Presentation on theme: "Managing Numbers in Northern Ireland SPA Seminar - 12 April 2011 Janet Graham, Annie Doyle and Leslie Currie."— Presentation transcript:
Managing Numbers in Northern Ireland SPA Seminar - 12 April 2011 Janet Graham, Annie Doyle and Leslie Currie
How can SPA support your planning in admissions? Strategic leadership in admissions is an integral to an institutions learning and teaching strategy, management and planning. SPA suggests an applicant experience strategy would underpin planning in admissions and support the management and processes of both academic and professional staff The benefits for the institution: more integrated ways of working, with possible efficiency gains enhanced staff professionalism and understanding of strategy improved quality practices and procedures which may give competitive advantage and enhance reputation ability to take advantage of external changes quickly The benefits for the applicant: transparency and a better experience
Context for admissions planning and management for 2011 and beyond Planning now for this year and beyond - working with internal colleagues and learning from external colleagues - can help you and your institution manage the policy and processes more effectively Planning needs to be underpinned by robust systems in terms of IT, good quality data and analysis and the ability to use it for management, policy and process development
Managing Numbers in Northern Ireland Working in small groups 1. Agree the order (1-8) you would prioritise as to relevance for managing applications. 2. Taking your top priority, agree three initiatives to manage the situation better. N.B. Being able to reach agreement on a strategy in a timely fashion is key to good management.
Managing Numbers in Northern Ireland Faced with increased demand for limited supply of places, how do you prioritise: monitoring conversion rate predictors policy enactment entry criteria and offer-making Having prioritised, what initiatives manage the situation best? staffing levels staff training competitor tracking future modelling / planning
Monitoring monitor, monitor, monitor Information is power knowledge that change is happening (not happened) understanding of variables within any change evidence to justify quick action benchmarks for tracking and reflection Without adequate data you are reduced to the anecdotal and the reactionary – neither is a sound basis for prioritising
Conversion rate predictors Reliant on good data and good monitoring If this is an exceptional year, then senior management should be involved now Remember the vices as well as the virtues of predicting on past conversion rates Are your applicants the same (has the increase shifted the distribution/mix)? Are your requirements the same (is it now harder/easier to convert)? Are your competitors the same (don’t forget insurance)? Are there any historically hidden numbers (e.g. progression agreements)?
Policy enactment Policy is defining and binding It can act as justification for your actions, but can also restrict your options for change It is more difficult to change quickly and needs more planning to implement It is very much a statement for the future as well as now Most factors under admissions’ control will be in policy, so difficult to change anything without addressing policy
Entry criteria and offer-making The key control devices in admissions Reliant on good monitoring and conversion predictors Changes will affect all other aspects of admissions, particularly: Conversion rates Competitors (and how you are perceived in relation to them) Advisors’ impressions for future years Transparency in entry criteria (Entry Profiles) will aid matching and moderate applications Care in wording offers can be an aid to acceptance and an asset at Confirmation Don’t forget feedback and think of alternatives
Staffing levels Changes elsewhere only effective if you have enough of the right staff to process applications How do you know whether or not you have enough staff to deal with the increase? Can you predict whether this is temporary or long-term staffing demand? Can the demand be mediated by other resources (IT; procedural efficiencies; support from other areas)?
Staff training Changes elsewhere only effective if your staff are aware and able to enact them How quickly can all your admissions staff respond to change? How quickly can they spot change? Who has the authority to invoke change? Who is responsible for following change through?
Competitor tracking External influencers on your numbers are far harder to predict then internal Do you know who they are and how they’re changing? Do you know what your applicants’ expectations are (are you creating them or are you reacting to expectations given to them by others)? Understand that applicants are competing with each other and that you are competing with other institutions
Future modelling/planning Is this a one off year? If so what impact will your actions have on future recruitment? If not, are you embedding change to pre-empt this new trend, or are you going to have to react year-on-year?
Quick Fixes Bending the rules How appropriate do you feel these options are in exceptional times? Dropping equal consideration Changing standard offers mid-cycle New entry requirements mid-cycle Less transparency New contextual data Gathered field Closing courses Changing progression agreements with partners
Quick Fixes Know your enablers How well do you know and control the key internal enablers to change? How quickly can you utilise and redirect them? staff systems funds N.B. these should be more than just resources
Collaborative Fixes Who should you collaborate with internally and how do you do it? Who should you collaborate with externally and how do you do it? Think about: who to collaborate with and why what to collaborate on when and how such collaboration should take place