SERC Spearheads Technological Innovation With Enrolment Online
With 77% of UK households online and a 16% growth in online shopping over the last year, the internet offers an opportunity for local companies to provide an improved customer experience.
A local college has taken advantage of this opportunity by spearheading the introduction of a fully integrated online application and enrolment system. The development is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and is set to cut customer waiting times and improve efficiency.
The innovative new system designed by South Eastern Regional College’s Software Development team, will replace a paper based process which saw customers completing at least two forms and enduring long queues at peak enrolment times. The online self-service system allows students to register for courses, submit qualification results, print course information and check course grades 24/7.
All that is required is an Internet connection and individuals can apply at any time from a computer or mobile device at www.apply.serc.ac.uk
Speaking at the official launch the Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry said: “Further Education colleges play a key part in ensuring our people have the skills they need to fulfil their potential, get into work, stay in work and contribute to our economic recovery. Our local Colleges are an important asset for the economy and deliver training to over 156,000 individuals each year. This software development at SERC will help the College to create a more convenient service for its customers as well as delivering value for money by reducing administration costs to the College.”
School leavers, the main audience for full-time courses, have shown their approval with 32% of all applications being done from a mobile device. SERC’s Dr Michael Malone, Director of Curriculum and Information Services explains:
“The use of technologies in the education sector is fundamental not only in the delivery of training but also in customer service. Our application numbers illustrates the importance of offering a convenient and relevant service, in support of a high quality curriculum. This development shows that publicly funded bodies like ourselves are committed to technological innovation for the benefit of our customers and the tax-payer. We are very proud of this development and would be keen to share it with others.”
The tools and processes within the system will help administrative staff streamline routine tasks, such as data entry and management reporting, allowing them to concentrate on more added value activities such as face to face support. SERC can view, in real time, the number of applications by campus and subject area allowing them to take corrective action immediately to target promotions.