Colleges and universities across the world are facing a bunch of challenges like declining student enrollment, less funding, and different expectations from students.

In order to improve higher education for a more interconnected digital environment, higher learning institutions are using automation and next-gen digital technology.

Read on to learn more!

The University of Melbourne

A new student expectation is that they want universities to be fast and seamless like the other services they use (Amazon, DoorDash).

The University of Melbourne caught on to this, and the board members decided to overhaul its administrative processes with robotic process automation (RPA).

They began with the application process because it has multiple steps that require manual data to be entered. There are also multiple documents that must be processed like application forms and transcripts.

By utilizing Automation Anywhere’s RPA, the school was able to automate its entire process. Additionally, administrators don’t have to use a bunch of excel spreadsheets while they look at a student’s information. Instead, the RPA automatically pulls and stores data in a single central system.

As time went on, the school was able to automate 50 more processes. This saved the school 10,000 manual hours and $7 million in overhead costs.

When the pandemic started, many students were also struggling financially. This prompted the school to create an emergency support fund that used RPA to process the grant applications that they received. To process payments, they used RPA to create modular bots that could handle all the financial information.

how intelligent automation and rpa are changing heis

The University of Staffordshire

The University of Staffordshire was the UK’s first school to use a digital assistant for the students back in 2019. It’s hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud and the assistant is called Beacon.

This digital assistant was designed to help students effectively navigate school life, support learning, recommend school activities/groups, and also do mental health checks.

The idea was to ease new students into school life while supporting them academically and emotionally. In the first week, Beacon responded to 10,000+ queries. By the end of the month, it completed more than 2,500 daily tasks.

how intelligent automation and rpa are changing heis

The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland teamed up with UiPath and PwC to successfully leverage RPA for the transformation of several office and student processes. The result was an estimated 28,000+ hours saved per year. The school also automated:

  • student transcript requests
  • compliance checks
  • the school’s purchase order system

One area that RPA really helped with was the school’s supplier setup. RPA was able to successfully reduce the turnaround time from 12 days to 2-14 days.

how intelligent automation and rpa are changing heis

Virginia Commonwealth University

To keep up with current technology, Virginia Commonwealth University created an end-to-end automation initiative in 2021. The goal was to automate every process that could be automated.

Like the University of Melbourne, VCU started using a modular RPA approach. By using UiPath, the school created bots with reusable components that could be repurposed for other processes. Those that were involved in the project estimated that their RPA approach cut production time by more than 70%.

One of the first processes they automated was the grant creation process which involved many manual and repetitive tasks. With the modular RPA system, automation was built quickly and ended up doubling the school’s grant processing capacity. Accuracy was also boosted to 100%.

These are only a few schools that have been positively impacted by automation. Many middle schools and high schools are already following suit, and in the next few years, it won’t be uncommon to see many different kinds of processes being automated in educational institutions. Stay on the lookout!

how intelligent automation and rpa are changing heis

Published On: September 15th, 2022 / Categories: Automation, Optimization /

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