How RB College defeated Covid-19
Risk management departments working within institutions are responsible for predicting the types of crisis that may arise and impact on the functioning and service delivery of these institutions. As part of the risk management process, they would then develop scenarios, in advance, that would, when implemented, enable them to survive with the least losses. However, many departments did not foresee and therefore were not able to take into account a crisis like Covid-19. Even when it was first reported in China and the first case in the UK was identified in early 2020, no one expected that the whole world would stop completely for months let alone a whole year, with the complete closure of some companies, an accumulation of debts and a loss of billions of pounds.
RB College,UK, is an international business college focusing on spreading the excellence of UK education system through its provision of UK qualifications, university placements, undergraduate and post-graduate programmes, student recruitment and many other educational services. In cooperation with many different education providers in UK, we provide our services and programs worldwide, with our main focus on MENA region and Africa. RB College,UK, was one of these institutions exposed to the corona crisis and whilst it should have logically been affected by it, it was not. Our choice of innovation strategy - over risk management - in all aspects of our institution enabled us to deal with it positively.
We all know that the most effective marketing channels are within the category of Social Media. In order to support our students in getting through their education journey with us peacefully, and in maintaining the continuity of work within the institution during Covid-19, we adopted a new marketing campaign approach. This was characterised by posting stories about students on social media platforms within which each student presents their biography, their educational experience during their study and how the college helped them to gain the knowledge and skills needed to get promotion, increase revenue or expand a business. The campaign slogan is ’I am RBC’. Our aim from these campaigns is to hit many birds with one stone, while we market RB College programmes, we gain the loyalty of our students who then, by word of mouth, generate more leads as we spread in the market rapidly and massively thanks to our students.
Another aspect of our work is how we support and develop our staff. The management of RB College cherish its staff. We care about the psychological side of individuals a lot (Business Development Team -BDT). The principle of leadership within the organisation is based on obtaining the best results, achieving the desired goals and targets by motivating employees and creating a positive and competitive work environment. Our college management team came up with the idea of "The Santa Bell", where the person (BD) who registers a student in an education programmes has the right to ring "Santa Bell", this idea ignites the competition among staff and add a positive atmosphere at work place.
On a financial level, and due to the shortage of liquidity as a result Covid-19 and students’ inability to pay tuition fees as a single payment or even in large instalments, RB College created One To One Finance (OTOF). This is where the student pays the tuition fees in instalments through local finance companies. The finance company then pays the full amount to the college. Additionally, to encourage students to pay their fees without struggling, and not wasting their time or effort, RB College outsourced electronic payment companies to fit and match student’s status wherever they are, so they do not need to visit the campus for any payment or even refund.
We also changed our refund policy. Students who registered for enrolment in one of our programs but were not able to start the course, are entitled to a refund of the whole fees. Students who ask for a fee refund for a range of different reasons, e.g. they started the course but the due to Covid-19 the class-based sessions could not take place and the student did not want to, or could not join, the online session, we handled each case according their needs. This decision was a great risk on our financial status, but it was necessary to take such a decision to reassure students, gain their trust and because the possibility of them being register in our programs when the crisis ends is great. This individualised support has enabled most students to return this academic year to re-register and return to their courses when the lockdown was eased - which is evidence of the bonds of trust between them and the college.
In teaching, the world’s shift to electronic and remote working, including remote study, revealed that the online medium is neither efficient nor attractive. RB College anticipated this problem early on. So they thought of using the same tool (the online communication) in an innovative way to cope with lockdowns and meets the needs of the students. The college switched the curriculum delivery style to include simulation and augmented reality. Both of these facilitates understanding and remembering the presented education material. RB college created the "Coding Technique" to facilitate the assimilation of a large amounts of information in a short period of time, helping students to memorise and retrieve any data when needed, especially in taking exams and tests. Additionally, RB college devised and pioneered the "Trivia App" to make the lectures interactive and engage more students, with the idea to transfer all study materials and questions into learning activity, thereby enabling students to practice for the exams in an enthusiastic and competitive manner.
All these innovative ideas contributed greatly to maintaining the continuity of work. Both college staff and students developed a high level of confidence in the performance of their institution and the strategy adopted by the management team to create more opportunities from the heart of the corona crisis.
Thanks to our innovation strategy, the number of student enquires converting to enrolment and registration increased by 300%. There was also an increase in the percentage of students returning good reviews about how the college performed - especially after the expansion that took place, whether in the classes, new staff hiring during the lockdown, or the internship programs for fresh graduate students. And because we appreciate and cherish our students, the college continues to provide the same educational services, programs and innovation and will continue to add more in the future. RB College was able to stand out from the crowds thanks to its proactive and professional ideas in dealing with the repercussions of the crisis.
RB College is committed to providing a high quality education service and to help its students reach a prestigious position within their communities.