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Data and learning analytics are like "gold dust" in higher education, and the sector cannot afford to put advances in this area on pause, argues Graham Cooper, Head of Education at Capita Education Software Solutions.
The use of big data to improve the student experience is a rich seam that universities are increasingly mining. In this Good Practice Briefing, HEi-know looks at a variety of approaches that have been taken by eight universities to collect and make use of data to enhance learning, and provide better support and feedback for students.
Dave Hall, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Leicester, finds the long-running argument over whether higher education's primary purpose is utilitarian or more holistic continues to dominate debate in the media on developments in the sector.
The Royal Statistical Society has warned that the Teaching Excellence Framework is misleading thousands of students by failing to meet the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value that the public might expect.
Nearly a third of university applicants wish they had chosen different A level subjects, according to research from Which? University.
A survey of over 1,000 students conducted by Youthsight for Which? also found that four in ten wished they had thought more about what subjects might help them get into university.
Only around half (53 per cent) of the UK university applicants surveyed felt suitably informed about how their A-levels could affect their choice of university or course. Almost a third (30 per cent) said that the information and advice they received on which A-levels to take, failed to take into account how it may affect their degree and university choices.
A-levels can have a big impact on university applications, with some courses requiring specific subjects, and some universities not accepting certain disciplines. But less than half (41 per cent) of those we surveyed were aware that many universities have a list of A-level subjects they view less favourably.
Of those applying to university, a fifth (18 per cent) said different A-level subjects would have been better suited to the degree they were applying for.
To help students make better more informed choices, Which? University’s has launched a new A-level Explorer tool.
Alex Neill at Which? University, said: “Students know that choosing what to study at university is an important decision. However, our research shows that they are less clear about how earlier decisions could impact on the degree options available to them.
“While certain A-levels might suggest a particular degree path, our tool shows there are usually alternative options students can take. It’s important that students choose their A-levels with both degree courses and future careers in mind.”
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