Welsh universities get year’s extra data analytics funding

HEFCW invests in a second programme of Jisc’s learning analytics service for Welsh higher education providers

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and Jisc, the UK’s digital body for education, will today announce further investment for data analytics at Welsh universities.

The government cash injection of about £133,000 will, for a further year, subsidise the cost of universities across Wales accessing Jisc’s data analytics technology to improve student engagement, retention and performance.

It follows HEFCW’s previous £266,000 investment in Jisc’s service – known as Learning Analytics (LA) Cymru – in 2018. This paid half the subscription cost for participating institutions to join Jisc’s service for two years – institutions then committed to pay Jisc subscriptions for at least one further year. In addition, HEFCW funded learning analytics collaborations between Jisc and Welsh institutions.

At an online event for university sector leaders today, minister for education and Welsh language Jeremy Miles (pictured) will say: “I’m very pleased to mark the launch of LA Cymru 2, which will build on the good work of LA Cymru and bring together the growing amount of data available on student engagement and performance in Wales.

The need for universities to take advantage of learning analytics technology is now more important than ever – Heidi Fraser-Krauss, Jisc

“Students continue to be at the heart of learning analytics, and the support institutions and partners can provide based upon it has only become more important since Covid.

“The work of partners – including seven of Wales’ universities, Jisc and HEFCW – will ensure the benefits of this work are quickly implemented on the ground, and I’m very grateful to everyone involved for their work.”

Jisc’s learning analytics technology pulls together data such as enrolment details, attendance (either in person or online), engagement with the virtual learning environment, popular online education tools, use of the physical/virtual library and student assessment results to create live dashboards showing providers whether students are participating, engaging and progressing with their courses – both online and on-campus. This means tutors can quickly intervene when students need additional support – be it around academic progress, finance or wellbeing – thus reducing risks of non-continuation.

Jisc’s learning analytics service pulls data from various sources, including VLE usage

 

“I am delighted that HEFCW has further invested in our data analytics in Welsh higher education provision to enhance student support and outcomes,” Jisc’s new CEO Heidi Fraser-Krauss will say at the launch.

“As we enter a post-Covid world and move towards established models of hybrid learning, the opportunities to transform education through innovative solutions are there for all to grasp. The need for universities to take advantage of learning analytics technology is now more important than ever to provide students with the correct level of support and the best chances of success.”

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