Digital investment can assist universities to attract students: Accenture

IT outsourcing company Accenture– in a global survey – said better digital capabilities can assist universities to attract more students.

Accenture’s survey of 1,500 students in Australia, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States said that 70 percent university students – both current and recent — are calling for greater use of digital tools for learning and content delivery.

Accenture, a management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 305,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, said 85 percent of college-bound students said that digital capabilities, such as integration of technology into classrooms, virtual coursework and online classes are a top determinant in choosing which university to attend.

Ryan Oakes, who leads Accenture’s education practice, said: “Like successful government programs and businesses, universities need to rise to the challenge of addressing demands for digital services among current and prospective students.”

Accenture survey on Digital Capabilities and Services at Universities

Most students considered alternatives before deciding to attend university, and the survey showed that the cost of attending a university was the number one reason such university-bound secondary students across the five countries.

54 percent said they were considering alternatives to higher education. The concern over cost was fairly consistent across the five countries, cited by 54 percent in Australia, 48 percent in India, 53 percent in Singapore, 59 percent in the United Kingdom and 55 percent in the United States.

86 percent rated their overall university experience as either excellent or good. Indian students were the most satisfied overall with 92 percent saying their experience was excellent or good, followed by students in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore (cited by 90 percent, 88 percent, 82 percent and 80 percent, respectively).

Students considered university web sites as the most valuable source of information for university-bound students in four of the five countries, with the exception of Australia, where a higher percentage of students rated university visits/open houses as the most useful information source, said Accenture.

Accenture suggests that universities must continue to leverage a variety of channels to convey their value and attractiveness to prospective students. At the same time, they must capitalize on the utility of web sites to highlight what they offer, including the digital capabilities so important to many students.

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