Millennial demands next generation universities

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Millennial demands next generation universities

The last few years have taught us how to be adaptable and imaginative in the face of adversity, both in our personal and professional lives. Although our daily routines have slowed with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve developed a new standard of immediacy for online and online-to-offline communication. Whether ordering groceries via an app or joining a conference call via an app, we’ve seen a significant increase in the adoption and use of technology on both fronts.

It is only natural that prospective students anticipate the same ease of interacting with a student service representative through digital means. The students in today’s 24/7 era want immediate answers to any question, concern, or problem. It is challenging for the student care organisations to meet these expectations, while managing different channels and point solutions.

As students’ expectations rise, colleges and universities that fail to keep up risk damaging their entire student experience. Besides, institutions that keep pace with the rapid changes in the digital world have the potential to make a lasting impact, one that fosters loyalty and trust.

It all boils down to having a good grasp of your students’ needs. The students now have more knowledge than ever before. They have high standards and many choices, so you need to stand out if you want their loyalty. The students are empowered to pick from a wide range of channels and expect institutions to engage and greet them on any medium of their choice. An organisation’s success is based on its ability to provide a seamless digital student experience.

The students want to be able to contact your college and university on whatever channel they like and they expect a rapid response – with the flexibility to switch to another channel, if necessary.


The students who interact with the organisations across several channels (web/app, live agent, chatbots and social media) will benefit from an omni-channel approach to customer service. Data is transferred between divisions via linking the front offices (sales, marketing and student assistance). In this way, HEIs can get an overall picture of their student’s journey.



Answer my question as quickly as possible.




Consistency is key.


We should be able to communicate in a way that works for us.



Please keep me up to-date.


As a result, an omni-channel experience is no longer an option; it is a need.

AI helps agents prevent burnout by keeping them interested.

Because of the high rate of employee burnout and the constant influx of lucrative job offers, HEIs must provide their employees with the freedom and resources to execute their best work in both productive and long-term ways.

AI-powered automation and tools that disclose relevant information at the right moment help agents avoid unwanted and time-consuming exchanges. Quickly supplied “next best” actions and detailed processes may be served to them. For both training and responding to students, this decreases both training and response times.

At least 76 per cent of the workers have experienced burnout at some point in their careers. Twenty-eight per cent of the workers say they are often or frequently burnt out at work.  Gallup

Working from home or with a hybrid team is made easier with the help of a digital solution. Agents may operate more independently now that they can safely log in from any location. As a result, the managers utilising labour management software may anticipate staffing, establish and modify plans and make modifications in real-time when the unexpected happens more quickly.


Self-service will become more significant than ever before. Self-service portals are utilised by 79 per cent of the US students for student assistance.  Statista

Student confidence soars when resources are readily accessible and frustration builds when they aren’t. Using self-serve capabilities, the companies may help their students without the need for any human intervention on their part.

AI/automated chatbots, student-facing knowledge bases, online discussion forums, and static web pages are the most frequent self-serve student care channels (like FAQs).

Self-service solutions that let the students discover answers cultivate happier, more loyal students, while also reducing expenses for their student care agency.

Self-service is more popular among college students. If it were straightforward, the people would nearly always choose to assist themselves rather than contact a student service agent unless it was absolutely required.

It has been shown that 70 per cent of the students prefer to use self-service channels to get the knowledge they need to resolve the problems independently. (Gartner, Rethink Your student Service Strategy to Drive Self-Service, 2019). Providing the students with the ability to self-serve minimises the expenses of the student care teams.


The AI-powered self-service capabilities may have a significant influence on your KPIs, as seen below:


Reduce costs by preventing students from contacting you about the same things.

A second option is to provide round-the-clock student assistance.

Even at the busiest times of the day, students may expect speedier service.

Allowing student care agents to concentrate on complicated student inquiries


Consistent student service may improve the student experience.


Voice-activated response (IVR)

The most fundamental self-service component is the interactive voice response (IVR). Many students should be directed to these self-guided pathways and resolve the issues without the need for human engagement to minimise student frustration and expenditures.

Self-service pathways suited to familiar students’ pain points may be created using information gleaned from students’ IVR interactions. Having a better experience for your students will lead to new data that your organisation can use to enhance the experience even more.

The first stage is to create a large amount of detailed documentation (imagine a long list of frequently asked questions). With a knowledge base that guides students to informative, precise articles and videos that make it simple to browse related subjects. The most crucial features of successful student self-service are navigability and accessibility.


As students’ expectations rise, HEIs that fail to keep up with them risk damaging their entire student experience and losing repeat customers. Institutes that keep pace with the rapid changes in the digital world have the potential to make a lasting impact on their students, one that fosters loyalty and trust.

It all boils down to having a good grasp of your students’ needs.

(The writer is the CEO of Iqra University Extension)


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