Project Description

Academic Consideration Requests

Industry – Higher Education


Reduction In Process Time


Hours Saved P/A

In Universities, the Student Services unit manages the initial assessments of an Academic Consideration process. The Unit responds to student enquiries and requests for help and support submitted by students as they progress through their courses. Academic Consideration is intended to help minimise the impact of circumstances beyond a student’s control, which significantly impair a student’s ability to complete assessment work, or affect Academic Progress in their subject(s).

COVID-19 created a huge increase in Academic Consideration applications from students.

As part of the application process students are required to provide insight and reasoning into their situation and why they are requesting consideration. Sometimes these reasons are deeply personal, highly sensitive and indicate the student is in deep distress.


  • Email applications are reviewed at least twice a day by a robot

  • Machine Learning categorises requests to assess if the student requires support using risk categorisations of High, Medium, Low or No.

  • All High and Medium applications are referred to a Welfare Co-ordinator to then co-ordinate appropriate support.

  • All Low and No rated applicants are sent a reminder to upload supporting documentation (where needed) and a flyer outlining the support available is sent to Low applicants.

  • If the ML is not confident of the assessment, the application is transferred to a trained staff member to review the assessment.

  • The robot checks for supporting documentation of Low and No rated applications before being assigned to a team member to assess for eligibility, and then referred to the appropriate academic staff for assessment.


  • Increased processing efficiency by automating application triage – Student applications are allocated to the appropriate academic staff for actioning within 24 hours of receipt – previously 60 hours.

  • Improved staff wellbeing and morale – high risk cases are only allocated to those staff who have the appropriate training and Student Service Officers are no longer exposed to traumatic or high risk requests.

  • Better Student welfare outcomes – Students now have the required support they need to match their individual circumstances.


  • Reduced turnaround times for students – 60 hour time saving during peak periods per application – now 12 hours per high risk application.

  • Time saved – 1,600 hours processing time saved per annum.

  • Staff redeployment to focus on critical tasks.

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