Think how the landscape of educational admissions has taken a ‘digital turn’. The ‘digitally smart’ kid passing out of school checks into an e-admission portal, clicks and scrolls through the web and sifts the wealth of info on an array of colleges. For the student, this is a new epoch in future learning where everything happens online- filling an application form, uploading academic credentials, payment of fees and getting intimation on admissions. But if we roll the calendar a few years back, a generation of readers here would recall the drill they took to fulfill this grueling admission journey. Queuing up outside admission windows, manually attesting education testimonials, scouring the college notice boards & newspapers for advertisements on admissions and manual visits- the process was tedious and energy sapping. Undeniably, automation with the sprinkling of ground breaking technologies has challenged the status quo in the admission process, prodding institutions and governments to reimagine solutions.
The Challenge- Getting over Manual Workflows
When largely manual, the admission process can be tedious and devour time for the administrative staff. As the people get immersed in the grind of admissions, it lessens their productivity. A chunk of their time is also lost in overcoming discrepancies and reconciling errors. On top of that, students and their parents are stranded in physical visits to educational institutions and manually filling up forms and making payments. That apart, there is this collateral challenge of capturing data of students and storing a sheaf of admission forms. Each stage of the admission process, thus, happens in silos, frustrating stakeholders on each side of the fence.
The Solution.. Not in half-hearted digitization but in a unified interface
A clutch of educational institutions have leapt the digital bandwagon. But technology hasn’t been exploited to the hilt. The education landscape anywhere is vast and variegated in scope. This explains why ‘digital oneness’ is crucial. India, for instance, has a highly fragmented admission structure made up by myriad institutions with varied courses. To illustrate, Delhi University, has 91 colleges affiliated to it, catering to enrolment of over 1.3 lakh regular students. Notably, Delhi University has set up a common portal to facilitate one-stop admission into all colleges affiliated to it. However, Delhi houses other universities which have no uniform admission system to speak of.Each of these academic institutions has a disparate admission process, fee structure and curriculum. Here, the lack of convergence complicates the entry process for students. Unless there is homogeneity in the form of an integrated portal that mandates a definite schedule for admissions, the clogs in the system can’t be cleared.
Success Story In Uniformity - CSM’s Student Academic Management System
CSM Technologies has developed a Student Academic Management System (SAMS) that uses technology to solve the admission riddle. Implemented successfully in both Odisha and Bihar, the admission automation system has consolidated information from educational institutions and other stakeholders to create a single admission form, a uniform admission timeline and a single merit list for all colleges across a state. SAMS operated by the Higher Education department in Odisha, caters to around eight million students in more than 5800 colleges. Likewise, the Online Facilitation System for Students (OFSS) that we have developed for the Bihar School Examination Board, meets the requirement of 1.5 million students gaining admission to around 3000 colleges. One of the key components of our automated system is the Admission Management Module- it has the ability to create a common application for all colleges in the system. Using niche technologies such as Machine Learning, the module can also suggest students on the colleges they need to apply for, based on their academic score and past admission records. Further, the admission system is equipped to authenticate documents uploaded by students, making the process truly seamless.
Seamless solutions like SAMS can lead the transition path for education ecosystems with agile admission process. The time to seize the advantage of automation in admission, is now.