There are over 3700 registered users on HEDD now and 12 university operators so we’ve been doing some user testing to find out exactly what customers are using HEDD for and how we could improve the services.
The university look up service is popular and well-used – nearly a quarter of the enquirers come to the site to check the validity of universities and to get details of their verification protocols. Nearly all the universities have directly engaged with this and many keep their own details up to date. This service is unique to HEDD and is valued highly by visitors. We are going to extend this service later this year to include the Higher Education Colleges delivering degree programmes validated by other universities.
65% of customers come to HEDD to use the verification service to check qualifications. As it’s the core service we were not surprised and as the number of participating universities grows, we think this number will increase.
We were a little surprised that checking degree classification was the reason for only 29% of enquirers. On further investigation it seems that many enquirers are happy that candidates are confirmed as having a degree and don’t care about the details.
Over a third use HEDD to check attendance dates. This was not in our original brief, but has been introduced due to the high demand. Screening agencies in particular are keen to match the dates – especially as part of a wider background check to look for gaps in timelines on CVs.
And it’s not just about graduates either. 10% of the enquiries are about current students enrolled in our universities. For council tax exemptions, discounted travel cards etc. confirming that students are enrolled and for which dates is essential.
Nearly half of all our enquirers are overseas and they love HEDD. They are mainly checking international students returning home to employment. The fact that it is a 24/7 online service is proving vital across global time zones. There also seems to be a better developed culture overseas for verification as evidenced by the National Student Clearinghouse in the States. 3,500 US universities and colleges are in, representing 98% of their students and graduates. This is a great motivator for our HEDD team as we strive to expand the service in the UK.
The US are not alone either, there are central verification services in many other countries. We’ll be looking to link to them from HEDD so enquirers can check qualifications across the globe from our central portal.