How the Student Enquiries Centre helped to support 2021 welcome and induction

9 November 2021

Office with desks and computers

UCL recently welcomed over 24,000 new students both onto campus and remotely. The Student Enquiries Team were an integral part of this, providing students with first line responses to their queries about enrolment. Staff were on hand to respond to students via askUCL, in-person appointments, telephone, and our live chat service. The Student Enquiries Centre have now reviewed what was successful with the service the team provided, and what we can improve on to make the student experience even better for the next cohort of students who enrol with us.  

SEC Successes

The Student Enquiries Centre answered over 6000 enquiries during start of session including via askUCL, telephone calls and live chats!

  • The SEC telephone service had an increase of over 100% in call volume in comparison to last year. You really enjoyed being able to speak to our team directly and on average students had to wait less than a minute to speak to one of us. The team coped with the increase in demand extremely well and we took over 1700 calls during the welcome and induction period.
  • We piloted a Live Chat service to support students with their enrolment queries. The service wasn’t as busy as we had expected, but those who used it appreciated being able to speak with us in real time and check on their enrolment status.
  • There was an overall decrease in our askUCL enquiries which means that you are feeling more empowered to use self-service options and resolve queries yourselves. For example, using Portico to download letters or update your personal details.
  • Our Frequently Asked Questions also saw an increase in views of 27% in comparison to last year. As more of you are using these FAQs to resolve queries yourselves, our team has in turn been able to improve response times and focus on resolving your more complex enquiries.

Despite the overall decrease in askUCL enquires, the percentage of enquiries being logged by students directly almost doubled, meaning you are more confident in using the askUCL service to contact us for help. You’ve also been leaving us some great feedback on the service:

The staff were extremely helpful and understanding throughout the whole process.
The response was given very quick and efficiently considering these busy times.
So helpful - really appreciate your attention to my request!

How we plan to improve

We are always looking to improve our services and create a better experience for students year on year. Here are some of the ways we’ve identified we can improve for future welcome and induction periods:

  • Communication emails explaining how to upload documents will be sent to students earlier. They will also contain clearer instructions on how to use Portico to upload additional documentation that we might need to complete your enrolment.
  • We know that VISA applications can be one of the most stressful parts of the enrolment process for students joining us from around the world, so we’re working with the VISA Compliance team to provide further training in VISA enquiries. This will mean that the more standard VISA queries can be resolved by our team and will cut down on wait times for you.
  • We always want to be empowering students to problem solve, so we’re working on making more of the enrolment process visible on Portico. This will allow you to understand more of what might be delaying your enrolment, and what steps you can take to resolve this.

Overall, the Student Enquiries Team had a successful welcome and induction period. The SEC supported many of you via our different services and we hope that we helped to make your enrolment process as seamless as possible.

Our aim for next year is to continue to build on improving communication and information for students enrolling, particularly via the development of a student facing dashboard so you can view the entire process and troubleshoot issues independently.

UCL Student Enquiries Centre Team