Future developments in higher education and the student experience
Practitioners can make a genuine difference to the workings of a university, as outlined throughout this book. Their roles will become even more crucial as the student experience becomes a critical selling point for institutions in attracting applicants who are likely to continue to have plenty of choice about where to study. Now that social networking by applicants and students is so ubiquitous, it is imperative that institutions do really focus on the student experience in all publicity material, in prospectuses and on the university website. They need to make it the main driver of their business rather than just paying lip service to it. In the future, the quality of the student experience will make or break an institution and hence its reputation and survival. In this concluding chapter, our aims are three-fold. First, we will discuss what institutions need to consider when shaping their future. Second, we will review the aims behind the Practitioner Model in light of the experiences described by the chapter and case study authors and summarise the advice provided by them. And third, we will look at the future challenges practitioners face in developing a modern and robust student experience suitable for a diverse student body. These challenges must not only be manageable by staff and fit for business, but they must meet the imperatives of government policy in the twenty-first century.