State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education

In the past year, educators and students across the globe have exhibited resilience and commitment to teaching and learning--and it’s clear that the landscape of higher ed is evolving. We revisited key questions for a second year in order to deeply consider the new normal in higher education.

Dive into the Data

One study. Thousands of voices.

Working with Hanover Research, we fielded a global study to discover what drives higher education student success and engagement.

18 countries

7,687 students, administrators, and faculty

6 key trends, perspectives, and considerations

A Focus on Career Readiness & Personal Development

We asked current students, faculty, and administrators what defines student success.

The answer across all regions:

  • Work/career readiness (84%)
  • Skill competency (81%)
  • Holistic development (80%) 

While grades remain important—especially to students—administrators, faculty, and students are defining success more holistically and adjusting campus support to match that definition of success.  

Access to Technology: A Critical Enabler

Socioeconomic factors impact all areas of the student experience.

79% of respondents reported that household income has a moderate or major impact on student engagement. We offer perspectives and considerations for bridging the gap so all students succeed.

Socioeconomic factors that influence student success according to students across the globe:

93% access to the internet

92% access to learning resources

91% access to technology devices

92% psychological well-being

The Need for Meaningful Engagement

Global perspective is that student engagement is decreasing.

As future uncertainty remains and hybrid learning becomes the new norm, creating meaningful, interactive experiences between faculty and students, and connecting students with one another will be critical to continued student engagement in hybrid and remote courses alike.

The year-over-year data shows:

2020: 69% of all students feel engaged with their classes and coursework.

2021: 64% of all students feel engaged with their classes and coursework.

The Proliferation of Online Learning

Half of respondents have a positive perception of online learning.

Institutions actively working to improve faculty technology proficiency and online course intentionality will be better positioned to help students succeed in any environment.

Online learning of the future includes:

A focus on technology professional development for faculty

Mobile course delivery, apps, and alternative methods of connection

Increased understanding of student pain points and barriers to access to address equity