3 reasons to focus on quality applications
Education providers in the UK saw a huge surge in submitted applications during and after the peak of COVID. And with international students returning, many other study destinations like Australia have started to experience a similar trend. Knowing how to measure admissions success could save your team from being buried under an avalanche of applications.
For years, many providers have measured recruitment and enrolment success on sheer application numbers. As application numbers increase, admissions teams struggle to keep up with the workload – leading to slower turn around times, skewed data and staff that feel undervalued and overwhelmed.
So what does success look like in the admissions world? Instead of trying to draw in high volumes of applications to convert, it’s time to increase conversion rates by focussing on more quality applications. Here are three reasons why, and how StudyLink Connect can help.
1. Create a better experience for students, agents and recruitment partners
We know that a major decision driver for international students is when institutions provide a great user experience during the application process.
Amid high application volumes, students and agents are often waiting weeks or months for a response. Applicants, on average, apply for two to three institutions at the same time and are most likely to accept their first offer – leading to missed opportunities for high-quality student conversions for those institutions with longer turnaround times.
The reduced workload you create by removing non genuine, incomplete applications results in a faster turnaround time that benefits everybody involved.
Through automated updates and a dedicated application portal, StudyLink Connect provides applicants with a completely transparent application process. Our automated system provides progress updates throughout every step of the journey from submission to decision – keeping applicants informed and invested in the institutions they are applying for.
“The centralised platform simplifies the application process for prospective students while eliminating time-consuming manual data entry and minimising errors,” said Andrew Gillies, Associate Director of Student Systems and Business Improvement at the University of Tasmania.
StudyLink Connect also allows for online acceptance and payment of deposits, which moves the applicant quickly through the process.
Many providers have multiple systems that they use throughout the student lifecycle. It’s critical that information is available to be transferred between these systems to boost efficiency and reduce turnaround times. StudyLink Connect's Recruitment Partner APIs allow data from agent CRMs and Recruitment Partner platforms to be shared via Education Provider APIs to Education Provider’s downstream systems such as student management systems creating a seamless and fast flow of information back and forth between the admissions team and applicants.
The international education sector has taken a very cautious approach to the adoption of more efficient IT-based systems and should look to other industries such as the travel sector to see what is possible.
"The travel industry has global systems that all talk to each other and get the efficiencies and good decisions that come from that seamless flow of data," said Jason Howard, Founder and CEO at Studylink Connect.
We also have a unique Partner Portal for agents and recruitment partners, where they can efficiently enter applications for multiple providers. With just one login, they can lodge, review and manage multiple applications across a number of providers, saving them hours of time usually spent on document handling and juggling. Today more than 15,000 agents and recruitment around the world actively use our Partner Portal, and love the results.
2. Make data-driven decisions
Focusing on application volume instead of quality makes it difficult for institutions to accurately gauge the return on investment on their recruitment strategies and limits an agile approach. By honing in on quality applications with complete, accurate information, institutional leaders can make fast, data-driven decisions.
StudyLink Connect, can help you collect and safely store the necessary data to automate much of your admissions process, assess applications quickly and strategise in an agile and informed manner.
For example, we allow you to collect data on the performance of recruitment partners including the number of applications they have submitted, and how their applications are moving through different stages of the application lifecycle. This allows Regional Managers to build constructive relationships with agents and recruitment partners by personalising meetings and training materials.
Or perhaps you want to see what countries your applications are coming from to inform a targeted campaign. The StudyLink Connect dashboard can quickly provide this information, so you can accurately designate targets for your marketing and recruitment – helping you meet the next term's quota.
StudyLink Connect can help you collect all this information and more. From our cloud platform, it’s easy to access, sort and protect the sensitive information that will allow you to remain agile in a forever-changing market.
3. Foster a happier and more productive workplace
High volumes of incomplete applications waste time and lead to low conversion rates. By focusing on quality applications, you can optimise your team’s workload and increase student conversions.
StudyLink Connect works directly with institutions to create a customised application form that collects all the information a quality application requires – providing admissions teams with the right information at the right time so they can start assessing the application straight away.
By only receiving genuine complete applications, these teams won’t have to waste effort sorting through or following up piles of incomplete applications to find quality ones.
When Griffith University integrated StudyLink Connect into its systems, it saw an immediate improvement.
“Commencements are now up 37%, and I’m sure that’s partly due to having more staff working on improving conversions because they’re spending so much less time on admin,” explained Chris Madden, the then Pro-Vice Chancellor of Griffith University.
Clients tell us that by removing unnecessary work and allowing admissions teams to achieve tangible results, StudyLink Connect contributes to a positive work environment where employees feel valued and enjoy greater job satisfaction.
With StudyLink Connect, you can improve your strategies, enhance the agent and applicant experience, and lighten your staff’s workload by prioritising applications that are more likely to convert – all with one system. As application numbers rise and you shift your focus, your teams can be prepared to review quality applications, giving them a chance to increase student conversion with less work.
If StudyLink Connect sounds like the right platform for you and your institution, learn more about your options here.
Learn how StudyLink Connect can convert more quality applications to your institution, submit an enquiry to talk to our Sales team.