How to ensure that more young people who start their studies can complete them successfully? In a press release, Microsoft highlighted the AI and Data Management solutions developed by U-Planner in Azure.
Gratuity, expansion of the offer, distance modalities, and promotion of virtuality are alternatives that contribute to this purpose, but the challenge is so great that it requires new paths.
Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and data management emerge as secure and high-precision tools to help higher education institutions make decisions, in real-time, based on data evidence.
Massive dropouts in Latin America Higher Education
To the needs faced by education in Latin America, this year the pandemic added another step since it not only took students and teachers out of the classroom but also rethought the traditional model of face-to-face education. By the end of the year, it is estimated that, due to the public health emergency, dropouts in higher education could reach between 30% and 50%.
One in four higher education students would abandon their academic training during the second semester of 2020.Source: WorkUniversity
A survey carried out in Colombia by the youth employment platform WorkUniversity projected that in Bogotá one in four higher education students would abandon their academic training during the second semester of 2020.
Last May, the Colombian Association of Universities (ASCUN) estimated a reduction of 50% university enrollment for the second semester of 2020. Although the causes of this phenomenon are so diverse that they require attention from different fronts, technology offers tools to attack some sources and contain their consequences.
AI and Data Management: Key Tools for fighting desertion
The Latin American startup U-planner has been working since 2015 on projects that incorporate artificial intelligence and data science intending to raise the quality of higher education. Its model is supported by Microsoft technology, with tools such as Azure Service Bus, a cloud messaging service that allows deliveries to multiple subscribers; LUIS, a service that is based on machine learning to understand the language in applications, virtual assistants, and Internet of Things devices, and bots, or virtual assistants to interact with clients, among many other functionalities.
This company creates platforms that help optimize infrastructure and service costs in higher education centers, generate rapid mathematical modeling to build the most appropriate schedules for students and teachers, and that allow the development of measurable curricula to detect behaviors that may lead to the student’s desertion.
“Universities use less than 50% of the physical spaces they have, that of the young people who access higher education only half graduate and that in Latin America there is only one university among the 100 best in the world, but by the number of inhabitants and academic development, we should have at least five. For this reason, from u-planner we offer solutions for students, teachers, and administrators, which create the conditions to improve the quality of education ”,Juan Pablo Mena, CEO of U-planner.
In these five years, the company has started projects with UNAM, in Mexico; the Universidad del Pacífico and the UPC, in Peru; the Catholic University and the University of Chile, in Chile; the University of Washington, in the United States; the University of Sydney, in Australia, and the Universidad de Los Andes, Eafit and El Rosario, in Colombia, among many more.
Optimization, evaluation, and student success
U-planner solutions focus on three areas, starting from optimization. “We make student schedules more convenient and compact so they can work the rest of the time, as many students in Latin America need it. This process, which is one of the most critical for both institutions and students, optimizes time, use of facilities, and human resources at the university ”. These mathematical models take about 30 minutes, and they run in the Azure cloud ”, explains Mena.