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There were 1200 international students during the spring semester 2015 at the University of Lodz (UL). The university wanted to help these students overcome some challenges of studying abroad. When asked about their preferred channel of communication, the majority of the students answered “mobile.” As a result, the University developed a smart mobile application for their university called SmartUni, but it it’s more than just a mobile application. It’s a beacon-enabled app that makes both the university and student experience smarter. And here’s why.
Addressing the need
According to Nielsen, 85% of Generation Y owns smartphones. They’ve grown up in the era of social networks and unlimited access to information, and mobile technology enables them to have such an access anywhere they go—right at their fingertips. Not only do millennials love mobile experience; they love when it’s seamless. And that’s what UL’s app is all about.
SmartUni is a multi-language and interactive campus guide developed by Linteri, a Polish proximity platform provider. The app gathers and displays everything a student needs: a schedule of classes and exams, deadlines, guidelines, announcements, important events, and more. Additionally, it provides information about the city and its attractions, entertainment, transportation, and health services.
Going beyond standards with proximity
To make the student experience even better, the University of Lodz deployed Kontakt.io beacons at its 38 buildings and dormitories. Beacons help navigate the campus and get important things done. As students walk by a beacon, it triggers information about where they are, what they can do there, or how to get to another place.
For example, if you are next to a dean’s office, you’ll effortlessly find out what kind of forms or applications can be completed there. Based on where you are, you get beacon-triggered contextual content that doesn’t require the Internet connection or time to browse the application. It all happens automatically, so you won’t get lost on the campus or in the app.
“We are aware of how important it is to communicate with students using their own channels, and that’s why we launched SmartUni. The mobile app is not enough, though – it is the proximity-aware content that makes the app useful for our students. I am sure it will also contribute to promoting the university and our city among international students in the future”
Liliana Lato, Head of the International Relations Office of UL
SmartUni launched in April 2015. To date, 80% of international students downloaded the app. For these 7 months (including around 3 months of summer vacation!) beacons triggered over 200.000 messages. Users engaged with 47.5% of them—that’s 99 interactions per user!
The app’s usability, proven by these numbers, gained international recognition. On September 8th, SmartUni won second prize in the EUPRIO Awards, the prestigious contest for the most innovative projects focused on student communication in Europe. Congratulations, the University of Lodz, we’re excited to be a part of it!
The SmartUni app is co-funded by the European Union under the European Social Fund.