The RIE event involved input from 10 key staff. [Inset] The congratulatory letter now provided through UAC to future students.
The RIE event involved input from 10 key staff. [Inset] The congratulatory letter now provided through UAC to future students.

Activating enrolment

Receiving an offer to study from a university is an exciting time in a student’s life, but it can also be a time of confusion and unnecessary stress. Now, following the implementation of a Business Process Improvement Initiative to streamline our offer to enrolment process, Macquarie is rolling out a new coordinated and tactical approach to student recruitment in Session 2.

“Our offer to conversion process was convoluted, inefficient and uncoordinated,” said Michaela James, Associate Director, Marketing Planning and Strategy.

Steve Phelps, Team Leader, New Students, says that in an increasingly competitive higher education marketplace, universities need to provide potential students with peace of mind and assurance that they are making the right choice.

The process, which encompasses an offer to study, offer acceptance, initial enrolment, unit choice, and enrolment into classes, was reviewed as a Lean Methodology Rapid Improvement Event (RIE), to address inefficiencies and produce a plan to streamline the process for domestic undergraduate and postgraduate course work students.

“Following the RIE, we improved our customer experience by simplifying the processes and information future students come into contact with, to help with their decision making and ultimately secure their place at Macquarie,” Steve said.

Through feedback from students the RIE team have increased their understanding of student needs, and the overall perception of Macquarie, at what is a critical and formative stage.

“Although we know our process backwards, students learn this once, so it’s critical it’s made as easy as possible. Words like accept and enrol, for example, are foreign to future students,” Michaela said. “We now incorporate more customer centric language such as ‘secure your place’ instead of accept your offer, and ‘choose your units and classes’, in place of enrol in units.”

Michaela explains that for the majority of staff involved in the RIE, accepting an offer was not just an administrative process, but one where future students actively sought information around units, majors and timetables.

Other changes to the process include:

  • A congratulatory SMS to students to inform them of an offer and to check their email
  • The ability for students to immediately accept an offer
  • A targeted communication campaign to support the conversion process
  • A change in data management and verification practices to allow for immediate contact with students receiving offers from the UAC process.

Contact the Business Process Initiative team if you have a process improvement idea.