AUM Skyline

American University of the Middle East

AUM optimizes the Applicant Admissions Process and improves data quality using Smart Civil ID integration with its disparate applications.

Industry

Higher Education

Country of Origin

Kuwait

In Business Since

+

Employees

+

Undergraduates

American University of the Middle East

Background

The American University of the Middle East (AUM) located in Eqaila (Egaila) is a top ranked higher education institution and the biggest private University in Kuwait offering bachelor degree programs in Business and Engineering as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).

AUM strives continuously since its founding to meet the highest academic international standards, aiming to create a solid learning environment that facilitates the development of committed, ethical and professional young leaders through its various programs that are being delivered by widely experienced faculty members coming from different educational and cultural backgrounds.

AUM focuses on its students by applying the “Learner Centered Approach” emphasizing on the acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge as well as students empowerment, enabling them to not only apply this knowledge, but to also benefit from it in both their professional and personal lives.

In addition to its modern and well-designed Library that allows access to high profile online academic databases, AUM campus includes a Sports Center, sports indoor and outdoor playgrounds comprising of a FIFA certified football field, a Cultural Center that comprises of the AUM Opera House and AUM Conference Center, a Student Affairs and Counseling Department, a Student Activities Center, Student clubs and societies. This is in addition to a Nanotechnology Research Center and several technical lab facilities that use the highest available technologies. Research and faculty development related seminars and workshops are ongoing at the university and departments level.

Business Needs & Challenges

Online Admissions

At the beginning of each semester, the University opens its doors for student admissions. Having automated much of the Admissions Process using a home-grown, web-based application, the University reduced a significant amount of effort and time required to process thousands of applications received every semester. The University realized that it was taking the Admissions Officers a long time to enter the details of every application. Officers would have to enter the Applicant's demographics (i.e. Name in English and Arabic, Gender, Date of Birth, Nationality, Address, Phone Numbers, etc.), as well as their educational background. This time-consuming and error-prone process became the bottleneck to an otherwise optimized process. This challenge is rather seasonal, as it only occurs during the first week of every semester. The rest of the semester is business-as-usual.

Completing Admissions

Later in the process, when applicants have completed the necessary paperwork and Placement Tests, the Admissions Office would invite the applicants to complete their Admissions. Upon arrival, the Admissions Officer would need to find the applicant's record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and based on data contained within this system, needs to instruct the applicant to either retake placement tests, submit further documentation, or declare their acceptance into the University Program. This decision is made according to clear business rules that may change over time. The University realized that this process was also time-consuming and error-prone.

Payment Processing

When a student arrives at a cashier to make a payment, it is imperative to identify the student and specify her/his balance. The University uses Banner technology to keep track of the student's dues. Here, helping identify the student takes time and hence, disturbs the University's processes. This process is seasonal, too, as its peak loads usually occur during the first few days of a semester, whereby thousands of students arrive at the cashiers to pay their dues.

Social & Financial Aid

Students seeking Social Allowance or Financial Aid are required to present their credentials at the specialized desk in order to apply. A home-grown, web-based application automates the process of managing the social and financial aid applications by student. However, it is important to keep accurate, up-to-date information about a student. This is, again, time-consuming and error-prone.

Characteristics of a viable solution

The University estimated that the process of entering an applicant's demographics takes a few minutes. Due to the enormous number of applicants, the time and effort required to serve all applicants becomes very significant. Any amount of time saved in this process would allow the University to serve a larger number of applicants in a given day, and/or reduce the required manpower.

As it can be noted, student demographics data is central to the operations of the University. A viable solution should make use of this fact to ensure that a student can benefit from all the facilities available to her/him while having to carry nothing but their Smart Civil ID. The solution should have the following characteristics:

  1. Capture a Student's demographics using their Smart Civil ID.
  2. Transform this data and make it available to the Online Admissions, Banner, Dynamics CRM, Social & Financial Aid systems, etc.
  3. Allow a set of flexible business rules to be applied, based on a students preferences, Placement Test results, GPA, High School scores, etc.
  4. Save students and University Staff members time and effort in managing student data.
  5. Reflect a positive image about the University's internal processes and systems.
  6. Provide the University a competitive advantage in its ability to process more student applications.

Solution

The American University of the Middle East decided to team-up with Sharper Software to develop a solution that could address the abovementioned challenges.

Online Admissions

Using Smart Civil ID Integration, instead of manually typing an applicant's demographic data, Admissions Officers save their time and effort by inserting the applicant's Smart Civil ID into a reader device. The Applicant's demographics, including but not limited to: Name in both Arabic and English, Sex, Date of Birth, Nationality, etc. are automatically filled into the home-grown Online Admissions application within 1-2 seconds.

Using an optical scanner, the Admissions Officer can also scan the High School certificate and/or any other supporting documentation and attach it the application. This increases the efficiency of the admissions process by reducing the time and effort required to capture demographic data and make it practically instantaneous.

Admissions Completion

Once an Applicant completes her/his Placement Tests, their score is saved into Dynamics CRM. The applicant is then requested to complete the Admissions process by arriving at the Admissions Office. Students present their Smart Civil ID to the Admissions Officer, who in turn insert the Civil ID into a reader. The system updates the records automatically, while applying flexible business rules, that can be updated from a central location and/or changed without having to re-compile any code. This helps reduce the overhead during Admissions and ensures the application of the correct business rules.

Payment Processing

Cashiers request the student to present their Smart Civil ID. They insert the ID into a reader and the student's record is displayed automatically, alongside the due amounts. This saves time during payment processing and improves the productivity of cashiers, increasing the quality of service at the University.

Social & Financial Aid

When applying to social or financial aid, a student presents her/his Smart Civil ID to an officer, who in turn inserts the ID into a reader. The student's record is updated with the latest data and any relevant information is provided to the officer within a fraction of a second.

Benefits

Shorter Wait Times

Your customers, patients and/or employees will spend less time waiting for you to process their data.

Data Accuracy

Information is guaranteed to be correct and authoritative, as it's provided by the Public Authority for Civil Information.

Data Consistency

Data is consistent across your systems. If a centralized Master Data is used, it is possible to feed it via this solution.