Brockenhurst College to Transform Student Experience Through Personalized Education using IBM Smarter Education Technologies Hosted on the Cloud

LONDON, UK, - 17 Sep 2014: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Brockenhurst College in the New Forest, is investing in Exceptional Student Experience (“ESE”) technology from IBM. The technology which uses a mixture of the latest cloud, analytics, mobile and social solutions will help personalize the experience a student gets from the moment they enrol on a course, all the way through to entering the workforce and beyond that into lifelong learning. The college is hoping to achieve a 15% increase in growth and a 15% reduction in students who are at risk of dropping out over the next five years.

The pressure has never been more intense with schools, colleges and universities facing tightening budgets and increasing competition from each other and online schools. Every institution must work smarter to remain competitive and provide students with the best learning experience possible.

The key principle behind the new technology is that everyone learns in different ways. The ESE technology enables students to learn anytime, anywhere and on any device. This provides them with a rich set of data and online resources at their fingertips. The technology can also be used by students to learn, connect and share views with other students from across the world to create a truly international learning experience.

The analytics and big data technologies can give teachers and lecturers invaluable information highlighting students who might be at risk of not completing their course or working to their full potential. This could be information on what books students are checking out of the library or which extracurricular activities they are involved in. It can also provide information on varying learning styles to discover if a student favors online learning, face to face learning or a combination of both to determine a personalized engagement with the college. This will allow teaching staff to step in and provide extra support when and where it is needed to avoid students lagging behind and even dropping out of their studies.

All of this is made possible by adopting a cloud-first strategy which will greatly increase the college’s agility, enabling educators and administrators to offer new services to students at key times, such as revision study, examinations, results day, clearing or open days at a much faster rate. The college will have the ability to manage the ever-changing performance demands of modern digitally connected students throughout the academic year, versus a delayed strategy based on hindsight.

IBM will deliver the ESE solution via the Softlayer cloud platform which will align with predictive analytics for student retention and social collaboration for richer curriculum delivery, all accessed through a personalized portal. The IBM solution will allow Brockenhurst College to be interconnected and intelligent when monitoring its students’ academic progress, creating a holistic overview for every single student’s personalized learning experience.

By moving to the Cloud, Brockenhurst College is avoiding the £500,000 cost of purchasing physical infrastructure and gaining a better performing service that keeps the focus on core business.

On top of all the great learning benefits the technology will go further and help students when they finish their studies. When trying to secure a job the technology can inform students about openings in a certain area matching their skill-set, as well as connecting them with past alumni they might benefit from knowing in their medium and longer term careers.

Commenting on the new technology, Di Roberts CBE, Principal and CEO from Brockenhurst College said: “The quality of the student experience is critical to the success of an institution, so colleges and universities need to focus on student engagement to meet the changing need of incoming and existing students. The latest technology we are introducing will not only attract new students and give them the very best learning experience at Brockenhurst, but also make our students more technology literate for when they enter the job market and secure careers after studying with us.”

"The shifting landscape of education and demands of students today have been the driving force behind the roll out of the Exceptional Student Experience said Cailean Hargrave, Further and Higher Education Lead, IBM UK and Ireland. "Our goal is to help make educational institutions around the world more student centric and encourage innovation to deliver better outcomes for the students, institutes and ultimately economy as a whole.”

IBM improves student and institutional outcomes through the dynamic use of enterprise data and self-learning systems. This enables personalized learning and an exceptional student experience, aligning students to career pathways and fostering economic vitality.

Exceptional Student Experience is IBM’s revolutionary strategy co-created with its client pioneers, including Brockenhurst College. By using Exceptional Student Experience technology institutions can drive success by:

  • Increasing admissions by up to 20%: through recruitment with digital marketing - integrating digital, social and manual channels through analytics to provide fresh insights on how prospective students engage with an institution.
  • Reducing annual administration costs by up to £300,000: by bringing people, processes and systems together allowing them to work smarter through cloud technology.
  • Driving student success and retention by up to 25%: using algorithms to spot warning signs of students in risk of failing study modules or dropping out of their studies so teachers and lecturers can step in before it is too late.

To find out more about IBM’s use of technology in the education space visit: as well as and follow @IBMEducation on Twitter.

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@IBM latest tech gives professors info re: students most at risk of failing exams so they can step in and provide extra support#ExceptionalStudentExperience (Image courtesy of Brockenhurst College)

@IBM latest tech gives professors info re: students most at risk of failing exams so they can step in and provide extra support#ExceptionalStudentExperience (Image courtesy of Brockenhurst College)

@IBM latest tech gives professors info re: students most at risk of failing exams so they can step in and provide extra support#ExceptionalStudentExperience (Image courtesy of Brockenhurst College)

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