The Changing Face of University Admissions

Posted by Tribal Group


The UK’s higher education sector continues to evolve at a remarkable rate to meet the changing needs of students. Staying competitive and relevant has become a top priority, and institutions must not only deliver high-quality education but also provide exceptional experiences for its students. To achieve this, many universities are turning to technology-driven solutions and adopting innovative approaches to streamline their operations and enhance the overall student journey. 

One of the critical areas where universities are focusing their efforts is the admissions process. Serving as the gateway to an institution, and where prospective students form their first impressions, a smooth, efficient, and personalised admissions process can set the tone for a lasting, and positive student experience. 


The perfect storm of admissions… 


Over the years, universities have faced numerous challenges in managing these critical touch points. Statistically, the UK Higher Education sector is now handling more applications than ever before. Data protection regulations have tightened in recent years, meaning data handling is both more important, and has bigger ramifications than ever. And ensuring data accuracy, minimising errors, and improving the speed of decision-making can be make or break for winning critical student admissions.  

On top of that, we’ve all likely heard first-hand how universities have faced pushback from potential students demanding faster, more personalised experiences. The digital reality for these applicants is full of user-centric brands whose experience is second to none. Today’s potential students know what ‘good’ looks like, and the pace of change has been so rapid that when we look at what was exceptional 5 years ago, in some cases it’s barely acceptable today. It’s clear this experience isn’t a ‘nice to have’ but an absolute necessity – and a minimum expectation for today’s tech savvy students. 


Everything’s changing – including technology… 


Of course, technology is a critical driver in this. Historic, manual processes, and legacy infrastructure are a thing of the past. But so too is the complex array of custom-built applications many institutions find themselves using. ‘Several different systems trying to talk to each other’ doesn’t sound like the sort of cutting edge solution the challenge demands. The realisation that ‘yesterday’s good’ is no longer sustainable, and that key challenges like increasing applications is being coupled with larger, more demanding expectations, mean that sentiments like ‘simplified admissions’ aren’t cutting the mustard.  

The reality is that just as universities continue to evolve, so does expectation from students, and so does the technology that powers it. Today’s tech is shifting to a world which embraces standardised, configurable software. Design-led software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions from sector specialists are becoming the no-brainer, and those who embrace it are realising the benefits sooner in what is increasingly becoming a race to embrace. 

By moving from bespoke systems to design-led, extensible solutions, universities can truly streamline their admissions processes, reduce complexity, and stay agile in this extroadinary, rapidly changing educational landscape.  

Trust, reliability, and expertise are at the core of these efforts, and ensuring that students and institutions alike can have confidence in the admissions process means confidence in the successful educational journey that follows.  


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