Victoria’s Deakin University is harnessing the power of integration to provide personalized and connected experiences to its applicants, students, and staff. In this blog, Peter Dimovski, Integration Solutions & Design Manager of eSolutions, shares more about Deakin University’s digital transformation journey.
Deakin University has always had a strong focus on “driving the digital frontier” – delivering innovative digital solutions to provide an engaging, personalized, and premium learning experience for its students.
Having set strong digital foundations in the years preceding, Deakin was well-positioned for the rapid transition to remote work and learning at the beginning of the pandemic. This past year, however, has expedited the need to build on the holistic view of our students, staff, alumni, and prospective students, to deliver a more seamless and integrated experience in response to the evolving higher-education landscape.
Transforming the student journey
A key priority over recent years has been to transform the student experience at Deakin, refining and uplifting the user experiences from enrolment, right through to graduation and beyond – with a focus on lifelong learning. Today’s students expect engaging and convenient digital experiences – in order to maintain our competitive digital edge in the higher education sector, we sought to create an ecosystem that provides students with everything they need to succeed in their studies and beyond.
To do this, we needed to easily expose capabilities from core systems across the university, including those in student management, learning management, research, and in facilities. The value of bringing further visibility to these systems’ capabilities is in enabling the business and the developer community to innovate and deliver better experiences and more swift outcomes to our customers through an API-led strategy.
Through this approach, and with our new APIs, the product team reimagined and transformed the experience across our student and application portals. They now offer modern front-ends, with improved functionality and usability. Since launching in August 2020, our applicant portal has processed over 30,000 applications, helped accelerate the enrollment process, and driven a significant increase in usability through self-service and live-chat support.
The portal is underpinned by 41 APIs, all of which are now available in our API store, and can be leveraged by other developers and delivery teams to accelerate the time to market, and reduce delivery costs.
Building blocks for the campus of the future
MuleSoft has enabled us to meet the demands of the modern student, through the development of a university-wide API approach to innovate, transform, and become a composable digital enterprise. We now have a rich API store that will provide the building blocks for the campus of the future.
With our integrated approach, we introduced new services across our campus to meet the hybrid learning model. We can continue to add specialized services to our personalized student hub “DeakinSync” so the entire student population can access the information they need, quickly – from topping up their student cards and accessing health services to rapidly locating timely campus updates – all from one central and convenient place.
APIs eliminate bottlenecks by removing technical debt and enabling departments outside central IT to self-serve. This means that my team, all of eSolutions (Deakin’s central IT team), and the broader IT community within the University are able to move quickly to complete projects.
With only 48% of Australian IT teams completing the projects asked of them last year, the strategic importance of integrating data, systems, and applications across a campus ecosystem has escalated.
We’re working towards a future where we can create a complete ecosystem that will give students and stakeholders everything they need to interact with the university during their studies and beyond. The goal is to eventually establish a platform that can lean further into personalization to offer a learning experience that is truly tailored to each person and their unique needs, perhaps with cues from their geographic location or current stage in life – really honing in on developing a relationship for life-long learning.
We can see where the future of education is headed and we understand the value in integrating the systems necessary to provide personalized experiences for Deakin’s current and prospective students, staff, and alumni.
At Deakin, we’re not looking backwards. Just as the higher education sector continues to evolve, so too will our systems and processes. With a strong foundation built upon an API-first ecosystem, we’re building the campus of the future – and our journey is just getting started.
Learn more about digital transformation in higher education by downloading our eBook.