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Students prefer universities with better digital capabilities: Accenture

Nurdianah Md Nur | Dec. 9, 2014
To better appeal to students, universities need to integrate technology into classrooms, as well as offer virtual coursework and online classes

Digital capabilities are considered as a top determinant in choosing which university to attend, according to Accenture's latest study.

The survey of 1,500 university-bound students in Singapore, Australia, India, UK and US found that 70 percent of them demanded a greater use of digital tools for learning and content delivery in universities. They expect universities to integrate technology into classrooms, as well as offer virtual coursework and online classes.

When it comes to searching for information on universities, students in all the surveyed countries except Australia considered university websites as the most valuable source of information. For students in Australia, university visits or open houses were rated the best information source.

"In most countries we studied, the online channel is favoured by students as an information source," said Ryan Oakes, who leads Accenture's education practice. "However, we also found significant numbers of students relying on more traditional sources, including visits, open houses, guidance counsellors and teachers, and friends and family."

The study also revealed that 86 percent of the current students and recent graduates rated their overall university experience as either excellent or good. Indian (92 percent) students were the most satisfied overall, followed by students in the US (90 percent), UK (88 percent), Australia (82 percent), and Singapore (80 percent).

"Universities must continue to leverage a variety of channels to convey their value and attractiveness to prospective students," said Oakes. "At the same time, they must capitalise on the utility of websites to highlight what they offer, including the digital capabilities so important to many students."


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