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How are you handling course fees?

Neil Bellerby, Director at MonitorIT writes about how using MonitorIT's wider cashless solution can help with the administrative nightmare of collecting course fees from students.
As a father of two young children, the UK’s education sector is an area close to my heart. We’ve all read and heard about continuing pressures on UK education. My many friends working within education also detail the growing challenges they face.  
 
Funding has been dramatically cut following the aftermath of the 2007-08 financial crisis. With the cuts showing no signs of relenting, colleges and universities will continue to come under financial pressure.
 
The sector has had to suffer many job losses to meet cost saving targets. At the same time, the sector strives to improve their quality of service ensuring students fulfil their potential and use their education and experiences as a solid base on which to build a successful career.
 
In a climate of cuts and reduced staff resource, improving the quality of education is no mean feat – especially given the ‘easy’ savings have largely been made.
 
Colleges and universities alike must hunt out further efficiency gains, in order to do more with less. If we can save time on administration, more resource can be directed to where it really matters – educating our students.
 
Course fees are an administration nightmare, taking up staff time and in some cases, resulting in uncollected fees.
 
A recent college I visited advised the amount of uncollected fees each year equated to the equivalent of a full time salary – a significant sum in comparison to the college’s cost saving targets.
 
Their process of collecting payments is inefficient, with staff having to repeatedly chase students. The process is estimated to cost £150 in staff time per fee collected and it is this inefficiency which is largely to blame for amount lost in uncollected fees.
 
Additionally, there’s no link between the student record system, holding the balance owed, and the certification system. Students therefore can receive their certificate without paying their course fees. Good luck recovering that debt!
 
Here at Monitor IT, as part of our wider cashless solution, we enable students and parents to pay course fees through a self-service portal, online or at a kiosk, improving operational efficiency. With various methods available, we help ensure fees are settled, reducing uncollected fees.
 
More resource can then be directed from administration into educating our nation’s students whose future success will advance the UK economy, strengthen the Treasury’s coffers and eventually, increase funding for education (hopefully!).
 
If you liked this post, please feel free to share. I’d also be interested in hearing about your experiences. Please contact me at neil.bellerby@monitorit.co.uk.
 
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