UL to use SMS to deliver college offers to 3,000 students

13 Aug 2009

The University of Limerick is to use SMS technology to inform up to 3,000 students annually that they have received a CAO (Central Applications Office) place in the college.

The technology has been built using Dublin tech firm Saadian’s technology called Business2Mobile.

“Text messaging is the language of school leavers who are our potential undergraduates so it makes sense to use this text messaging service to communicate with them,” said Joachim Barnet, Office Manager, Undergraduate Admissions Office, University of Limerick.

“The challenge we have is the tight timeframe where between when CAO offers are issued (mid August) and the orientation programme for new students (start of September) annually.

“We are now using Saadian’s Business2Mobile text messaging technology to welcome students who have received a CAO place in our university. The text message includes a web link which brings them to the orientation website with details on the orientation programme and they can also start organising campus accommodation early if needed.

“We feel that contacting students at an early stage in the process can help them to settle more quickly.”

The Access Office at the University of Limerick, which works to encourage and support students, who for a variety of social and economic reasons are under-represented in Higher Education also uses Saadian’s technology.

“We use Business2Mobile in the Access Office to communicate with current Access students and potential Access students using text messaging,” comments Josephine Browne, Access Office Administrator, University of Limerick.

“We believe in keeping up to date with the technology our students use,” Browne added.

Cliodhna McGuirk (pictured), managing director of Saadian, pointed out that some students may not always have access to a PC to read email and may need to be contacted at short notice regarding their CAO place.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years