Managing international students is hard work. Ask the admin staff at any international college. It’s not the students or the colleges that are the problem. The more likely causes are complex processes, red tape and poor systems.
Maria is the administrator at a busy international college enrolling several hundred overseas and domestic students every month. Her average day consists of:
- 100+ student enquiries which all need to be followed up individually
- 300+ enrolment applications submitted by students or agents
- Handling application processing fees
- Checking enrolment requirements: identity, student visas, IELTS, and prerequisites
- Sending letters of offer and processing acceptances
- Arranging overseas health cover and accommodation
- Accepting and registering payments for tuition and non-tuition fees
- Entering confirmations of enrolment in PRISMS
- Updating schedules and timetables
- Finding trainers, teaching and counselling staff, classrooms and equipment
- Chasing up courseware and printing reams of student documents
- Updating course and assessment results
- Recording attendance for thousands of contact hours
- Tracking course progress
- Scheduling interventions and meetings between students and councillors
- Issuing warnings for poor course progress, attendance or non-payment
- Dealing with and approving agents
- Updating PRISMS
- Preparing and submitting AVETMISS files
- Reporting students for failure to meet course progress and/or attendance requirements
- Issuing SoAs, testamurs and Qualification certificates
- Updating changes to training packages
- Ensuring compliance with the many ESOS standards of the National Code
- compliance with the Standards for RTOs (SRTO 2015)
- Ensuring the website and all student information meets the rules of transparency
- Billing and payments each study period
- Updating and paying agents’ commissions
- Ensuring courses, staff and resources meet the rules of suitability and that staff participate in continuous improvement and professional development programs.
- Handling complaints and appeals
And what about ELICOS?
On top of all that, Maria’s college is also an ELICOS provider, so she has additional admin tasks associated with delivering 6 levels of the General English Program. As a provider there are more regulatory standards to cater for and yet more rules for student participation. Maria points out that ELICOS courses also have a more complex grading structure compared to the standard “Competent / Not Yet Competent” results in the nationally accredited training packages.
Well good news keeps on coming! Maria’s college has now decided they want to offer VET FEE-HELP to eligible domestic students.
What can we as system vendors do to assist Maria, so she can enjoy her favourite pass-time, watching the sunrise as she takes a walk on the beach with her daughter Angie and her chocolate brown labrador, Humphrey B Bear?
We, as a team of business analysts, looked at each of the many processes that Maria accomplishes every day in her busy work schedule. We started by breaking each process down to a set of system components
- Database fields
- Stakeholders (Users)
- Online Forms and lists
- Documents and files
- Alerts and notifications
- Automation logic
A major key to giving Maria more free time is delegation of responsibility. We found that there were many tasks that students, staff and most of all, the system itself could take off her plate. We provided:
- Online forms, billing and payment systems and portals that facilitated far more self-help for students, staff, agents and training partners.
- We provided a dashboard that automated reports, notification, warnings and on-screen progress indicators.
- Integrations with Xero, eWay, Survey Monkey, CRM, HRMIS systems, and many more
- A library to manage documents, assignments, evidence, certificates, timetables, etc.
- A certificate manager
- PRISMS Image
- AVETMISS validator and submitter
- Two learning management systems for eLearning
- Complaints and Appeals register
- Bulk operations for scheduling, resulting, emails, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Compliance reporting for CRICOS, ELICOS, VET FEE-HELP and soon HEIMS FEE-HELP providers.
All delivered as an Australian cloud-based suite of user-friendly interfaces, web services, reports and Web API.
If you feel a bit like Maria, and you’re planning to attend the 2016 National VET Conference (Gold Coast – Sept 15th and 16th) then we’d love to hear your views and concerns. Your opinions, wants and wishes matter a great deal to us. Why? Because we don’t plan to sit on our laurels with a goodsystem. We’re completely dedicated to giving Maria time for that daily walk on the beach with Angie and Humphrey B Bear.