NYU Shanghai leverages digital technology to improve undergraduate admissions experience
Jointly established by New York University and East China Normal University, New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai) is the first American college to receive independent registration status from China's Ministry of Education. As the third degree-granting campus in NYU’s global network, NYU Shanghai combines the best of Chinese and American education, creating a new kind of higher-education model for its talented students against the backdrop of globalization. During their undergraduate studies, students will have the opportunity to spend one to three semesters studying abroad as part of the University’s efforts to create a cross-cultural learning environment that will help students become global citizens.
With its world-class academic resources and cross-cultural learning environment, NYU Shanghai rises to fame rapidly since its 2013 inaugural undergraduate class and attracts more applicants from all over the world each year. Some of its international students chose NYU Shanghai among Harvard University, California University and Cornell University; while some of its Chinese students had rejected offers from University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University, Peking University, etc. The big increase of applicants bring overwork to NYU Shanghai’s employees, admissions staffs started to spend too much time on time-consuming and dull tasks like dealing with email applications, telephone counseling and manual data entry in Excel.
The big increase of applicants bring overwork to NYU Shanghai’s employees, admissions staffs started to spend too much time on time-consuming and dull tasks like dealing with email applications, telephone counseling and manual data entry in Excel.
As a pioneer of campus informationization, NYU Shanghai decided to build a digital channel to engage efficiently with the applicants. This new platform should deliver an effective online application channel to the students and offer a set of more robust online tools to admissions staffs of NYU Shanghai. Features of the platform should also include announcement publishing and updating so the applicants can check the latest enrollment policies in NYU Shanghai online. The goal of this new program was to avoid e-mail and phone communications as much as possible, and maximize work efficiency of the admissions office.
After comparing the code reliability and security of different CMS systems, NYU Shanghai decided to develop the application platform on Drupal 8. CI&T was selected to lead the end-to-end delivery of the project afterwards because of its proven expertise and deep experience in Drupal implementations. Coincidentally enough, CI&T sponsored DrupalCamp China event in NYU shanghai in 2015.
How CI&T Executed
Early in the process, CI&T learned that NYU Shanghai has very strict admissions requirements to its students. Chinese applicants need to take CEE (Chinese College Entrance Examination), finish Common Application and join NYU Shanghai Campus Day event to complete the admissions process. As the room for optimizing national activities (CCE and the Common Application) is very limited, we decided to focus on identifying and solving problems in the Campus Day event.
CI&T China formed a dedicate Lean Pod™ for the project (a Lean Pod™ is a small, hyper productive, team of strategists, engineers and designers working together). The team mix used Design Thinking, Design Sprints, and Lean UX approaches to take client’s ideas to rapid prototyping. In just two months, they successfully delivered a complete Campus Day Event Application System to NYU Shanghai.
The Campus Day Event Application System not only provides applicants a convenient channel to register for the event, but running as the one-stop platform which covers all aspects of the application process. By signing up the system, applicants can complete the following procedures online:
(1) Fill in, submit and print the “ NYU Shanghai Campus Day 2018 Event Application” form online
(2) Browse latest official admissions announcements and FAQs
(3) Check status and results of each application stage (appliciants will receive notifications automaticlly on their cellphone and email when there are any further updates)
(4) Submit CCE scores after receiving pre-admission qualification or entering waitlist
NYU Shanghai partnered with CI&T to build a digital channel to engage efficiently with the applicants. This new platform delivers an effective online application channel to the students and offers a set of more robust online tools to admissions staffs of NYU Shanghai. Features of the platform also includes announcement publishing and updating so the applicants can check the latest enrollment policies in NYU Shanghai online.
Released in September 2017, the system is now adopted to NYU Shanghai Admissions Program for 2018. Although the number of applicants continues to increase, the admissions staffs are now distracted from the tedious operation tasks, their feedback on the system includes:
- The User-friendly interfaces are responsive to any devices
- Its immersive experience allow students to accomplish the application process totally by themselves, which reduces the communication costs significantly
- Drupal-based CMS enables them to adjust content as often as needed
- Admission staffs can update application status accurately and easily with the scanning gun feature
- The visual and intuitive dashboard provides executives a complete view of the performance, enabling a better assessment in operation and expansion strategies
"Choosing Drupal and bringing CI&T as our partner were paramount to achieve our goals when launching this strategic portal for NYU Shanghai", said the admission staffs at NYU Shanghai.
Released in September 2017, the system is now adopted to NYU Shanghai Admissions Program for 2018. Although the number of applicants continues to increase, the admissions staffs are now distracted from the tedious operation tasks.