The Challenge

With more than 30,000 students spread across 25 campuses Australia-wide, CQUniversity has quickly developed from gaining its university-status in 1992 to being one for the top 500 universities in the world.

CQUniversity differentiates itself from its competitors with a unique vision, promoting diversity, inclusivity, community outreach and engagement, as well as being heavily committed to research in multiple disciplines. What also sets it apart from the wider HE market is its speed in embracing new technologies to improve their students’ experiences.

CQUniversity have been working with Squiz for over 5 years, beginning with a website project, but today they utilise the full suite of solutions offered by Squiz, including: Squiz Matrix CMS, Funnelback, Marketo and SugarCRM.

Achieving more through a portal

CQUniversity had an old student portal, which was out-of-date, had very poor UX, and wasn’t mobile compatible. They approached Squiz in November 2016 and asked them to help design and build a new student platform, later to be called 'MyCQU', that would be mobile-responsive, easy-to-use and intuitive to navigate.

The overarching vision for it was that they wanted it to become an extension of their website, with the same look and feel in order to provide a smooth transition between the platforms. For them, this portal should be just another step on the student’s journey and thereby would need to use a single sign-on.

The Solution

Squiz built the 'MyCQU' solution combining Squiz Matrix CMS and Funnelback search platform to deliver a seamless experience for students transitioning between the full website and portal.

To achieve the solution, Squiz worked in collaboration with a consulting company and students to determine the best UX design and navigation experience. The process started in November with iframe creation and portal development, and was followed by a substantial phase of testing on the site deployment and UX before integrating it with Funnelback.

The portal works because it brings together many features that the student might find useful, a feature that's powered by the innovative use of Funnelback. The search platform is capable of handling two-way communication from multiple feeds hosted anywhere across the organisation or externally, bringing everything together into a single interface that's easy for a user to navigate without annoying time lags. The feeds woven together include things such as social media feeds; institutional, academic and social information; as well as personalised information for each student like links to handbooks or their timetables.

The project was designed to dynamic and collaborative, resulting in quick design and deployment phases, and was launched in February 2017 - just 3 months later - to time and to schedule.

The Result

'MyCQU' was warmly welcomed by all students, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. New students rated 'MyCQU' between 3/5 and 4/5, whilst existing students gave it an outstanding 4/5 to 5/5.

With more than 100,000 log-ins per week, the portal has quickly become a key system for students to use during their time at CQUniversity, and has been handling the high-traffic demands without a hiccup.

This was just the first phase of the project and, since the roll-out, Squiz and CQUniversity teams have been working together to prepare for the second phase, focussing on consolidation. The goal of this next stage is to improve student retention by adding significant value to students and, in the process, CQUniversity.

CQU iphone hero

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