Challenges of Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Digital Transformation has permeated every industry, including Higher Education (HE).

Prospective students are not only in the quest for the best institution academically but also want a positive digital experience.

They demand blended learning and accessible digital solutions for administrative activities, such as admission and enrollment procedures, timetables, and exam information.

This pushes Higher Education institutions to innovate and deliver intelligent digital solutions that enhance student journeys and improve operational efficiency. However, only 13% of Higher Education providers in the US are developing a Digital Transformation strategy.

So, what are the main challenges that colleges and universities face, and how can they be addressed? We examine them below.

1. Lagged Response to Changing Expectations of Younger Generations

It’s a constant cycle of adaptation for Higher Education institutions. With each admissions cycle, education providers must look for ways to keep up with technological advancements and changes in the digital mindset of young adults.

Firstly, students desire greater flexibility regarding the digital provision, with 45% favoring a blend of in-person and online sessions. Secondly, they seek additional ways to engage with course material and fellow students, such as on-demand lecture recordings and interactive conversations via easily accessible platforms. Finally, they want to use digital student services and support online rather than going to campus.

But universities are somehow sluggish to fulfill these needs. They lack a culture of rapid technology development and delivery and have lengthy decision-making processes and financial restrictions.

2. Failure to Empower the Student Population Digitally

Market forces now drive education, so you need to provide your students choice and engagement on their terms.

You can’t expect them to keep signing into cumbersome university websites, seeking information through FAQ sections and siloed departmental pages—these barriers impede students from obtaining information effectively.

Every time they want to check lecture location, homework deadlines, or grades, they want to do it quickly and without needing to jump from one platform to another.

Higher Education institutions are now expected to implement a full spectrum of solutions, ranging from alerts about timetable changes and SMS reminders about tuition fee payments to accessible student portals for student record management and dissemination of important information.

Enabling students to engage with your institution with little effort on their part requires you to use real-time streamlined communication channels.

3. Lack of Prioritization for Mobile Usability

Prospective applicants and current students will most likely go on the college’s website through their smartphones. They expect condensed information, broken into snackable pieces, intuitive navigation, and responsive design.

On top of that, they want a single, branded point of access for all the university’s web functions, from application and registration to course management and student services.

Nevertheless, in reality, many institutions are not yet at the point where they can meet these expectations. Traditionally, education providers invest in their main website, but this is no longer effective, as that’s not where the students hang around. Thus, institutions with weak digital mobile strategies continuously lose applicants who simply abandon unresponsive websites and move on to a competitor.

4. Not Providing Rich and Engaging Experience

After all, students crave rich, seamless, and engaging experiences. Universities are increasingly pushed to implement a centralized, enterprise-level platform that connects all the communication dots, delivers relevant content without overwhelming your audience, and tracks the metrics.

Delivering an omnichannel experience is crucial since it not only helps candidates decide whether or not to enroll at your institution; it also engages the current student body and maps out their journey from enrollment to degree conferral.

Furthermore, as you collect and leverage insights, you can continuously improve your processes and reap the benefits of a stronger position in the education market.

Start Your Digital Transformation With Base22

Students’ expectations of their future education are shifting at an unprecedented pace, meaning that institutions that fail to adopt digital solutions will become less competitive in attracting and retaining tech-savvy applicants.

Do you need help in revolutionizing your Higher Education institution? Base22 has the approach and experience to make your student and faculty user experience transformation successful without have to rip and replace existing systems. We’re here to help—reach out today!

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