The impact of big data on Canadian PSE retention, graduation

September 20, 2016

“If Canadian universities were private corporations, their customer turnover rates would be ruinous,” writes Simona Chiose for the Globe and Mail. Chiose cites data showing that up to 20% of students leave university without finishing, while 20% to 50% leave their initial program. The author explores how universities are now turning to big data and “predictive analytics” to help identify and support students who are most at risk of dropping out. The author concludes that while these efforts might have a significant impact on graduation and retention rates, it is important to remember that “no matter how thinly and carefully the data are sliced, no university should forget that education can be transformative in ways that predictive analytics can’t foresee.” Globe and Mail