University of Oxford Reduces E-mail Queries 22%, Trims 13 Weeks from Inquiry Handling
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University of Oxford Reduces E-mail Queries 22%, Trims 13 Weeks from Inquiry Handling

University of Oxford is one of the leading universities in the world. Established more than nine centuries ago, it remains at the forefront of learning, teaching, and research. The university is focused on attracting and recruiting the best quality applicants for graduate and undergraduate study. In 2012, it received more than 17,000 applications for approximately 3,000 undergraduate places and over 19,500 applications for graduate places.

University of Oxford’s Graduate Admissions service sought to increase the efficiency of its online admissions processes by helping prospective students to find information quickly and easily. The university implemented Oracle RightNow Cloud Service and improved service levels, applicant satisfaction, and application processing efficiency. Its e-mail inquiries reduced by 22% and, as a result, staff saved the equivalent of 13 weeks in handling time.




A word from University of Oxford

  • “Oracle RightNow Cloud Service made a significant difference to the service that we provide. It’s now much quicker and easier for prospective students to find the information they want on our admissions Websites, and this allows us to handle e-mail inquiries far more efficiently.”– Jeremy Welch, Services Manager for Graduate Admissions, University of Oxford

  • Recruit and retain the best quality applicants for the University of Oxford’s graduate and undergraduate programs
  • Reduce e-mail inquiries through improved access to Website information
  • Utilize staff resources better for complex inquiries
  • Increase staff efficiency by managing prospective student queries quickly and effectively
  • Enable prospective students to quickly and easily find admissions information online
  • Improve the prospective student experience by offering tailored online information 24/7


  • Reduced e-mail inquiries 22% during a period in which graduate applications rose
  • Saved 13 weeks of university administrative staff time, yearly, through improved productivity
  • Improved service levels and efficiency in processing more than 37,000 applications for graduate and undergraduate programs annually
  • Transformed the university’s online service into a highly interactive, branded experience, using an approach that automatically predicts questions and presents answers
  • Enabled online self-service where possible to increase prospective student satisfaction levels and decrease e-mail and call volumes

Why Oracle

Oracle RightNow transformed the university’s online service across departments, including Graduate Admissions, Undergraduate Admissions, Student Information, and Public Affairs. The intuitive knowledge repository ensures that prospective and enrolled students can find answers to their questions online without needing to contact the university directly.

Oracle RightNow Cloud Service helps track and manage e-mail queries. With each prospective student generating up to six e-mails during the application process, the university’s admissions services receive tens of thousands of e-mails annually. It relies on the Oracle RightNow solution to efficiently manage all e-mails and integrate interactions captured at multiple points.

“We wanted to deliver excellent service online to meet prospective and on-course student expectations in an increasingly online world. I had previous experience with Oracle RightNow, and, having looked at competitive products, we concluded that Oracle RightNow was the superior solution,” said Jeremy Welch, services manager for graduate admissions, University of Oxford.

“The results have been significant,” Welch said. “Historically, the number of queries we receive has always been proportional to the number of applications. With an increase in applications, we would expect an increase in the number of queries. Instead, with Oracle RightNow, we have seen a 22% drop, showing significant reductions in queries per application. That’s a huge efficiency gain and a win/win for students and staff alike.”