Retention and attrition rates have been a major concern to universities for many years, so much so that there are publications dedicated solely to the issue. Although universities and colleges are basically…
But I don’t necessarily see any conflict; the conclusion of this article is “Strategically this means university leaders need to ask themselves whether they should put so much effort into trying to change something that is largely a function of market structure at the expense of recruiting new students.”
For university to recruit new students they need to have good “product” to sell; improving teaching quality is to improve the product; and satisfaction of the student is how you get the improvement of that product out to the market. So at the end, the university improves the teaching quality and makes current students satisfied to recruit new students.
Of course recruiting new students, is not exclusively done by improving teaching and learning. First of all, there are multitudes of other factors; and some university might choose to pump up hot air through their marketing without any improvement of product.
I guess some might see that the graduates are our products; not entirely wrong, but maybe there is another conception that we can use. The students, are our co-producers, they can co-produce with us, or with institution next door. So what we “sell” is the production facility, we offer them to work together with us to produce themselves. So the product we sell to our prospective students, is the production facility, which consisted of technology, academics, etc, including the gym and library either digital or bricks.
That’s why if academics do fascinating things that spark students’ engagement, they should speak about it, not just write journal paper and collect brownies points. Allow others see, share it around, including to the potential new students or society since society is the source of new students and university needs to facilitate this for its own future students recruitment.
Thus improving teaching quality, is not trying to change something that is largely a function of market structure; but it could be linked with new students’ recruitment strategy.