Remaining competitive in the higher education sector

The higher education sector is facing a number of challenges as we enter 2019, with institutions requiring innovation to stay ahead of the competition, attract and retain students and engage existing students.

With rising tuition fees, students are demanding more of their universities than ever before as they expect a good return on their investment. In addition, processes and paperwork are taking up valuable time and keeping your back-office staff from adding real value.

The answer to many of these problems lies with technology.

As technology continues to progress and become more intelligent, we’re requiring less human effort for manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks and, in turn, you can allow your people to focus on what matters most: delivering an outstanding education and enhancing the customer experience.

There are a number of touchpoints on the student journey from application to acceptance and progression through their courses. Many of the processes surrounding, or questions asked about, these milestones are repetitive. By implementing a bot and taking your first steps in utilising AI technology, you can not only allow staff and students to focus on the learning experience, but also provide a 24/7 service.

Bots are more than just a nice-to-have; they’re essential to setting your university apart from the competition and meeting your students’ increasing needs. A bot can sit on top of your existing knowledgebase to help students with all of the common queries they might have like how to apply to your university, for a grant or a scholarship programme.

A bot can also function as a guide through the entire onboarding process for students and staff alike, taking your cohort through applying for accommodation, signing up to their chosen modules and their induction week, while you can onboard new staff seamlessly.

Once your students are on board, you need to ensure their experience is second-to-none. There are a lot of ways you could do this, from offering extra-curricular activities to world-class on-campus facilities. However, an increasingly key element of the student experience is the online hub they use for their classes.

Virtual learning environments (VLEs) have historically been clunky and hard to navigate. Many classes require active participation in this online hub, whether it’s reading a resource ahead of the next class to virtual knowledge tests. But even for the VLEs that simply offer supporting resources, a poor user experience can put your students off engaging with it entirely, which can only be detrimental to their learning experience.

It’s often hard to move away from a legacy system, but implementing a codeless cloud solution like LiveTiles can streamline the user experience, keep your students engaged and ultimately save costs in maintenance. The older a piece of software gets, the more flawed and vulnerable it’ll become, thus costing more to maintain in comparison to robust, fresh systems.

Digital transformation is at the top of the agenda for thousands of businesses across the UK and the higher education (HE) sector shouldn’t be missing out. As fees increase, so do expectations and if they aren’t met, it could spell trouble for your institution. Happy and engaged students produce better results, which helps the reputation of your university.

We’re delighted to be attending the Bett Education Show 2019 this week with our innovative partner LiveTiles. Why not book a short slot to talk to us about how technology can really set your university apart?

Book your Bett slot now