Make faster, better decisions and get the right number of students on all your courses by using digital dashboards.
Crunch time – aka the end of the enrolment process – is fast approaching. As College Principal you know that the end of September is the time when you could either lose out on funding if you’ve under recruited students, or won’t be paid for oversubscribed students.
It’s been well publicised that university student numbers have shown ‘wild swings’ since tuition fees were raised. In January, the Guardian reported that some further education colleges have also experienced falls in the number of students enrolling on their higher education (HE) courses: Newham College of Further Education (-56% from 149 to 65 students), Walsall College (-48%, from 92 to 47 students) and City of Sunderland College (-44%, from 108 to 60 students) are among 10 further education colleges where HE student numbers shrank last autumn.
You probably have an idea which way things are swinging for your college, but you want to know sooner.
Many colleges are using systems that just can’t keep up or provide the data they need. Instead, senior managers have to telephone each head of department every morning to find out which courses need more students.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way as there are business intelligence tools that colleges can use to help make the process easier. Using dashboards can make enrolment information immediately accessible and keep it right up-to-date so you know exactly what’s going on when. Which is a lot quicker than asking the IT department to carry out the time-consuming task of producing a report every evening.
3 Enrolment Transformation Tips
These are just 3 of the ways that dashboards can transform your enrolment process (there are many more!):
Transformation #1 – Make faster, better-informed decisions
With the data you need at your fingertips, you can act more decisively and dynamically to ensure that courses are neither under or oversubscribed. The data can also reveal which courses may need to be adapted to ensure they attract more students in the next academic year.
Transformation #2 – Improve cash-flow with faster invoicing
With real-time information on student enrolments easily accessible via business intelligence tools, your finance department can get invoices issued more quickly and you can get paid faster. Dashboards will also reveal the profitability of individual courses by monitoring the generation of income from learners against the delivery costs of the course – meaning that you can better assess course viability.
Transformation #3 – Reveal what marketing activities work to drive enrolments up
Use dashboards to show your marketing team which emails get the most opens and clicks that lead to enrolments.
As the data is real-time you can replicate the successful ones quickly and bin the ones that aren’t working, which will ensure that your marketing is as effective as it possibly can be in getting your courses filled up.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
By using business intelligence tools to manage your enrolment data you can maintain a competitive edge in a time when private apprenticeship schemes are attracting more and more applicants.
The real-time reporting capabilities that dashboards provide will ensure that your in-year college enrolment forecasts are as accurate as possible.
If you know exactly where you stand at any given moment, you are better placed to make the decisions that will ensure that you still receive a steady flow of applicants despite the increased competition.