The University of Melbourne is one of Australia’s oldest and most reputable tertiary institutions. Located in the heart of Melbourne, the university’s main campus enrolls close to 50,000 students in law, business, arts, media, economics, and engineering. The university partners with leading institutes and research centers and has been recognized as one of the world’s top 50 universities.
Despite being one of its most critical processes, the University of Melbourne’s student admissions team was overwhelmed with back-end approvals that involved a labor-intensive process of manual data entry. The downloading of individual attachments and consolidation of student results delayed acceptance notifications for prospective students and limited the capacity of staff to contribute towards value-added aspects of the admissions process.
With applications often being the first touch point between student and university, the University of Melbourne’s Service Improvement University Services team was tasked with finding a solution that both reduced duplication and delays and enabled the student admission service department to manage a growing volume of applications while improving customer experience.
Brendan Snowden, Associate Director of Service Improvement, University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne deployed Automation Anywhere’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology to reduce manual work and automate a range of administrative processes across student admissions, faculty administration, and supplier tracking. The deployed software bots now automate the entry of all data and attachments for new admission applications, and the university has slowly expanded its automation capabilities for staff across other faculties. This has allowed the University of Melbourne to increase the efficiency of critical business processes, boost staff engagement, and improve customer experience for its teachers and student body.
The University of Melbourne began its journey of automation by tackling basic yet time-intensive invoicing and supplier records within its finance department. Following a successful proof-of-concept, the Service Improvement University Services team sought to replicate and expand its automation capabilities across a broader set of faculties.
For any university, one of its most important processes is managing student admissions. Ensuring this service is efficient and accurate is critical to the overall satisfaction of a university’s customers. In its commitment to improving the quality and ease of the application process for incoming students, the University of Melbourne worked with Automation Anywhere to automate manual data entries.Today, the admissions teams can process more student applications with less staff managing the process. This translates into increased capacity for teams to conduct more complex components of assessing student applications.
Faculties across the University of Melbourne have also been able to manage disparate systems and bridge gaps in student admissions.
By leveraging RPA, staff are no longer required to navigate numerous excel spreadsheets when assessing results, student information, and enrollment details. Tasks that once took weeks now take a couple of hours.
For teachers, managing the records of individual student assessment results was time-consuming and distracting from creating meaningful learning experiences and driving leading research. By automating core back-end processes, faculty members have been able to dedicate more time to developing their unique areas of expertise and keeping the University of Melbourne, and its students, at the bleeding edge of industry research.
Shiv Chandra, Robotic Process Automation Manager, University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is looking to expand its implementation of RPA across the university and develop new ways to improve their service offerings. Key to this will be the creation of a “RPA Champions” program to manage the smooth integration of RPA within faculties. The program will be designed to upskill individuals across various faculties and equip them with the necessary skills to identify automation opportunities within their respective functions. By doing so, the University of Melbourne can continue to offer new learning opportunities to its staff and students and encouraging a culture of innovation as the university continues to shape the future of learning.