For UK universities and higher education establishments, 2022 continues to be a challenging year as students settle post-lockdown and COVID. Many Universities and Colleges have adjusted the ways they communicate with both students (and their parents). Overcoming geographical restrictions with access to more FAQ pages, templated automated responses and branching out to other channels of digital communication.
UCAS previously predicted that 80,000 prospective students would be using Clearing as a method to obtain a place at a university for September this year (The Guardian). Leaving a huge task for universities; figuring out a completely new digital strategy for it.
1. Communication with International Students
With a 9% increase this year in the number of international undergraduates students to start their studies this autumn (UCAS), it’s clear the UK is seen as a desirable location to gain a degree (even in the midst of a global pandemic!). As it’s likely the number of international students will rise year on year, universities need to think about their communications strategies with those outside the UK.
Multilingual chatbots, like BiziBOT for example mean that the prospective students can comfortably communicate in their first language with universities to get all their basic enquiries answered.
It doesn’t matter whether prospective students are in a different time zone, with a chatbot they will get an immediate response. Having communication solutions like this in place will improve the experience for international students and strengthen the rapport between them and their selected university.
2. Data Management
Higher education handles a lot of data. Some of it, very confidential to students. Meaning updating and managing data through a variety of systems is a challenge, but especially important. There are solutions that can ensure your data is updated in all databases, through one entry point.
This is critical for ensuring marketing and communication preferences are kept up to date. To enable the effective distribution of key communications for open days, timetables, and terms dates. You could even ensure that you know preferred student channels of communication. As a result, you’d be able to automatically distribute messages via WhatsApp or various other channels.
3. Improving Enrolment Efficiencies
Enrolment is without a doubt another huge task for universities and colleges. Solutions like INBOX reduce the need to copy and paste templates into digital channels of communication.
Enabling you to setup and trigger templated responses based on rules and filters. These could be based on the keywords or phrases used in the enrolment enquiry.
More Digitisation to Come!
Post-Lockdown has forced higher education to take the jump to digitise everyday processes that have typically been very labour-intensive. With the new normal on the horizon, more will start to look at how they can utilise resources more wisely, improve the student experience and continue to automate key areas.