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Singaporean students urge universities to improve their digital strategy

Adrian M. Reodique | May 26, 2016
The lack of modern, digital solutions for student administration negatively impacts students’ perception of the university, says Unit4’s study.

Students in Singapore demand their universities to do a better job in digitising student administration and collaboration.

This is according to the global research study of Unit4 - a provider of enterprise applications for service organisations - on the student digital experience around administration. DJS Research polled more than 2,000 full-time and part-time students studying at university level in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Benelux, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.

According to the study, more than half of respondents in Singapore (55 percent) felt that the administration process is so complex that they are spending less time studying. Nearly half of the local students (44 percent) have three or more different log-ins for digital services. Majority of the students (65 percent) said they expected administration to be easier to manage, given the fees they pay.

Globally, almost half of the respondents (44 percent) said the student administration is managed digitally 'a little or not at all'.

Meanwhile, the study found out that a lack of modern, digital solutions for student administration has a negative impact on the students' perception of the university. In Singapore, more than half of the respondents would more likely to recommend their school if digital interaction was better, while 28 percent think less of their university because of poor systems.

A third of students also felt that there is too much paperwork and are frustrated with the amount and complexity of administration. In line, students are least satisfied with managing financial aid, course transfers and communicating with faculty advisors. The study cited managing academic progress and coursework, paying tuition and other institutional fees and admission as areas for improvement.

"Legacy IT systems are the bane of almost every organisation today and education institutions have not been spared either. The market for Student Information Systems (SIS) hasn't seen real innovation for more than a decade. Most of the existing systems used are on average more than 13 years old," said Jack van der Velde, Managing Director APAC, Unit4.

"The survey findings support the concerns we hear from the industry and our customers. Universities today increasingly need to adapt, embrace the digital age and offer students an experience similar to the device/app experience they now live their lives by," he added.

Overall, seven in 10 students polled across nine markets globally suggested their university to review and change its digital strategy related to student administration.

In essence, majority of the respondents (87 percent) would like to have a single application accessible from any device to manage their entire university life. The survey found out that more than 8 out 10 would be more satisfied with a single digital system to manage all their administration. Similarly, more than half (87 percent) would find it useful to have an app showing their current progress in their degree to help them stay on track.  


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