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Using technology to reshape the application process

In October 2021, international recruitment specialists Edified released a report If Only These Systems Could Talk showing the value of automating and connecting recruitment partner and education provider systems.

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"Increased efficiency in the application process frees up time for admissions staff to engage in student conversion activities"

It found over 225,000 days of effort are wasted each year because the systems used by education providers and their recruitment partners don’t talk to each other. This is frustrating for providers and partners, as data is re-keyed multiple times and there is no transparency in the admissions process and makes for a less than ideal experience for students.

System integration key to increasing enrolments

Covid has made connectivity between systems and the need for greater efficiency between education providers and their agent and recruitment partners even more important: countries like the UK and Canada are experiencing higher than usual volumes of international student applications without any increase in admissions staff to assess applications and fulfil regulatory requirements. As service levels suffer, the student experience deteriorates, and conversion rates decline.

Solutions like StudyLink Connect’s agent and recruitment partner portal allowing agents to manage applications to many providers in one location, have made it easier for agents to work with their education provider partners more effectively and efficiently. StudyLink now also offers agents a set of application programming interfaces to integrate their own systems with StudyLink’s agent portal and by extension, with the education providers own admissions system.

Putting students at the heart of the recruitment process

Making it easy for your agents and recruitment partners to integrate with your admissions or student system can help in three ways:

  1. Transparent and efficient work with partners

Increased efficiency in the application process, e.g. by flagging duplicate and incomplete applications, performing data checks and eliminating manual data entry, frees up time for admissions staff to engage in student conversion activities.

Sharing the status of an application with your partner reduces the need for frequent status updates and follow-ups.

It also becomes easier and quicker for institutions to share information such as course updates and news with their recruitment partners and ensures students receive more accurate information.

The seamless exchange of information via in-platform messaging eliminates the need to hop between various portals and inboxes which also has improved data privacy and security benefits.

Subsequently, nearly 90% of respondents in the Edified report noted reduced turnaround times as a benefit of an efficient agent and recruitment partner management system.

  1. Optimised selection of recruitment partners

A solution like StudyLink’s can also make it easy to activate or deactivate agents giving providers access to a global network of thousands of agents in addition to connecting to aggregators, lead generators, conversion services, TNE partners, direct applications and pathway partners.

“Agent and recruitment partners also prefer institutions who are easier to connect and work with”

However, rather than working with more partners, it is about making a smarter selection to fulfil the aims of the institution’s recruitment strategy. Data, including how many applications and enrolled students a partner delivers, is readily available to help institutions select the right partners and continuously improve the working relationship.

Agent and recruitment partners also prefer institutions who are easier to connect and work with. In a 2021 survey conducted by StudyLink of its 15,000 agent users, 95% of respondents said they want institutions to use a common agent/partner portal, such as StudyLink Connect, to save time on applications.

  1. Improved student experience

Not only can institutions provide quicker decisions to partners and students, but improved processing times also mean more time for agents to provide better counselling and for institutions to engage with applicants, which can result in better matching of students to institutions.

Data can also be easily shared with the growing number of tools being developed by recruitment partners that help filter and match providers to the best applicant.

Students, in turn, have more time to organise visas and other documentation before classes begin. The overall experience is less stressful and more informed.

“We have been operating in the international recruitment sector for over 30 years and have worked towards making the application process as frictionless as possible,” says StudyLink CEO Jason Howard.

“I’m delighted that the Edified report has shown the positive impact our technology platform has on agents, institutions and students.”

To hear more about this topic and learn about StudyLink, register and watch the recording of our webinar here.

This is a sponsored post from StudyLink Connect. For more information on how StudyLink Connect can help increase conversion rates for your institution contact Birgit Hirst.

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