CQU keeps finger on the pulse when it comes to innovation in student engagement

13 April 2022

CQUniversity has recently implemented intuitive new processes and systems to deliver highly targeted and personalised engagements with the institution's more than 30 000 students.

This new approach to student engagement is being driven by the new Student Pulse system which was introduced in December 2021.

The system allows the University to leverage prospect and student data to create highly personalised interactions that are relevant to an individual student's study plan and circumstances.

The integrated analytics and insight features available in the system' enable engagements ranging from automated personalised SMS engagements and reminders to highly targeted outbound calls offering study advice and support referrals.

The implementation of the new system has so far been used this year to assist with student recruitment' enrolment conversion and now student support' allowing student engagement teams to significantly streamline and amplify their proactive engagement activities.

One of the key capabilities of Student Pulse is that it supports team members by providing personalised call scripts to ensure that engagements provide students with all of the information they need' tailored to their situation.

The introduction of Student Pulse is one of the many new systems that have been implemented at CQUniversity over the past two years as part of the organisational wide CQURenew program' a program of work that sought to transform and enhance the student experience.

Program Lead and Director' Academic Systems and Transformation' Shaune Sinclair explained that providing students with a personalised experience throughout their study journey – from prospect to graduate – was a centrepiece of the entire program.

"CQUniversity is unique in that it has the largest campus footprint of any university in Australia' with many more students studying online and through partner sites across Australia.

"We also have a diverse cohort of students inclusive of school leavers and mature age students' studying courses from Certificate to PhD level.

"The challenges of providing a personalised student experience for such a diverse and widely spread student community are enormous' but' building on recent major investment in our people and technology' we have been determined to do all we can to deliver a highly personalised and responsive set of student services from the first point of contact.

"Better use of the data we have lies at the heart of our strategy to focus our resources on delivering support to students when it is most needed' and in the way that best reflects individual student preferences and circumstances.

"The Student Pulse system allows our operational business units to leverage student data to intelligently and automatically target and create personalised' timely student engagements' through multiple channels' including email' SMS and outbound call campaigns'" said Mr Sinclair.

To deliver the system' CQUniversity worked with the company behind Student Pulse' Cenote Solutions' who helped the University deliver the project in just under two months.

"The Cenote team are partnering with our teams on a weekly basis to help us to make the most of Student Pulse.

"The seamless delivery of the project has now allowed us to reach a point where we are able to also record student feedback and identify trends to help with the development of future campaigns and support efforts. In particular it has significantly improved the delivery and effectiveness of our Term 1 conversion and re-enrolment efforts.

"Student Pulse has allowed us to gather and report on student sentiment – for example' what influenced them to not accept their offer. This is incredibly valuable data that will inform future marketing and conversion campaigns.

"Along with this' in the lead up to Term 1' 2022' the system also helped save hundreds of hours in administration time related to call management and data collection."

Mark Sampson' CEO' Cenote Solutions said that working with the teams at CQU has been a great experience.

"Going from contract to go-live in seven weeks was a major challenge but' as a result of some great collaboration and leadership across the Digital Services and Student Engagement teams' we were able to meet all delivery timeframes.

"This is the start of an exciting and ground-breaking journey with CQUniversity. Being able to integrate Pulse into the University's existing systems and then enhance and improve processes and the student experience shows what can be achieved quickly and relatively easily when collaboration is at the heart of the way you work.

"The current challenges across the sector make this ever more important and we are excited at what lies ahead with CQUniversity and others who are seeking new and better ways to engage with and support their students'"  said Mr Sampson.