Keele University launch intuitive chatbot to transform student pre-enrolment experience

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Keele University has partnered with leading Cloud and Digital Services Provider ANS to deploy an intuitive chatbot to improve the student experience during pre-enrolment.

Regarded as a top UK Institution with particular strengths in Medicine, Pharmacy and Midwifery, as well as sustainability, Keele University boasts the UK’s largest university campus and is home to approximately 11,000 students.

Using Microsoft Azure as a foundation, the University has teamed up with ANS to create an intuitive chatbot to provide pre-enrolment support. It will answer FAQs, provide information about accommodation, open days, grade requirements and courses, all of which will help to make the first engagement with the University as seamless as possible.

As part of its continued efforts for improvement, the University has an initiative to improve services for prospective students and increase conversion rates. Staff currently receive between 2000-3000 enquiries a month, which results in reduced response time, lost intake and wasted resources on repetitive tasks. The University is digitally transforming, aiming to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, improve and automate processes.

Speaking about the project, Daniel Perry, CIO at Keele University, said: “We’re at an exciting time for the University, transforming our approach to digital services to make life better for students and simpler for staff. We’ve launched a new Microsoft infrastructure which provides a solid, resilient foundation for this exciting new chatbot.

“We understand that students expect to engage with us in the same way they would with a retailer or bank and we’re working in partnership across the University to instigate real change in our digital approach and deliver on meeting our student expectations.

“It was important for us to join forces with a strategic partner, and ANS not only demonstrated great expertise across the sector, but they also had a unique open source chatbot offering known as Basebot. Utilising Basebot not only helped us to get the project up and running faster, but it also saved us the initial development costs which was really important because we were working to a tight budget.”

Andy Barrow, CTO at ANS added: “Keele’s digital vision is inspiring. As well as deploying innovative chatbot technology, they are also looking into the opportunities to further enhance the student experience with their data strategy and smart campus initiative.

“The University also hosts regular events which place a strong emphasis on how some of the industries biggest challenges and opportunities can be addressed using digital technology. As they carry this message across the UK, they are inspiring other institutions to learn from each other, helping to make the UK the best study destination in the world.”