The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for every international school, and we saw admissions offices come up with creative ways to solve those challenges, many of which they have kept in the post-pandemic world. As we move beyond COVID, other challenges arise, such as inflation, Artificial Intelligence, and more. The IAB spoke with 3 schools from around the world to get their perspective on the changing face of admissions.
How has the pandemic altered your use of technology in the
ET: The pandemic really brought the use of video technology into its own. In many instances, it became the only possible connector between the admissions office and prospective students and therefore instrumental in the survival of schools. The use of digital technology for marketing also grew exponentially as the only way of reaching prospective families, and ensured that product awareness was maintained and hopefully enhanced. Admissions systems also moved away from paper processes to digitalised versions as the sharing of physical papers quickly became a taboo at the onset of the pandemic. Ironically, it is almost difficult to remember that now!
With global pressures focussed on improving sustainability and the general growth in digital marketing and technology, we could claim that we would be functioning as we are even without having experienced the pandemic. I feel that the pandemic has accelerated the move towards digitised processes, the shift from printed marketing and better use of video conferencing but it is not the only reason we have reached this point.
What I do think we can credit the pandemic with is our renewed appreciation for physical connectivity and the greater power that physical meetings and visits produce.
BD: Overall, I think the pandemic clarified for me the technology that can actually enhance the family experience throughout the admissions process. Whereas previously, families would fly from all over the world for a campus tour and admissions assessment; now, with additional resources, understanding, and opportunity that wasn’t available pre-pandemic, we are able to provide a totally different (and more affordable) experience for families as they go through our admissions process. Whether it is visual footage of a classroom, a Google Meet chat with the Director of Admissions, or the admissions assessment and interview, the technology that we chose to keep post-pandemic allows an incredible amount of agility and timeliness to our admissions process that I truly believe enhances our customer experience.
LBF: We are moving our entire process to an online registration platform. This is being integrated imminently and will lead us to a paperless operation.
In this post-pandemic era have you changed the way you approach student well-being in your interactions with families?
ET: It has never been more important to understand the mindset of every pupil we recruit. We need to understand their experience in recent years and determine what effect the years of the pandemic might still hold. Academic testing is important to help identify any potential gaps but understanding their mental well-being is just as important.
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