The downturn in demographics and numbers of people going to university and college, competition from international markets, and high dropout rates means that UK institutions need smart ways to demonstrate and deliver the Student Experience they have on offer if they intend to meet increasingly ambitious recruitment and retention targets.
For most universities and colleges, transformation of Information Services (IS) and Technology (IT) is key to enabling the organisation to solve these pressing issues and build better relationships with students.
It’s why the team here at Tribal decided to speak directly to some of the UK education sector’s IT leaders who have designed technology and cloud strategies to meet recruitment challenges head on by continuously improving the student experience.
We discovered what these adopters have set out to achieve, where they are to date on their cloud journeys, and their plans for the coming months and years. We also heard first-hand, lessons learned along the way, and their advice to other CIOs who want to enable the building of better relationships with students, as well as alumni, businesses, internal academic and administrative teams, and other organisations that contribute to the sustainable running of their institutions.
You can read their stories in full by downloading the CIO Guide To: Building better student relationships – in the cloud.
In the meantime, here are seven key findings from the interviews that show, whilst all ‘digital transformation’ approaches are tailored to the specific institutions, there are commonalities in approach, which you might also want to consider for your institution’s recruitment and retention strategy:
- Migrating both ‘back end’ and ‘front end’ services to the cloud – to ensure the organisation keeps pace with advances in technology to deliver the best possible student experience, in and out of the classroom: ‘24/7 365’.
- Utilising cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions – to address student to alumni marketing, recruitment, enrolment and engagement challenges as well as nurturing high value relationships with industry, sponsorship, research, recruitment and government contacts.
- Enabling real-time, comprehensive case management – to effectively support learner’s health and welfare by delivering tailored and personalised support when it’s needed.
- Engaging learners with integrated online collaboration tools – to ensure they have the information they need at their fingertips in order to improve learner outcomes and promote lifelong learning.
- Harnessing business intelligence, analytics and artificial intelligence- to continuously monitor, analyse and improve service delivery across the entire institution, in the most cost-effective way possible.
- Developing robust data strategies – to ensure all of the benefits listed above can be achieved and that the technologies implemented are secure by design, fully integrated, and flexible to scale with the needs of the business.
And finally, but by no means last on these IT leaders’ agendas:
- Putting people at the heart of the digital transformation – ensuring the institution’s leaders believe in the strategy, that IT teams can recruit and retain the best talent to deliver the change, teaching and administration staff are supported through change and not overwhelmed by new technology, and that students get the best possible experience.
Find out exactly how CIOs at leading HE and FE institutions are driving digital transformation to meet increasingly ambitious recruitment and retention targets – download the ‘CIO Guide’ today.