Interview with Bishop Grosseteste University: IT’s Role in Improving Communication in Higher Ed

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Further and Higher education is an ever-growing market. As more international students choose the UK for their education, our institutions are being put under incredible pressure to keep up with demand.

In recent years, EdTech has transformed classrooms, providing students with more ways to access vital information and academically push themselves from wherever they are. As set out in the Department of Education’s 2022 report, ‘Implementation of education technology in schools and colleges’, adopted technology should provide one of the four following benefits:

  • Improving teaching and learning.
  • Reducing workload or increasing efficiency.
  • Improving pastoral support or communication.
  • Fulfilment of an EdTech vision or strategy.

The report, however, fails to focus on the specific function of communication technologies. How can universities and other higher education institutions adopt critical communication technologies that deliver these benefits?

Reduce Administrative Strain

RingCentral, in collaboration with GovNewsDirect, recently conducted an in-depth survey to gain a fuller understanding of how public sector organisations are making use of the communications technology.  The survey found that 55% of educational establishments have already migrated their telephony to the cloud. This is a significantly low number that demonstrates just how much still needs to be done to modernise workflows for staff. Thanks to cloud telephony, staff members can easily answer calls from anywhere. These calls can then be automatically logged and referred to when the student is in touch again. They can dramatically reduce the pressures on staff during peak times, such as clearing, as individuals are able to efficiently work through enquiries on a case-by-case basis.

Scale easily to meet growing demand

Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) recently migrated it’s fifteen years-old legacy phone system to the cloud. This telephony system was on-premises, hardware dependant, and not integrated with the university’s completely new student record database. BGU worked with its current provider to maintain their phone numbers and then migrate their telephony to the cloud. They evaluated how many enquiries the receive through telephony and created thirty user profiles of students. On top of this, BGU integrated the new cloud telephony system with their brand-new database and are now easily able to track student enquiries, needs, and life cycle at the university. The adoption of cloud telephony has helped BGU significantly get to a point where it’s well-placed to scale with the increasing demand of international and home students.

Further Education’s Communication Conundrum:

The second episode in our brand-new podcast series, ‘Public Sector’s Communication Conundrum’, explores the obstacles facing further and higher education in adopting digital communication solutions. It highlights the need for a strong cultural change alongside cloud migration to ensure staff feel prepared to cater to the diverse needs of students.

Hosted by Mark Blanchard (Public Sector Director, GovNewsDirect), this informative conversation features Greg Stonehouse (Chief Technology Officer, Bishop Grosseteste University), who shares his tangible learnings from implementing digital communication solutions in further education.

During their chat, Greg answers such questions as:

  • How can we envision the role of IT delivery in improving communications and collaboration within educational institutions?
  • How can advanced IT communications solutions further enhance the educational experience for both home and international students?
  • How can institutions continue to use IT and communication tools to ensure a seamless delivery?
  • What specific IT communication or collaboration solution is the university using to help improve staff wellbeing and productivity?

Visit our public sector playlist on YouTube to listen to the rest of the podcast series.  

Originally published Dec 07, 2023, updated Dec 14, 2023

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