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But offering a wide selection of courses that prospective students can apply for quickly and easily is not always as simple as it sounds. At Gloucestershire College, for example, we offer a mix of full and part-time courses, higher education, apprenticeships and training for businesses, attracting students from the local community and overseas. Our students typically apply for multiple courses so they have options in the event that they don’t get the grades they expect. But our previous admissions process made this much more complicated than it needed to be for students and staff. So, we made some changes to the way we manage admissions to make it easier for students to apply for the courses they want to study and help us better meet their needs.

Opening up opportunities

Our students often apply online for both level 2 and level 3 of the same subject, with one being their first choice. We then help them make a final decision on which to go ahead with once they get their examination results. The problem we were having in managing this previously was that our staff had no way of identifying from the information available on the application form which course was a student’s first choice. So, if a student applied for four different courses, we’d have to invite them to enroll on each course separately, entering their information in full each time. They would then receive a separate letter from us relating to each course. This was not only confusing for students, it was an added burden on staff workloads too and so it needed to be addressed.

Improved experience

One of the challenges we had was that some of our admissions were run on the UNIT-e management information system, while others were managed on a separate IT system. This was not the most efficient way of working and didn’t provide an overall picture of student applications. We decided to manage all applications centrally through UNIT-e, which has made a huge difference to students’ experience when they apply online and saved hours of time for our staff. Staff can now see a full history of each applicant, the progress of the application and all the communications relating to it. Students have the ability to indicate which of the courses they are applying for is their primary choice too. It means our team can send the students one letter, and invite them once for interview, making the whole process much smoother for all concerned.

Supporting students

We’ve seen some major advantages to managing admissions in this way. Our staff can spend less time in administration and more time speaking to prospective students, helping them with their applications and advising them on their course selection. The changes we’ve made have contributed to a 30% increase in online applications.

Data-driven insight

With data in one place, the college’s senior leaders can monitor the popularity of a new course or increase the marketing to promote a particular subject if necessary. We recently identified a growing demand for part-time hair and beauty courses, so have increased the number of places available on these courses. Now, staff have a clear picture of how long an applicant has spent at certain stages of the online admissions process. It means they can make direct contact through the live online help tool if a student appears to be having difficulties completing the required information or seems unsure of which course to apply for. They can also see if a student who has visited the website is waiting for further information or an invitation for an interview, which helps move the process along. The aim should be for every touch point with a student to leave them with a positive perception of the institution and all it has to offer.
To find out more about how Gloucestershire College are using UNIT-e, read the full case study here. [post_title] => Simplifying admissions for a better applicant experience [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => simplifying-admissions-for-a-better-applicant-experience [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-06 09:47:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-06 09:47:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=19987 [menu_order] => 371 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16788 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-07-31 15:58:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-31 14:58:37 [post_content] => To drive a truly successful digital transformation, it’s vital that change aligns with the institution’s individual goals. That’s why The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) engaged the expertise of a Capita consultant in its digital transformation journey. The college carried out a full business process review to get a clear understanding of what it wanted to achieve and how the UNIT-e management information system could support this. Reducing workload As trainers of the next generation of agriculture and food professionals in Northern Ireland, the college offers a wide range of courses, from veterinary nursing and food technology to horticulture and equine management. Over 1,700 further and higher education students study at the college's three campuses and it also delivers technical and business skills training to more than 8,000 people employed in the Northern Ireland agri-food industry. Capita’s business process review is a kind of satnav for colleges, helping them to see how UNIT-e can drive forward business improvements. CAFRE wanted to reduce staff workloads and enhance the experience of prospective students applying for courses. The review helped the college achieve this.
Capita’s business process review is a kind of satnav for colleges, helping them to see how UNIT-e can drive forward business improvements.
CAFRE has moved away from a time-consuming, largely paper-based method of communicating with prospective students and now sends tailored messages via email and text straight to their mobile devices. The move has already paid for itself with the money saved no longer printing and posting letters, and the college has seen an increase in interview attendance too. A revamp of the CAFRE website means applicants can upload all supporting information directly into UNIT-e too, saving time for staff and speeding up the whole process. Need for flexibility To continue attracting students, colleges need to be able to respond to their changing needs and technology can help with this too. CAFRE wanted to offer a more flexible applications process for farmers and employers booking industry training courses, for example. Farming is often weather-dependent and unpredictable, and it can be difficult for employers to guarantee students’ attendance on courses booked months in advance. Previously, farmers did not have any easy option to change the time of their courses and as a consequence, hours of training were being missed and funding unused. Sometimes an employer or farm agent wanted to make a group booking, but the college's previous online application function would not let them do that – they had to phone in and individually book each learner onto the course. These details then had to be manually rekeyed into the MIS.
With a new group booking function, employers, contractors or farm agents can make multiple bookings quickly and easily.
Now, all students can access their course details online at any time and choose the courses that best suit them. And with a new group booking function, employers, contractors or farm agents can make multiple bookings quickly and easily. CAFRE has also introduced an online payment facility that allows trainees to pay their fees at the same time as applying for the course. To date over £175,000 in course fees has been collected since the system went live. Positive impact The college has received some great feedback from farmers about how easy and quick it is for them to find, book and pay for courses online and attendance has increased as a result. Staff now do more in less time and with quality data going into the system, we’ve got more insight into our students’ needs to help us plan for the future. A college’s objectives must always be at the heart of successful digital transformation. That way, you’re continually inspired to find better ways of working. To find out more about how CAFRE is using UNIT-e, read the full case study here. [post_title] => Why digital transformation is about much more than technology [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => why-digital-transformation-is-about-much-more-than-technology [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-31 15:58:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-31 14:58:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=16788 [menu_order] => 643 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16309 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2019-07-16 00:00:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-15 23:00:21 [post_content] => I’ve been lucky enough to work in further and higher education software for over 20 years. Recently I’ve seen more and more colleges making the decision to move away from traditional on-premises solutions, to a hosted, or cloud-based, solution. The role of cloud technology and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as an IT delivery platform is now accepted by many FE college CIOs, IT directors and MIS department heads who recognise the advantages of flexibility and scalability. With FE providers under pressure to plan their budget effectively, being able to cut the cost of maintaining on-premises IT systems is significant. With Capita named as supplier on the new Crown Commercial Service G-Cloud 11 Framework earlier this month, I thought the time was right to list my top five reasons why a cloud-based MIS could be the right choice for your college:
  1. Security – ensures reliability and continuity of service removing the risk of on-premise maintenance, keeping data held by your organisation safe.
  2. Scalability – offers economies of scale allowing you to meet peak demands with IT infrastructure that can grow with your institution.
  3. Efficiency – eliminates the need to maintain on-site servers, saving time and money associated with managing complex IT systems.
  4. Mobility – gives students the freedom to work from anywhere, anytime, reducing geographic boundaries and improving the student experience.
  5. Accessibility – gives staff full remote access from pretty much any device, making it easier to share information in real time.
So, the potential benefits of a cloud solution are substantial. But like all infrastructure changes, they need to be understood and planned before making the leap. The first step when moving your institution to the cloud is to understand how to get there with minimal disruption. That’s where UNIT-e can help with support and guidance at every stage of your journey. As part of a fully-managed service, your database will be securely hosted, and all upgrades and backups will be carried out by our consultants. And as a G-Cloud 11 supplier, further education institutions can purchase the software and services they need – such as the UNIT-e Management Information System – simply and securely. [post_title] => Why move your MIS to the cloud? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => why-move-your-mis-to-the-cloud [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-18 14:26:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-18 13:26:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=16309 [menu_order] => 693 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 3 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19987 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-12-06 09:47:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-06 09:47:44 [post_content] => To attract a diverse cohort of students, the first step for any college is to offer a broad range of study options and have a slick admissions process in place. But offering a wide selection of courses that prospective students can apply for quickly and easily is not always as simple as it sounds. At Gloucestershire College, for example, we offer a mix of full and part-time courses, higher education, apprenticeships and training for businesses, attracting students from the local community and overseas. Our students typically apply for multiple courses so they have options in the event that they don’t get the grades they expect. But our previous admissions process made this much more complicated than it needed to be for students and staff. So, we made some changes to the way we manage admissions to make it easier for students to apply for the courses they want to study and help us better meet their needs.

Opening up opportunities

Our students often apply online for both level 2 and level 3 of the same subject, with one being their first choice. We then help them make a final decision on which to go ahead with once they get their examination results. The problem we were having in managing this previously was that our staff had no way of identifying from the information available on the application form which course was a student’s first choice. So, if a student applied for four different courses, we’d have to invite them to enroll on each course separately, entering their information in full each time. They would then receive a separate letter from us relating to each course. This was not only confusing for students, it was an added burden on staff workloads too and so it needed to be addressed.

Improved experience

One of the challenges we had was that some of our admissions were run on the UNIT-e management information system, while others were managed on a separate IT system. This was not the most efficient way of working and didn’t provide an overall picture of student applications. We decided to manage all applications centrally through UNIT-e, which has made a huge difference to students’ experience when they apply online and saved hours of time for our staff. Staff can now see a full history of each applicant, the progress of the application and all the communications relating to it. Students have the ability to indicate which of the courses they are applying for is their primary choice too. It means our team can send the students one letter, and invite them once for interview, making the whole process much smoother for all concerned.

Supporting students

We’ve seen some major advantages to managing admissions in this way. Our staff can spend less time in administration and more time speaking to prospective students, helping them with their applications and advising them on their course selection. The changes we’ve made have contributed to a 30% increase in online applications.

Data-driven insight

With data in one place, the college’s senior leaders can monitor the popularity of a new course or increase the marketing to promote a particular subject if necessary. We recently identified a growing demand for part-time hair and beauty courses, so have increased the number of places available on these courses. Now, staff have a clear picture of how long an applicant has spent at certain stages of the online admissions process. It means they can make direct contact through the live online help tool if a student appears to be having difficulties completing the required information or seems unsure of which course to apply for. They can also see if a student who has visited the website is waiting for further information or an invitation for an interview, which helps move the process along. The aim should be for every touch point with a student to leave them with a positive perception of the institution and all it has to offer.
To find out more about how Gloucestershire College are using UNIT-e, read the full case study here. [post_title] => Simplifying admissions for a better applicant experience [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => simplifying-admissions-for-a-better-applicant-experience [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-06 09:47:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-06 09:47:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=19987 [menu_order] => 371 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 3 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => 1 [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => ec030f3a33802ac0f6f347659eba975a [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
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Managing the resources you need to save time and money

UNIT-e is a market-leading management information system (MIS) for sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges, adult education and independent training providers. A unified further education management system, UNIT-e delivers savings in both time and the cost of processes – from financial and business planning, through to managing student, staff and employer relationships.

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