Nearly 8 out of 10 higher education institutions have stated ‘customer centricity’ to be a top or high priority. In other words, universities and colleges are overwhelmingly tailoring their activities to focus on satisfying the customer, or in this case, is the student.
Source: KPMGStudying consumer-centric priorities, strategies & capabilities in the higher education sector
Amidst the pandemic, King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario took the opportunity to adopt this student-centric strategy by implementing Ricoh’s digital solutions to maximize convenience for its students. By partnering with Ricoh, the institution has significantly increased student enrolment and retention, and it will continue to do so in the post-pandemic era as well.

Keeping student applications secure

King’s College implemented Ricoh’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) for Higher Education for the admission application process which has allowed their offices to become paperless through the use of electronic forms. The simple transformation did wonders:
 – The offices are no longer cluttered with loose pieces of paper which could potentially be misplaced
 – Documents are now stored electronically
 – Student applications are organized and accessible
 – Student information remains secure

Increasing enrolment and application capacity

Automating their admission process has allowed King’s College to avoid cumbersome, manual, and time-intensive paperwork. The drastically higher level of efficiency has given the admissions office the ability to process more applicants in less time and enabled them to provide faster updates to the students on their application status.
 – Increased their application capacity by as much as 49 per cent
  15 per cent increase in enrolment
 – Revenue growth for the college with increased enrolment

Improving university standards and reputation

The larger pool of applicants has enabled the Admissions Office to select and enroll more competitive students. As a result, King’s was able to increase their admission requirement from 75 per cent to 79 per cent and enrolled an entire cluster of students that were arguably far more competitive than ever before.
 – Improved retention rates and fewer dropouts
 – Substantial enhancement of the overall standard and reputation of King’s College
  Augmented the college’s reputation as an even more prestigious and competitive institution

Improving student satisfaction

Apart from the admission process, the counselling department at King’s College also uses of the ECM for Higher Education solution. With a simple electronic form, students no longer hunt down the relevant advisor or email ten different individuals before receiving a response. A single online form submission is now directed to the right person straightaway!
 – Students get the support they need more quickly
 – The counselling department can avoid sifting and redirecting countless emails
 – Students and counsellors alike can focus on what’s important
Now students can instantly book a counselling session and promptly receive academic guidance and responses to any enquiries. This was especially beneficial during the pandemic when online counselling sessions were forced to become a norm. Since King’s College was able to introduce these innovations and efficiencies aimed at easing the lives of students, student satisfaction and retention has inevitably improved.
Another factor aiding student satisfaction is the automation of the scholarship application process. Students now find it easier to apply for scholarships through online form submissions that are automatically routed to the student finance centre, resulting in faster response and processing times.
By digitizing and automating their admission and application processes, Kings College can operate more efficiently, and create a more positive experience for their students that drives greater convenience as well as accessibility, reliability, and transparency. By committing to a student-centric mentality, King’s College has set itself up for continued success.

Looking to the future

As of 2020, Canada’s higher education enrolments are continuously increasing year after year. While enrolment numbers did experience a decrease during the pandemic, they are on an uptick as institutions recover. Since there is a visibly growing market, universities must continue to explore strategies to increase their application and enrolment capacities. The key here is to ensure that their practices are ‘customer-centric’ — or more specifically ‘student-centric’.
As digital workplaces pave the way to the future, the need for better processes, better collaboration and better results has become critical – this is where Ricoh can help. Through our portfolio of innovative technologies and services made for higher education, we can support your journey towards digital transformation, so you can focus on serving your students, communities and partners. Let us help you redefine work and change – for better. Explore how we’re helping Canadian colleges and universities here.