Could Artificial Intelligence Revolutionise the University Clearing Process?

Artificial Intelligence Higher Education

The AI Approach


On and in the days following A-level results day, universities face the struggle of sorting through a great number of clearing applications from students whose results were either better or worse than they expected. This usually requires a lot of time receiving phone calls, with a huge cost to the organisation in terms of human capital, and many basic contact centres would simply be overwhelmed. In the ever more advanced world of technology that we live in, there must be an easier, and cheaper, way of managing this process. Fortunately, there is.


How Can AI Help?


Artificial intelligence has the power to enhance and value to existing infrastructures within contact centres, call recording, receipt of payments and voicemail.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a huge buzzword in the world of unified communications of late and universities up and down the country are using artificial intelligence technology, such as chatbots, to revolutionise their contact centre, increase their productivity and give them a competitive edge on clearing day.


Chatbots can mean that, when a student applies through clearing, their application, query or request can be filtered by any number of topics. These could be filtered by degree, A-level results or the nature of their enquiry. For example, an application to study English could be swiftly diverted to the relevant department before any human has had to look at it. Similarly, a bank of “frequently asked questions”, when armed with their answers, would mean that the chatbot could respond to basic questions and action simple requests without a member of staff at hand, thus freeing up that member of staff to work on other projects.


It is also worth noting that, when it comes to staff, some level of human error is inevitable and there’s nothing that can be done to change that, especially in a high-pressure, stressful environment such as the clearing process. A chatbot however, will be programmed to answer each question, and filter and divert each point of contact, consistently and correctly.


Other Areas Where AI Could Help


The capabilities of AI don’t just apply until after the clearing window has closed. Artificial intelligence can also enhance the experience of existing students, which is becoming even more important since the rise in tuition fees, as the university experience becomes increasingly transactional and the student is, in many ways, a customer. For this reason, student experience is more important than ever, and AI can quickly respond to queries, especially when they are asked in a 2am essay-writing session when no member of staff is working.


In addition to this, artificial intelligence has the ability to accept payments, such as accommodation fees, again without requiring the prolonged time and attention of staff.


Is it just AI?


Artificial intelligence is only one way in which a well-rounded, multi-faceted unified communications strategy can benefit higher education organisations by raising productivity, reducing costs and enhancing student and applicant experiences. To name just a few examples of this, students can use online collaboration tools to work together on group projects, access learning resources and submit assignments remotely and at any time.


How 4C Strategies Can Help


4C Strategies is a team of expert unified communications consultants with decades of experience in harnessing the power of UC in order to benefit organisations in the education sector (you can read our case studies here).


To kick off 2021 and help organisations to rise and face challenges in the new year, 4C Strategies is offering a free bespoke workshop to any university wanting to know how unified communications, including artificial intelligence, can revolutionise their operations.


To book yours, contact 4C Strategies today by calling 01858 438938, or emailing