RPA in Higher Education – Solving challenges for the schools of tomorrow

Many schools are struggling to attract the students of tomorrow while their administration is mired in the operating systems and thought patterns of the past. The areas schools are being pushed to expand and innovate technology are many. Covid forced universities to expand their online learning technology. Technology education departments are scrambling not to just keep up with new AI technology, but to develop programs that equip future pioneers in the field. WonderBotz is advocating to update and automate in administration to support those who support our students. RPA in Higher education can cut costs, and more importantly time in admissions, grant application and the bursars office.

To learn more about how the RPA program at Virginia Commonwealth University got started check out the full interview in our Bitz about Botz Series. Or see the bullet points in our RPA in Higher Education case study on the school’s outcomes automating Ellucian Banner processes.

Digital transformation in higher education – becoming the universities of tomorrow

In today’s modern world, trades, and specifically trade associated with technology, have taken the workforce by storm. While several organizations are busy classifying the various generations we have in the workforce, have we stopped to consider where education for these “buzzwords” now comes from? In today’s modern Higher Education landscape, students are learning almost 50% of their lessons online and most students admit to using YouTube and other tools to supplement their education.

While it is crucial for students to experience the advantages of modern technology and innovation in their education, WonderBotz’ goal is to bring digital transformation to all parts of the university. RPA for Higher Education is making the schools of tomorrow congruent, employing the same level of innovation from the back office to the classroom.

Digital is the future of education. RPA can help our university pivot toward digital learning without missing out on the classroom experience.

Eric Gold • Senior Business Analyst, Virginia Commonwealth University

Several Universities have started to offer a modern curriculum but continue to task their employees with manual, repetitive work that was automated by the Fortune 500s over a decade ago. How can we modernize our students’ educations when the infrastructure that supports their learning has yet to innovate?

Join the WonderBotz Higher Education Consortium and share reusable RPA components library being created across our growing network of schools

Robotic Process Automation for Higher Education

With the immense burden of preparing tomorrow’s workforce, it is no wonder that Higher Education Institutions and leading universities are looking to automation as a starting point for their modernization efforts.

No less than 54% of all employees require significant reskilling and upskilling, says the World Economic Forum.

All universities are feeling the pressure to deal with the incoming volume. RPA in higher educations is poised to cut cost, but more importantly save time in administration by off-loading repetitive tasks to digital workers.

Education institutions and universities are discovering that automation is solving most of their pressure points associated with budget constraints, an aging workforce, data protection, and more.

Paula Carneiro Cox

Where to start with RPA for Higher Education

As with most organizations starting their digital transformation efforts, the bursar’s office (Higher Education’s equivalent to a Controller) is the business unit most ripe for early automation wins. Here is where the bulk of volume-based entries, multiple reconciliations and likely outdated systems come together to quantify the year’s spend and the effort it takes to forecast for the future recruits and incoming freshmen for the following year.

As your program expands reusable RPA components make the development process faster and more efficient, increasing the momentum for your digital transformation. Once the functional understanding of RPA for higher education is clear, the use-cases and value creation opportunities are as big as your imagination. Often, there are small processes that can be agreed upon by many departments within a higher education institution.

It was a no-brainer to start by automating our grant creation processes. Once we scored those early wins, we could expand RPA into other processes and departments.

Eric Gold • Senior Business Analyst, Virginia Commonwealth University

To combat the change management components that come with the application of robots, we looked to our partners UiPath. Their Academic Alliance program focuses on curriculum offerings around RPA and supporting the workforce within these institutions that is tasked with leading their digital transformation efforts. This success has been seen at many universities to date, and several more are on the rise, including Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with their start last year.

Gartner identifies Automation, GenAI and ML to be key technologies for higher ed institutes over the next three years. It has application amongst the following areas – productivity, research, admin support and enhancing teaching experiences.

– The 2024 Gartner Predictions: Higher Connect with Gartner Education Automation

The WonderBotz Education Consortium – Lowering the barrier of entry for RPA in Education

WonderBotz, as a technology company, shares in the commitment to equip the schools of tomorrow to train the students of the future. The higher education system is unique. While universities may compete for students, there is room for collaboration when it comes to back-office processes that are the same industry-wide.

The WonderBotz Education Consortium allows schools to share their reusable RPA components and completed automations in our shared library. As most schools are working with the Ellucian Banner ERP there is enormous synergy to be had across the higher education system. WonderBotz is also offering collective rates for Custom RPA Development. In this program 2-5 schools can split the cost of development making RPA for Higher Education reachable for all schools.

Supporting our students, education staff, and the greater community

Unlike a traditional organization, a Higher Education institution has stakeholders in more forms than just “the Board.” Higher Ed must account for current students, alumni associations, faculty, staff and often overlooked, the impact their school has on the city.

While efforts are being made to advance the way Higher Education and community come together, there is still a gap. The cities who’s students attend these institutions often furnish employees to the school as well. This makes the community and the institution highly dependent upon the success of the other.

Bringing RPA to higher education allows us to provide the technology for success we promise our students to their support networks also. WonderBotz is committed to supporting our partners at UiPath in their mission to bring a robot to every student and every desktop and help the industries traditionally behind, in implementing modernization efforts that are sustainable and scalable.

Become a school of tomorrow and join the WonderBotz Education Consortium.

Send us your info with the form below and a member of our RPA in Education team will follow up with you with more information.

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