In this first event of the series, Whitecap is running a roundtable in order to discuss the impact AI might have on Student Retention within Higher Education. Lal Tawney, Whitecap’s Practice Lead for Education will host a discussion to explore the impacts of the pandemic on student progression, and how AI could be best deployed in this space.

There are more students going to university – the number of first year higher education student enrolments has been growing  since 2012/13. However, the rates of student attainment have been declining – the projected outcomes of UK domiciled full-time first degree starters obtaining a degree was 81.8% for those starting in 12/13 vs 79.4% starting in 17/18.

There isn’t a simple formula for student success – it a mix of many, many factors such as each student’s individual life experience, as well as the place and culture of the university. Pre-covid, there were a number of potential drivers increasing university dropout rates – these included the changing profile of students who may not have had the skills required for study or not having access adequate support.

However, since covid, there are different student concerns to consider including increased loneliness, experience dissatisfaction, and impaired mental health.

AI can help: early detection of students who are struggling within their studies means early intervention from the university, ultimately decreasing the chance of them dropping out later. AI or machine learning can tap into the mass amounts of data that the university has at its disposal to predict at-risk students.

In our roundtable, we aim to explore how covid will likely impact student retention, and how AI could be deployed to support student progression and retention going forward.

If you would like to discuss this roundtable topic or are interested in having Whitecap speak at a future event, please contact us

Hopefully you’ve found this article useful. If you feel that your strategy development and strategy implementation process would benefit from independent review and challenge, please get in touch.

Established in 2012, Whitecap Consulting is a regional strategy consultancy headquartered in Leeds, with offices in Manchester, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Newcastle. We typically work with boards, executives and investors of predominantly mid-sized organisations with a turnover of c£10m-£300m, helping clients analyse, develop and implement growth strategies. Also, we work with clients across a range of sectors including Financial Services, Technology, FinTech, Outsourcing, Consumer and Retail, Property, Healthcare, Higher Education and Professional Services, and Corporate Finance and PE.