Online gateway for postgraduate applications
A new national gateway for online postgraduate applications is proving a huge success with UK higher education institutions. The system is already fully operational in 24 institutions and a further 27 have it under development
The postgraduate online applications system, developed jointly by Graduate Prospects and the UK Council for Graduate Education, is a free resource to help institutions recruit postgraduate students, particularly from overseas.
It enables potential postgraduate students to apply electronically to higher education institutions participating in the scheme and can be accessed either via the institution's website or from www.prospects.ac.uk which hosts the national postgraduate database.
Marion Tappin, head of marketing services at the University of East London, says the new system got off to a very positive start at her institution with 76 applications, primarily from overseas students, received in a very short space of time.
"We are very impressed with the software," she comments. "The online forms are easy to use; there is an automatic email to respond to applicants and the ability to track an application if a student calls to check its progress. We worked closely with the developers to customise the system for our needs and they provided excellent demonstrations and tuition to ensure our staff could use it."
Attracting international students to the UK is crucial to the health of the higher education sector. A key factor in securing the required level of applications is the effective use of the Internet, which led to the decision to provide an individualised online application system.
"The aim of the system is to provide an invaluable resource to all UK HEIs and critical support in the recruitment of overseas postgraduates," explains Graduate Prospects chief executive Mike Hill. "We see this as a natural extension of our role in higher education. Developing an application function from the database held on our website helps makes the data supplied to Graduate Prospects work harder to attract new postgraduate students to UK institutions."
The system is flexible to the needs of the institution. Universities can use their own application form and have more than one type. There is a section for universities to manage their applications and they can be printed or downloaded. Each institution chooses which courses will accept online applications and this can be changed, as necessary, to provide flexibility for courses that may need more or less applications.
Krys Daniels, head of admissions at Oxford Brookes University, is also very pleased with the impact that the online system is having on postgraduate applications.
"Applications started slowly but built steadily and are becoming one of our larger sources of applications. We see it as a growing area and are particularly impressed with how it has speeded up the applications process for overseas students."
Career advisers wishing to know more about the scheme can contact Graduate Prospects by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org