The Connected Campus: The Top 5 Benefits of Unified Communications for Colleges and Universities

2 min read

February 21, 2024

Meaningful conversations occur in university lecture halls and college classrooms worldwide – but they’re not the only vital exchanges of information on campus. Educational institutions are abuzz with communication behind – and beyond – their physical walls, from admissions interviews and financial aid emails to security alerts and event coordination.

Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) tools have become an integral part of modern education, especially since remote learning has expanded the definition of “campus.” Professors lecture from virtual classrooms, deans host Q&A sessions with prospective students worldwide, and students collaborate on projects from the comfort of their homes.

UCC technology makes it easy and seamless for students and staff to connect across the entire campus ecosystem. Integrating communication features like voice calls, video conferencing, group chats, and messaging help create a learning environment that transcends physical boundaries, making education accessible and engaging for all.

Not only that, with the right technology, it enables administrators to provide high-quality learning experiences to students, scale to accommodate periods of peak demand and streamline communications between departments or sites, all while saving on operational costs.

5 Ways Unified Communications Elevates Higher Education

The university experience has been transformed by recent events and the rising prevalence of remote learning, and it will only continue to evolve as technology advances. Here are the top ways unified communications and collaboration solutions will benefit higher education in the coming academic year.

1. Improved Campus Safety and Emergency Response

The safety of students, faculty, and staff is vital on and off campus. UCC solutions go beyond emergency call boxes by integrating notifications, video surveillance, and mass communications. Administrators can quickly disseminate critical information during emergencies, facilitating swift response and evacuation procedures.

Modern UCC technology enables mass notifications on various channels: students on their phones, professors on their laptops, and facilities staff on their walkie-talkies. With additional features like geofencing, messages can be sent using location information for targeted on- and off-campus alerts. Real-time reporting provides insights into notification delivery and confirmation so safety officials can monitor the effectiveness of their response.

2. Streamlined Admissions and Enrollment Processes

Admissions and registration are two of the most important functions of universities and colleges. Unified communications tools enable institutions to connect with prospective students and conduct remote interviews, eliminating geographical barriers and saving time and resources. Online registration helps students enroll in the classes they want while streamlining scheduling.

The seamless integration of UCC technology into administrative systems and applications simplifies behind-the-scenes tasks like scheduling and managing financial aid. Virtual assistants quickly answer routine student questions, transferring more complicated cases to human agents. AI analytics provide insights to accelerate decision-making and improve the overall admissions experience.

3. Better Remote and Hybrid Learning Models

Even though students have returned to the campus, remote and hybrid models still play a pivotal role in making education more accessible to everyone. With conferencing capabilities, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration tools, UCC systems allow students and instructors to engage in interactive and immersive learning experiences regardless of physical location.

Whether collectively editing a shared document or planning a presentation on a video call, students can efficiently work together. Staff and faculty can connect from multiple campus sites to coordinate research, manage course sections, or update grades.

4. Relief of Financial Pressures

Operational costs are rising for universities and colleges worldwide, even as government funding becomes tighter. Balancing budgets while providing high-quality instruction and maintaining cutting-edge research programs is a significant challenge for many educational institutions.

Institutions can make the most of their investments with cost-effective collaboration technology that integrates with their existing systems and applications like Microsoft Teams. Another way organizations can benefit from quality products and competitive pricing is by participating in a cooperative purchasing agreement.

5. Real-time Technological Advances

Colleges and universities, especially research institutions, are expected to be cradles of knowledge and innovation, so keeping up with the rapid pace of technological advancement is crucial. They must continually update their infrastructure, educational tools, and teaching methods to keep pace with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and online learning platforms.

Subscription-based unified communications models can be updated easily, so IT administrators can rest assured that their systems are always running the newest technology.

Make the Grade with Modern Communications Technology

For students worldwide, unified communications and collaboration solutions enhance the university experience on and off campus. As institutions tackle important issues like safety, administration, finances, technology, and teaching methods, UCC makes education more collaborative, innovative, and accessible.

Mitel offers educational institutions the technological tools to facilitate connections between students, faculty, and staff. With customizable, scalable options, Mitel’s UCC solutions increase productivity, enhance safety, and maximize IT investments for educational organizations of all sizes.

To learn how Mitel can set your campus up for success with in-person and remote unified communications and collaboration systems, please contact one of our educational experts today.

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