WITH UNIVERSITY FINANCES IN SUCH DIRE STRAITS , MANY ARE UNABLE TO INVEST THE LARGE SUMS OF MONEY REQUIRED TO MAKE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION A SUCCESS .
The UK ’ s universities have long been a source of national pride , with many recognised among the finest educational institutions in the world . However , amid a period of great economic turbulence , even these bastions of academic excellence are not immune to financial hardship .
With the cost-of-living crisis squeezing household budgets tightly and government support for students falling to its lowest level in seven years , many families are coming to terms with the harsh reality that they cannot afford to send their children to university . Not only is the decline in domestic admissions impacting universities ’ revenues , but if the government limits the number of foreign students in a bid to bring down net migration , many universities could face bankruptcy , according to an adviser on immigration policy .
To exacerbate the economic challenges that UK universities are facing , many of their workers – from researchers , academics and administrators , to caterers , cleaners and other support staff – have recently walked out on strike , citing the significant drop in pay that they have experience since 2009 . As universities face off financial pressure from all angles , it is clear that solutions are needed to drive efficiencies and boost revenues . In today ’ s highly technological business landscape , Digital Transformation is often viewed by universities as a crucial step to achieving these goals . However , with university finances in such dire straits , many are unable to invest the large sums of money required to make Digital Transformation a success .
Fortunately for universities , the general affordability of Artificial Intelligence ( AI ) and automation , especially in regards other technologies , means that they can quickly achieve the efficiency and cost savings they need without placing further , undue pressure on their ailing budgets .
Enhancing student experiences
There are a number of ways that automation can be used by universities to create efficiencies , streamline processes , reduce costs and enhance the student experience .
Student record systems , for example , is an area of the student experience where automation can be particularly beneficial . This is because the average student record system is around 15 years old and rely upon many antiquated manual processes in the background . These manual processes often come with siloed teams and outdated ways of working , both of which have a significant impact on operational efficiency . Not only does this mean university staff must spend a considerable amount of time on carrying out processes , but it also undermines the seamless digital experience that students now expect from their institute .
Through automation , universities can provide a 24 / 7 service to students that is unfettered by inefficient manual processes . This means that they can gain instant access to the information that they need at any time of day , without having to rely on a human member of staff to respond to their query , which can take days , if not weeks .
For example , when Manchester Metropolitan University ( MMU ) decided to utilise automation to improve the daily experience of students , it was able to do so by replacing 12 key processes which also delivered an impressive 240 % return on investment .
Automation doesn ’ t replace workers – it empowers them
It is not only students and those who hold the purse strings at universities who stand to benefit from automation – university workers can also reap the rewards of the technology . This is because many of the
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