Busan International Foreign School (BIFS) started as The International School of Busan in 1983. Offering an education with a firm international focus, the school expanded steadily and now teaches 500 students from 45 nationalities.
In 2006, the school launched its high-school programme. Two years later, it was authorised for the IB Diploma Programme and now offers the Middle Years and Primary Years programmes as well.
BIFS moved to a new campus in 2010 and currently receives around 200 applications for Nursery to Grade 12 places each year.
BIFS first tried OpenApply in late 2013 as part of a broader drive to implement an integrated school management system. BIFS sought a system that could act as a bridge between admissions and teaching staff. Since BIFS already used ManageBac, OpenApply was a clear choice.
With roughly 83% of students coming from overseas, it was vital for BIFS to have an admissions system that could guide all applicants through a uniform process, but had the flexibility to allow for specific requirements.
BIFS trialled OpenApply extensively before deciding to implement. During the trial, the school communicated with the OpenApply support team on a near-daily basis to tailor the account to its needs.
The first step was to build all of BIFS’ application forms on to the account. The school now prompts applicants to complete seven different forms online, starting with the School Application Form available on its OpenApply landing page.
The programmes BIFS offers require different sets of admissions documents. The school uses OpenApply to create programme and statusspecific checklists that guide applicants through the separate requirements of each stage of the admissions process.
For example, applicants to the Early LearningCentre and Elementary School do not have to submit an English-language essay. Prospective Middle School and High School students are required to present a recommendation letter.
BIFS launched its OpenApply portal in early 2014 and now handles all first-time and re-enrolment applications electronically. Admissions staff appreciate how applicant accounts on OpenApply sync with student accounts on ManageBac, simplifying their work. They can also direct their questions at a support team that understands both platforms, ensuring that inquiries are answered smoothly and promptly.
In addition to processing applications, BIFS admissions staff also use OpenApply for analytics. For example, they may easily view a breakdown of nationalities per year level across the student body. The data can also be easily exported.
Now that all student data is stored online, BIFS can export information in one click to strengthens its analysis of the admissions process and help the school attain its admissions goals.