Canterbury Christ Church University scores high with SAS

Analytics help attract more students and improve retention

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is using software from SAS®, the leader in analytics, to improve the learning experience for its 17,000 students. CCCU is also using real-time student admissions data to boost operational, financial and academic planning for its 2,000 staff.

For universities, "student admissions" covers all aspects of managing the student body, from promoting courses through tracking graduation and employment. Previously, manual data collection and analysis caused a huge drain on senior staff resources. Without accurate student admissions data, CCCU could not identify critical issues, such as student dropouts, early enough to take action. This impacted both financial and academic performance.

"Student admissions affects every area of operations," explained Simon Houlding, Assistant Director of Finance. "For example, we plan to invest around £150 million in campus redevelopment. Managing student admissions effectively is critical to align capital expenditure with student numbers, the courses we run, staff and the facilities we need."

Now, using advanced analytics from SAS, data tasks are automated. This enables a high degree of self-service and, on average, saves four hours of senior executive time every week. CCCU now has the ability to accurately analyse student attendance data and formulate intervention strategies. That can minimise drop-out rates, as the university can respond early enough to reduce the impact on the student's learning experience as well as the university's academic reputation, operations and financial administration.

"We particularly like the possibilities offered by SAS® Visual Analytics. The simple, easy-to-use interface combined with advanced user controls and embedded capabilities such as mapping meet all of our core requirements. This allows us to highlight critical information to senior managers rapidly and easily, with drill-down to the underlying data, empowering them to make evidence-based decisions," added Houlding.

"CCCU is at the forefront of using student admissions data to enhance its student experience," said Mark Wilkinson, SAS Regional Vice President – Northern Europe and Russia/CIS. "With the ability to predict issues such as course drop-out rates, CCCU will be able to fine-tune its educational performance and help students flourish. We hope that SAS continues to form a critical part of CCCU's strategic programme to improve results for students and the university alike."

Find out more in this case study about how CCCU is using SAS.


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