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Why Is Student Engagement Important in Higher Education?

Research shows that 84% of students agree that students who aren’t engaged in broader student life activities are more likely to drop out or take longer to graduate, showing how absolutely vital engagement is for student success. Learn why student engagement is so important in higher education and how to improve it in this article.
Why is student engagement important in higher education?

Student engagement refers to the level of involvement, interaction, and participation students show in their academic and extracurricular activities within the college or university environment. Engaged students are active learners who are motivated, interested, and committed to their educational journey, both inside and outside the classroom.

Student engagement is important in higher education for several reasons, all of which come down to meeting college or university goals. Whether the goals are for retention, enrollment, admission, and beyond, engaged students and student prospects are vital. In fact, research shows that 84% of students agree that students who aren’t engaged in broader student life activities are more likely to drop out or take longer to graduate, showing how absolutely vital engagement is for student success. 

This article will discuss three reasons why student engagement is important in higher education as well as how colleges and universities can increase engagement.

Three Reasons Why Student Engagement Is Important in Higher Education


1: Student Engagement Increases Application Numbers

One of the primary aspects of student engagement lies in its significance for the admissions process. Universities and colleges look for students who demonstrate genuine interest in their institution. Engaged student prospects who actively research and interact with the university through campus visits, attending information sessions, asking questions via digital communications channels (like chatbot, two-way texting, and live chat), and engaging with faculty and current students are more likely to complete their higher education application. 

Admissions officers appreciate students who proactively seek out opportunities to learn about the institution’s values, programs, and culture. By demonstrating such engagement, students set themselves apart from other applicants and increase their chances of gaining admission.

2: Engaged Students Are More Likely to Enroll

Student engagement also plays a vital role in enrolling and retaining students throughout their academic journey. Engaged students are more likely to be proactive about enrolling semester after semester. They actively seek out resources, support services, and extracurricular activities that enhance their college experience. Such engagement helps create a sense of belonging and connection to the institution, leading to higher student retention rates. 

When students feel connected and engaged, they are more likely to persist through challenges, seek help when needed, and ultimately graduate. Additionally, engaged students often become advocates for their university, contributing to a positive reputation and attracting more prospective students.

3: Engagement Is Important for Academic Success

The final reason why student engagement is crucial in higher education is its positive impact on academic success. Engaged students tend to be more motivated, focused, and willing to put in the effort required to succeed academically. These students actively participate in class discussions, ask questions, and seek clarification on challenging concepts. 

By engaging with the course material, they develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter, leading to improved performance in exams and assignments. Additionally, engaged students often form study groups and collaborate with peers, enhancing their learning experience and knowledge retention.

How Institutions of Higher Education Can Increase Student Engagement

Colleges and universities can greatly enhance student engagement by leveraging the power of AI-powered student-prefered communications channels such as chatbots, two-way texting, and live chat. These technologies offer immediate and personalized information in a way that caters to the preferences and needs of today’s tech-savvy students. Chatbots, for instance, can be integrated into university websites and platforms, providing students with instant access to information, support, and guidance 24/7. Whether it’s answering common inquiries about course registration or guiding students through the financial aid process, chatbots can provide real-time assistance, saving students valuable time and eliminating frustration.

Two-way texting is another effective tool for improving student engagement. With two-way texting platforms, colleges and universities can send personalized messages to students, such as reminders about upcoming deadlines, event invitations, or important campus announcements. Students can then respond to these messages, fostering a direct and interactive communication channel. This personalized approach demonstrates that the institution values the student’s individual needs and concerns, creating a sense of connection and engagement.

Live chat platforms further augment student engagement by enabling real-time interactions with staff members. Students can ask questions, seek guidance, or request assistance from academic advisors, counselors, or other support services. Live chat provides a convenient avenue for students to seek help, whether they are on campus or studying remotely. This technology eliminates the barriers of time and location, ensuring that students have access to the support they need when they need it most.

By incorporating chatbots, two-way texting, and live chat channels into their communication strategies, colleges and universities can streamline and personalize their interactions with students, improving engagement and fostering a sense of support. It is important to note that these technologies do not replace human interactions but rather enhance them, freeing up staff members to focus on more complex and personalized tasks. By leveraging these AI-powered channels, institutions can provide a seamless and efficient support system that meets the needs of today’s digitally-connected students, ultimately enhancing their overall college experience and success.

Want to learn more about how you can increase student engagement? Check out these student engagement strategies!

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