support student retention or to improve academic attainment - or sometimes, to achieve a blend of objectives. However, for some, the benefits that engagement analytics can bring to the wellbeing agenda have yet to be considered.
Many of our customers have found that their digital engagement platform is well positioned to spot behavioural changes in individual students. It is this information that enables the university to initiate the pastoral care conversation, and offer advice and guidance to support the student during their time at the institution.
Irrespective of the direction a university chooses to take, mental health and wellbeing is attracting considerable interest within the Higher Education sector. Get in touch to learn more.