The Changing Shape of UK Higher Education

The Changing Shape of UK Higher Education

The Higher Education landscape has shifted hugely in recent years with the introduction of tuition fees, the lifting of the admissions cap and increasing demand for places. The Teaching Excellence Framework is set to further shake things up by attempting to address the question in a competitive HE market, “how can students determine whether they are getting value for money?”

With these changes happening in a relatively short period of time, Universities are now finding themselves on the back foot, in a rapidly changing landscape with legacy systems and processes designed for a very different time. Here we look at the single biggest driver changing the HE sector right now, and how Pythagoras can help with Evolve HE.

A growing, more competitive market

With difficult conditions in the labour market for young people both here and overseas, and too few Apprenticeship places to go around, University has never been a more appealing proposition for young people. Application numbers continue to rise, with UCAS recently reporting another record intake for 2016.

Interestingly, the growing demand from students is being matched by an increased demand for students on the supply side, due to the appeal of tuition fees to universities and the recent removal of a cap on places. This has created a situation where there is both more demand and more places than ever before, and more offers being made than ever before to fill those places. Applicants are now as much as 50% more likely to get a full set of five offers than just a few years ago.

Competition has never been fiercer between UK HE institutions. And that doesn’t even take into account the threat from overseas HEIs, where fees are often much lower than in the UK…

How to come out ahead

Evolve HE from Pythagoras is a CRM and portal solution designed especially for UK HE Institutions. It takes Microsoft’s powerful Dynamics 365 platform and tailors it for the HE sector, integrating with the student records system to eliminate duplication of data, and providing automation and intuitive self-service portals to streamline processes. Applications from other sources can also be fed into the system, meaning that the Admissions office can handle applications from any source in a consistent way, achieving response-time targets and maximising Applicant-to-Student conversions.

Two core components of Evolve HE are the Applications CRM module and self-service Portal, which help universities streamline their Direct and UCAS admissions processes and manage relationships with applicants much more effectively. They do this by allowing the Admissions process to be carried out in a very streamlined way, mostly via the portal. By providing a simple self-service portal for applicants, while on the university side collecting and managing all applications in one place and using technology in a smart way to streamline the process, the Admissions Office can keep up with increasing demand, handling more applications than ever before with less pressure and a greater focus on quality.

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