Behind the Scenes: Salesforce.org Global Higher Education Research
Tableau Study Hall invites data-impacted influencers in higher education and K12 to share best practices, editorials and stories. This week’s guest is Katharine Bierce, Senior Lead, Research Content at Salesforce.org
Higher Education Trends Research: Summary of Findings in Tableau
In order to better understand higher education trends during the pandemic, Salesforce.org worked with Ipsos and the Chronicle of Higher Education to survey 2,200 students and staff. We collected responses from 1,125 students and 1,075 staff from August 10, 2020 to September 9, 2020 via an online quantitative survey in 10 countries in North America and Europe.
While in the past, we’ve focused primarily on creating a PDF to summarize the research, this Fall, we decided to expand our research materials to include a Tableau page to give education leaders the ability to explore more detail in their areas of interest.
Launched in November 2020, the research includes this Tableau page here.
All in all, we found five key themes:
1. Staying Connected While Apart
Consistent connections are key to maintaining students’ feelings of belonging. As you can see in the Tableau dashboard, one thing that universities provided during pandemic-imposed restrictions were online communities to connect with faculty and staff. Also, the majority (75%) of students surveyed said that they would like weekly (or more frequent) pandemic-related communications.
2. Widening Trust Gaps Within Institutions
There are existing trust gaps to bridge, which have been somewhat worsened by the pandemic. 48% of students and 51% of staff think the pandemic has widened the trust gap between leadership and students.
3. Holistic Wellbeing is Top of Mind
As students navigate an ever-changing university experience, the trust trend is trickling into their personal safety and holistic wellbeing. 73% of students said maintaining their wellbeing has been a key challenge during the pandemic. Check out the Tableau dashboard for more on how many students in which countries said “I feel safe returning to campus.”
4. Students Expect More Flexible Learning Options
Faced with increased challenges, many students are seeking more flexible learning options. When asked how their institution could improve its response to the pandemic, 33% of students said to provide more flexible academic options for students (online, hybrid, in-person). You may also be interested to see the trends on what institutions are doing to attract new students. Not surprisingly, one of the top responses was “more online learning options,” followed by “more part-time classes.”
5. Revising Career and Academic Goals
Economic changes are causing a shift in how students view their academic and career goals. 51% of students are reconsidering their education plans during the pandemic. Additionally, 60% of students are concerned about finding employment after graduation. This is an opportunity area for universities to step up. Our research found that a majority of staff anticipate an increase in adult learners who are looking to reskill or upskill.
The Future is Now
A crisis makes the future happen faster: many institutions are seeing years of change happen in just months. Now is the time to accelerate digital transformation, because many of the pandemic-induced digital changes may be here to stay. For more inspiration, check out the Global Higher Education Research Snapshot page on the Salesforce.org website as well as the Tableau dashboards about the research.