Students today are digital natives and most of their daily lives are happening online. Therefore, in order to cater for their needs effectively, at least some university services have to move online, too. After all, it’s beneficial for the university as well: using resources smartly also means reducing costs.
So, which online services can make your students happier?
Various databases enable students to have access to all the books and magazines they need to complete their courses and get well-grounded education. While access is universal, approach often is not. Students may not have access to their computers all the time, but they are always online on their smartphones. Therefore, database design rethinking should aim to provide students with digital libraries they can easily use on the go. Good examples of this kind of flexible and user-friendly design are Scribd or Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
Psychologist consultations in various languages
International students are facing a number of huge life changes. They suddenly find themselves in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language. Their old social ties are no longer available and new ones haven’t formed yet. In this situation, it is not uncommon to feel anxious, lonely or lost. However, seeking help from a psychologist on campus is not something every student would be willing to do. The anonymity of talking to someone online, though, could let them open up, especially if such services are available in their local language.
Nutritionist consultations/101 student cooking class
One of the key joke themes of studying is how much instant ramen noodles people eat every day. Maintaining a varied and balanced diet is the key to good health, so teaching this life skill should be a priority for universities as well. Healthy students have high energy which results in a more active approach to learning and problem-solving. So, your cafeteria menu should reflect this philosophy. If not, offering nutrition and healthy cooking consultations is an excellent start that can prevent a lot of health-related problems on campus.
Freelance local job leads
Opportunity to work and get some additional income is a dream and aspiration for most students. It’s not just about earning money. It’s also about gaining experience and building up their portfolio. Create a platform where students can find part-time local jobs and freelance working opportunities online such as content writing, virtual assistance, programming, graphic design, etc. It will make a difference, especially if it also includes a bit of consulting or legal advice on how to get a job.
Not every international student can bring a pasta pot to their study abroad adventure. Still, most of them would love to make some pasta. A platform for sharing things students don’t use – either for keeping or borrowing – will provide opportunities for a richer life experience and raise awareness students about sustainable consumption.
Which of these ideas are already flourishing on your campus? Share your online initiatives in the comment section!