More than 4000 students have successfully applied for grants so far, which were introduced when remote work was fast becoming the norm and international travel bans placed sudden and severe limitations on resourcing capacity.
After a scoping meeting on Zoom, the university’s robotic process automation (RPA) team came with a process for the Scholarships & Bursaries division to release payments to students faster and more frequently.
It created software bots with Automation Anywhere, taking two days to combine existing tooling with new elements required to complete the bot.
Coupled with the quick build time and turnaround on application processing, the new bot pays out the emergency grants more regularly – up to three times a week compared to once every fortnight as was the case before COVID-19.
It also automatically validates students’ bank details, notifying them if incorrect details are supplied and releasing the funds when the correct information is confirmed.
“The bot has been a godsend for the scholarships office, drastically reducing our workload and ensuring students get paid their COVID-19 grants in a much quicker time frame then we would otherwise be able to do,” the University said.