Student experience is becoming the biggest driver for change
The report found that 87 per cent of respondents ranked student satisfaction as the highest priority for digital transformation and 82 per cent believe it to be a high priority for increasing enrolment.
With the shift to digital modes of learning, the quality of the student experience has a big impact on attrition rates, which directly affects the kind of government funding an institution can attract.
Campuses are striving to personalise their students’ experience and are becoming highly responsive to student feedback, realising that student experience is a highly competitive advantage that can win (or cost) them students and funding.
The importance of executive leadership
82 per cent of the best-in-class institutions reported that their executive teams are either actively involved with their digital transformation or taking part in quarterly reviews of their strategies.
However, for most campuses, digital transformation is viewed as an operational or IT issue instead of the all-encompassing business transformation it actually is.
Any change at an organisation-wide scale will be disruptive. Institutions often encounter resistance from established cultural norms and from workers uncertain about how the change will affect them. Lack of communication or executive buy-in only creates more uncertainty.
That is why digital transformation needs to be driven by the executive leadership to be effective. Only with their support can institutional culture evolve, and the concerns of the people affected be addressed.
The human and cultural aspects of digital transformation cannot be ignored. People in these institutions need to see their leaders actively leading the change. They also want to feel involved in the process and be clear on what digital transformation will mean for them, the students, the staff and the institution as a whole.
The COVID-19 crisis has greatly accelerated the move toward digital transformation in the tertiary education sector. It has also highlighted some key learnings, the largest of which is that no business can ignore customer experience, even if that customer is a student.