When Macquarie University decided to launch its own in-house pathway college, it was an opportunity to completely integrate the student experience with all aspects of campus life.

However, it also presented a challenge. They would need an application and admissions system that could provide prospective international students with a single offer covering English pathway, academic pathway and degree programs. And they would need it to be up and running within a few months.

“Our aim was to provide the student, as well as the education agent, with a better experience,” explains Kathy Humphrey, Director International Administration with Macquarie University.

“We wanted students to feel like any other degree student, and we wanted to provide them with one straightforward ‘package’ offer.”

The challenge: a new system in 3 months

Having managed major ERP system implementations in the past, Kathy knew it could take up to 18 months to gather user requirements, put those out to tender, and then design, develop, implement and test before going live.

However, the new college was set to launch before the end of that year. “These extended timelines are no longer feasible, expectations of service delivery standards are changing so quickly,” says Kathy. “Plus, our current admissions and student systems were limited in terms of integration and functionality, and our IT staff were already busy with other projects.”

In addition to speed of implementation, Kathy knew she needed a system that would provide:

  • A single application process for pathways and packages
  • Productivity benefits for international agents
  • 24/7 online access across timezones
  • The ability to scale admissions without adding to administrative workload.

The rollout: tailor-made for international education

StudyLink Connect met all those needs, and as it’s a cloud-based service Macquarie wouldn’t need to install its own infrastructure.

“StudyLink was already working for us as an application portal, and its ability to interface with major agent systems, like IDP’s OSCAR, was considered a real time saver,” explains Kathy.

“However, the critical key difference is that StudyLink’s business analysts understand international higher education – and that gave us a real advantage in implementation, because they could advise us on best practice for both system configuration and application workflow.”

Taking a ‘just in time’ approach, StudyLink staged the delivery so Macquarie’s admissions staff could continue operations as the elements were rolled out…

Read the full case study: Rapid implementation supports pathway college launch for Macquaire University