The shocking statistic that one student commits suicide every four days (Guardian, 2019) highlights the student wellbeing and mental health crisis facing UK and International universities alike (ONS, 2021; Intergenerational Foundation, 2021).
- 63% of students said their wellbeing and mental health had worsened since the autumn term, 2020 (ONS, 2021), this of course has been exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdowns and other restrictions.
- 6.3% of students drop out of university in their first year (HESA, 2020), and that number increases to 8.8% for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- From a diversity perspective the impact is pronounced further: Black students are 1.5 times more likely to drop out than White or Asian students, and the drop-out rates for non-heterosexual students are 5.6% higher than for heterosexual students.
Dropping out limits a student’s life choices which could ultimately impact them, their families, and the wider community.
This is not just a wellbeing issue, although of course this is important – there is also a financial imperative to fixing this problem. For the UK alone….
- If a single student drops out of university in their first year it costs the university £28,000 – this means a 6.3% drop-out costs the average university £9m per year. This extrapolates to £1Bn across the UK Higher Education sector every year.
- Dropping out in the first year, can also cost the student £15,000, but of course the cost to the student through reduced life choices and wider society could be higher.
- There is a real disconnect between the university support services and the student, and often students find it hard to reach the right support when they need it – If we can save just 5 mins per month per student of manual interventions through automation and workflow, this could save the university the equivalent of seven-a-half full-time members of staff.
- And with regard to the worst statistic of them all? We refuse to put a price-benefit on that but saving just one life through identifying the need for, and providing, timely support will make this whole endeavour worthwhile.
And of course, this is not only a UK issue, but a global one.
YADA Campus is a platform consisting of a student mobile app and a back-end analytics and reporting engine presented via a SaaS model. It aggregates massive amounts of disparate student-journey touch-point data, intelligently profiles disengagement behaviour and automatically intervenes with behavioural ‘nudges’ in real-time.
Students use the app to check-in to class and access their core services and social events, whilst academic, admin and student support staff use the platform for collaboration, messaging, polling, and data analytics.
YADA Campus brings together data-aggregation, proprietary algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to address the problem, allowing real-time analysis of an individual student, providing a comparative measure against their peers, and flagging areas where intervention may be required.
The platform also allows the student to see their own progress and helps them proactively to understand where they may need assistance and signposts suggestions of where they can find support.
We estimate we can reduce an average university’s student dropout rate by 10–20%, saving them £1–2M/year and we can do this for a one-off integration cost of £30K and a monthly subscription based on £1 per student per month (this is about 10% of what we save them year-on-year).
Through automation, workflow, and student self-service access to the appropriate support, we also estimate a release of approximately 7.5 full time employees – equivalent to a further saving of over £600K per year.