Posts tagged "Higher Education"

Higher Education Solution Briefs

There are three new Higher Education Solution Briefs available. Although these originate from the US, and reference US institutions, there are many similarities with the UK market. The three briefs are as follows:


Adobe SearchCenter+ Adds Keyword Performance Predictive Analytics

At first sight this might not appear to be particularly relevant to the Education sector, but as Universities and Colleges compete to attract and retain students, ramp up their marketing activities and seek to develop revenue streams from international students; so the Adobe Online Marketing Suite has a role to play.

Partnership with OptiMine Enables Search Marketers to Significantly Increase Paid Search Performance

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sept. 7, 2011 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that Adobe® SearchCenter+, a comprehensive search marketing management system within the Adobe Online Marketing Suite, has added keyword performance predictive analytics through a partnering agreement with OptiMine Software, Inc. This agreement will enable search marketers to achieve significant increases in paid search performance (i.e. higher return on ad spend, increased leads, higher conversion rates, increased revenue, greater profit per keyword, etc.). Tests done with search marketers using OptiMine’s keyword modeling have shown improved performance of 25 percent or more.

“Digital marketers are examining their paid search spend in the context of many other digital channels, like social, display and email,” said John Mellor, vice president of business development, Omniture Business Unit, Adobe. “Having the ability to predict the return on paid search becomes critically important when deciding on marketing mix and budget allocation. SearchCenter+ helps our customers spend their paid search budget on keywords that will impact the metrics most important to their business.”

The addition of OptiMine predictive keyword analytics to SearchCenter+ is particularly powerful for Adobe customers because SearchCenter+ captures the actual performance of each keyword in every one of the customer’s paid search campaigns. The OptiMine algorithms will now leverage SearchCenter+ keyword performance data, giving these algorithms a highly valuable data source to more accurately predict keyword performance and automatically generate optimal bids accordingly. Adobe customers can begin adding this new feature to their SearchCenter+ contracts immediately.

“We are delighted to partner with Adobe SearchCenter+ and believe the relationship validates the significant customer returns generated through our unique ability to automatically model every keyword,” said Jim Moar, chief executive officer, OptiMine. “The integration of our automated bid optimization coupled with SearchCenter+’s robust data will enable Adobe’s Online Marketing Suite customers to be even more successful.”

About the Adobe Online Marketing Suite
The Adobe Online Marketing Suite, powered by Omniture®, offers an integrated and open platform for online business optimization, a strategy for using customer insight to drive innovation throughout the business and enhance marketing efficiency. The Suite consists of integrated applications to collect and unleash the power of customer insight to optimize customer acquisition, conversion and retention efforts as well as the creation and distribution of content. For example, using the Suite, marketers can identify the most effective marketing strategies and ad placements as well as create relevant, personalized and consistent customer experiences across digital marketing channels, such as onsite, display, email, social, video and mobile. The Suite enables marketers to make quick adjustments, automate certain customer interactions and better maximize marketing ROI, which, ultimately, can positively impact the bottom line

Digital Publishing Suite for Education

Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite is a complete solution that lets educational institutions create, distribute, monetise, and optimise publications for tablet devices.

  • Deliver engaging, university-branded reading experiences on an array of mobile devices — including Apple iPad, Android™, and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
  • Efficiently author publications and documents using familiar Adobe Creative Suite® 5.5 components.
  • Use flexible distribution models to publish single issues and subscriptions directly and through application marketplaces like the Apple App Store, Android Market, and BlackBerry App World.
  • Optimise editorials and boost readership with robust analytics based on Adobe Online Marketing Suite, powered by Omniture®.

There are a number of University case studies now available including:

Clemson University
Alumni magazine – Clemson World

San Francisco State University – Journalism Department
Journalism Students publishing campus magazine

London School of Marketing: Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance & Business Law
Exam Preparation Kit:

Vancouver Film School
Student showcase of industry partnerships

Emerson College: School of Journalism
Showcase of work produced by faculty and staff:
Article: Emerson College Journalism Department Launches EC Journalism – a Free iPad App to Showcase Student Work:

University of Rochester: Rochester Review  
Alumni, Students campus publication

Temple University
Campus information and directory

University of Dayton:
Alumni and Student Recruitment magazines: University of Dayton Viewbook

Showcase: University of Michigan

“With Adobe software, I see students creating extraordinary research projects — and honing their ability to understand the relationships between technology and the humanities.”

Professor Eric S. Rabkin
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of English Language and Literature
Department of English, University of Michigan

Products used

  • Acrobat
  • Creative Suite
  • Dreamweaver
  • Flash Professional
  • Photoshop

University of Michigan Humanities students explore complex interrelationships between technology and humanities using Adobe Creative Suite 5 and Adobe Acrobat Pro software

How do the different tools we use shape us? Can unfamiliar technologies foster new ideas? Professor Eric S. Rabkin and his upper-level students at the University of Michigan’s Department of English explore these questions and others in Rabkin’s Technology and the Humanities and Literary Research and Computers classes. Using components of Adobe Creative Suite 5 and Adobe Acrobat Pro software, students develop valuable technical and scholarly skills in researching advanced subjects in the humanities. As part of the learning process, students present their research projects using Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Dreamweaver CS5, and Acrobat 9 Pro software.

“The courses using Adobe software foster sharpened analytical skills and technical mastery of technologies for collaboration. Adobe software also helps students manipulate, analyze, and present electronic data around humanities topics,” says Rabkin. “Students leave the courses with technical, highly desirable interactive communication skills that a student in a traditional humanities program might not otherwise possess.”


  • Employ Adobe Creative Suite 5 and Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro to enable students to create rich-media presentations and showcase their research
  • Brought real-life meaning to the relationships between technologies and humanities
  • Enabled students to communicate complex opinions, arguments, and positions in creative, impactful ways
  • Helped students develop transferrable technical skills using industry-standard software
  • Fostered students to learn new technology to better understand not only how a new technology but any technology can shape thoughts, expectations, and behaviors

 Project Details

Technology as teacher
The Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan has long been recognized as one of the top English departments in the United States. Professor Rabkin joined the Michigan faculty in 1970 and he is well known for his large, popular lecture courses on science fiction and fantasy and for his many teaching innovations. Recently, Rabkin received the Golden Apple Award, given annually by students to the most outstanding teacher at the university.

Continuing his legacy of innovative teaching and educational leadership, Professor Rabkin wanted to help the students in his Technology and the Humanities and Literary Research and Computers courses develop both technical and critical reasoning skills, and understand the impact evolving tools have on the study of humanities. Rabkin’s philosophy is that technology can easily become transparent to humans, and once it does, people begin making unconscious assumptions about it. “For instance, when viewers watch a black-and-white movie from the 1920s, they don’t wonder why it is not in color; however, when they see Schindler’s List, produced in 1993, many ask themselves why isn’t this in color?,” he explains. “Technology blends into the background until a disconnect occurs and jars us; then it springs into our consciousness.”

The medium is the message
With this philosophy in mind, part of Rabkin’s goal is to take students out of their technological comfort zones and help them personally experience how using new tools can shape research and communication of knowledge. Instead of having his students write traditional papers, he requires them to produce multimedia presentations that require learning new software — Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Dreamweaver CS5, and Flash Professional CS5 — including delving into programming in ActionScript. According to Rabkin, when students use new, unfamiliar technologies, it mimics the challenges societies face when assimilating new tools.

“Through these courses, students better understand not only how a new technology but any technology can shape thoughts,” says Rabkin. “In order to communicate well, people today need to be aware of all the media choices available. With Adobe software, I see students creating extraordinary research projects — and honing their ability to understand the relationships between technology and the humanities.”

Humanities concepts brought to life
After an initial five-week technology introduction, students spend the remainder of the semester defining, researching, and developing multimedia projects, including websites and their associated materials. Individual projects explore the humanistic implications of some chosen technology. Group projects collaboratively tackle some major subject in the humanities. Students are required to complete both individual and group projects. These vary widely by topic and implementation.

To realize the full value and benefit of his innovative course requirements, Rabkin must provide students with software to promote collaboration and enable them to work in an integrated environment — all while preserving the integrity of originally sourced materials and subject matter. Adobe Creative Suite 5 provides the features and flexibility his students require to generate interactive presentations and explore the boundaries of their creativity and critical thinking skills. Adobe software also works seamlessly across computer platforms to help ensure that students have consistent, reliable access to advanced creative tools.

Individual student projects begin with a written proposal defining a technology and offering preliminary suggestions about how to explore its humanistic implications. Projects have dealt with technologies such as movies with sound, the cantilever, the pulley, the LED, relational databases, and other now-standard technologies. Group projects vary widely by topic, but consist of two parts: the final group product and an analysis discussing or demonstrating one or more theoretical problems encountered in producing the product.

For both project types, students use Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Flash Professional CS5, and Dreamweaver CS5 to create interactive, animated assets that comprise part of their presentation. Animated and video assets created using Adobe software are published on websites to make up the final product. All source materials included in a project must be properly cited, and students have the option to select Adobe Acrobat Pro to produce PDF versions of their bibliographies.

Breakthroughs using new tools
The results of incorporating technology into the English curriculum at the University of Michigan have been profound. Students and groups in Rabkin’s classes have explored concepts as complex and diverse as the line between human and artificial intelligence, how Shakespeare altered history to fit his artistic purposes, and what might happen beyond the grave. One student group was awarded a Computerworld Smithsonian Award for their work.

“I am constantly impressed with what students accomplish when they overcome a lack of familiarity with new technology,” says Rabkin. “Using Adobe software, students are bringing real-life meaning to the relationship between new technologies and humanity and communicating complex ideas in creative ways. At the same time, they are building transferrable skills that are invaluable in today’s technology-immersed world.”

Indiana University Creates iPAD Application

Using the Digital Publishing Suite, Indiana University has created an iPad app - IU Libris – with three publications available for download.
Take a look on iTunes

Indiana University used the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite which is an ideal solution for iPADs and other Tablet devices. here’s some more information:

Transform print publications for tablet devices

Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite is a complete solution that lets media and business publishers create, distribute, monetize, and optimize publications for tablet devices.

  • Deliver engaging, publisher-branded reading experiences on an array of mobile devices — including Apple iPad, Android™, and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
  • Efficiently author publications and documents using familiar Adobe Creative Suite® 5.5 components.
  • Use flexible commerce models to sell single issues and subscriptions directly and through app marketplaces like the Apple App Store, Android Market, and BlackBerry App World.
  • Optimize your editorial and boost advertising revenue with robust analytics based on Adobe Online Marketing Suite, powered by Omniture®.

Learn more about the hosted services and viewer technology of Digital Publishing Suite:

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

Two editions now available: new Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition


Innovative reading experiences

Publish titles with eye-catching interactive elements, such as 360-degree rotation and panoramas, without sacrificing brand integrity. Distribute content in a publisher-branded viewer with innovative display and navigation options.

Broad reach

Attract and retain high-value readers and advertisers by publishing content on the most popular tablet devices, including iPad, Android, and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, as well as through mobile marketplaces such as the Apple App Store, Android Market, and BlackBerry App World.

UCISA – Top 12 IT Concerns

UCISA has just published their annual research into member concerns. There are several differnt categories of concerns which are worth reading at:

What I’ve done below is to take the consolidated Top 12 issues and associated commentary. It makes interesting reading:

Based on the results from the voting from four different perspectives the following represents the Top Twelve concerns of the UCISA community. This ranking takes into account the combined scores, the average rankings and the comments and views expressed by the membership during the compilation of the survey.

Overall top twelve

Rank Concern
1 Ongoing funding and sustainable resourcing of IT
2 Delivering services under severe financial constraint
3 Providing a quality, resilient service
4 IT Strategy and planning
5= Business systems to support the institution
5= Organisational change and process improvement
7 IT/IS service quality
8= Benchmarking, costing and value for money
8= Mobile computing, anytime, anywhere computing, home working
10= Cloud, managed services and alternative service delivery models
10= Use of technology in teaching
12 Governance of IT

Full text of the Top Twelve concerns

Ongoing funding and sustainable resourcing of IT
Ranking: 1st
Concern number: 1

The challenges for IT/IS Departments to secure an appropriate level of funding to deliver the services required by their institution have been exacerbated by the current economic environment. IT/IS Directors are faced with increasing demands on and expectations of the services and infrastructure for which they are responsible. A number of institutions have already made cuts to service department budgets and further cuts are expected. Any capital funding that is available will have to demonstrate a return on the investment made and will not be supported by an increase in recurrent funding. IT will have to be more accountable for its cost, focus on process efficiencies, seek economies through standardisation, look for collaboration/outsourcing opportunities, ensure return on investment and improve its communication and influencing skills across the institution.  IT Management needs to ensure that it has the necessary skills and experience to respond to this changing environment to ensure ongoing investment to renew and refresh the institution’s IT infrastructure and to maintain and grow services.

Delivering services under severe financial constraint
Ranking: 2nd
Concern number: 3

The demand for IT services continues to increase as the use of core systems matures and develops and new opportunities arise (for example mobile computing). At the same time supplier maintenance and licensing costs continue to rise and are difficult to control, the infrastructure is aging, and the task of upgrading (for example to Windows 7) is becoming unmanageable using existing methods. As students increasingly act as customers their expectations of service delivery will rise, which IT will be challenged to achieve against a backdrop of reduced funding.

So far many of us have been asked to do more with less; this has in turn led to some ICT departments undertaking restructuring. Some restructuring has been implemented at an institutional level with some members reporting a move towards corporate services being managed centrally and delivered locally. At what point does doing more with less become unsustainable and services have to be cut? Which services or which staff should go? Are we entering into an era of mergers? How do we respond effectively to the impact of the national funding situation at a local level whilst supporting an institution which is seeking to improve quality?

Providing a quality, resilient service
Ranking: 3rd
Concern number: 9

IT systems have now become so critical to the running of the university that service availability is of paramount importance. Downtime equates to loss of income with staff and students being unable to progress their work. Achieving robust, reliable and resilient applications and IT infrastructure is of crucial importance.

Modern systems can incorporate many high availability features such as redundant hardware components, clustering etc. and basic machine availability is now very high. The need to apply regular critical patch sets can compromise the gains in up-time of such systems, particularly as applying the patches often requires systems to be removed from service. IT/IS departments need to design and configure their systems so that patching time does not become a significant cause of service unavailability.

IT/IS departments should consider adopting appropriate technologies and architectures for their applications, IT infrastructure and operating processes to ensure that system availability meets their institution’s requirements.

System resilience and availability must be considered at the outset of IT projects and project budgets should include the funding necessary to provide this.

Given the criticality of IT infrastructure and services to our institutions, how do we manage and deliver the services while protecting service levels and quality? How do we ensure that the infrastructure in particular is capable of supporting our needs over the long term and under the pressures from the funding situation?

IT Strategy and planning
Ranking: 4th
Concern number: 7

The IT/IS Strategy needs to be aligned to the institution’s strategic aims and its plans for achieving those objectives. However this continues to be a major challenge within institutions. Institutional strategies still tend to be developed in isolation or, during periods of major turnover of senior institutional staff, are unclear or absent. Strategic opportunities such as CRM and data integration are agreed in principle but lack senior sponsorship. Active projects lack senior management drive with the risk that significant opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness will be lost.

Senior IT/IS staff should be included in the development of the institution’s strategic objectives and plans. The importance of a well-articulated and practiced planning process is critical. This planning process should ensure that the vision of how IT/IS might help transform an institution is considered and, where accepted, embedded in the institution’s strategic plan. The plan should be formally adopted and approved and inform the senior decision makers in the institution about the medium and long-term value of IT/IS (see Governance).

IT/IS Departments need to work to support their institution in the achievement of its strategic objectives by the appropriate and timely delivery of supporting technology, systems and services. Where IT/IS provision is highly devolved it may be more difficult to bring together a coherent institutional IT strategy and plan.

It is important to include some strategic consideration of sourcing within the IT/IS Strategy. Should services be provided though in-house effort, might they be provided by a contracted external supplier or might they be provided in cooperation with like-minded organisations through a shared services model?

Strategic plans need to be flexible and responsive to the sometimes sudden changes in institutional strategy.

Developing strategies and plans that support the institution and provide a flexible and agile framework in which to operate is going to be key over the next few years. Are the planning processes in institutions mature enough to deliver? How will the success be evaluated? Are there the mechanisms in place to review the service portfolio and get agreement on services that can be withdrawn?

Business systems to support the institution
Ranking: Equal 5th
Concern number: 21

Whether an HEI is using an ERP system or an integrated set of applications from potentially different manufacturers, projects related to these business support systems demand large and sustainable investment and commitment by institutional and IT/IS leadership, both throughout and after implementation. Some of the questions that need to be addressed when considering or implementing the core systems include the following:

  • What are the mission-critical factors driving your institution’s position on business support systems? What service and process improvements are expected for successful implementation? Are there viable alternatives, such as enhancing existing systems? 
  • If a decision has been made to implement a new system, could you develop one in-house, or should you buy off-the-shelf? Given the complexity and maintenance challenges of integrated administrative systems, does building in-house remain a viable option, even for large IT/IS departments? If you are purchasing a commercial product, would you customise? If you are considering a software package of integrated systems, will the functionality of the package expand to accommodate integration of course management systems, portals, smart cards, and so forth? 
  • Is your institutional leadership committed to the decision and implementation? Will the decision survive changes in leadership and management? Will the implementation team include participation by stakeholders from both technical and functional areas? How will their expectations be managed? Do you have a solid implementation plan? Does it include a communication plan to keep all constituencies informed and committed? 
  • Have you resolved data-ownership issues? Have you considered converting and/or archiving years of legacy data? Will you need a data warehousing system too?
  • Does the new system fit your institution’s technical strategy at the back-end and network levels? Does the system align with preferred data-handling strategies, such as authentication, security, and privacy?
  • Will your institution adapt its business processes to the best or effective practices configured in the solution you implement to minimise or avoid customisation? Are the new functional and system requirements realistic? Will your institutional leadership support needed business process changes?
  • Is your institution ready for the upgrades and changes that have happened during your implementation? Do you have sustainable resources to improve the system and keep up the users’ productivity in the new environment?

Organisations need to consider how to make use of facilities within these systems to address cross-functional issues such as information management reporting and KPI dashboards, CRM, workflow, self-service facilities and interfaces.

As organisations increase their focus on systematic approaches to excellence in performance, effective deployment of core business support systems will continue to be a strategic priority.

Organisational change and process improvement
Ranking: Equal 5th
Concern number: 25

In some universities and colleges, organisational structure and lines of accountability are undergoing major change. It is important that this is done in an ordered way and that IT/IS is fully integrated into these changes. There are important questions such as what kind of organisational structure and culture is now appropriate in the HE/FE context, how different is this from current structures (if at all) and how do we address and deliver any change required?

In addition, it is recognised that many processes within universities and colleges are not efficient. Adoption of Lean and similar approaches has led to significant improvements in efficiency in many institutions, cost savings and increased customer satisfaction. IT/IS departments continue to play a key role in process improvement in their institutions.

Many universities have a federated feel with distributed domains of control, often with their own sources of income.  This, and the often siloed nature of a university support organisation, makes gaining agreement on efficient joined up processes difficult.  But this is necessary if we are to meet the challenges of the future and meet the expectations of our customers

IT/IS departments have to provide and support continual process improvement to the university with IT fully aligned to the overall business strategy. In the same vein, IT strategy and planning has a key role in delivering that change, driving out process improvements and delivering efficiencies through technology, including the reuse of data and maximising the use of existing software in more creative ways.

IT/IS service quality
Ranking: 7th
Concern number: 15

Many of the leading IT service providers base their service delivery on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and achieving certification for the corresponding international and national standards (such as ISO 20000). ITIL and ISO 20000 provide a professional framework for the delivery of IT services and are increasingly being used as vehicles to improve service delivery to the high standards expected.

IT/IS departments within the HE sector need to consider how to develop their delivery services within the ITIL framework. There is a need to build a credible level of professionalism and consistent service levels. There need to be recognised qualifications and career pathways for all IT/IS-related staff within the organisation.

Developing staff and services to achieve these standards presents a substantial challenge: it takes time and effort to bring about such changes; in some cases, the existing culture may be unsupportive.

Benchmarking, costing and value for money
Ranking: Equal 8th
Concern number: 2

The pressure on budgets brings a greater demand for IT/IS Directors to demonstrate that they are providing value for money. In order to do this they need to establish the costs associated with services, to be able to benchmark them against externally provided services, and to justify investment in new infrastructure against the potential for shared services or hosted provision of services, systems and infrastructure etc.  IT Directors need to be sure that they are confident in the financial figures and know how to use them. Are there good bodies of data to allow benchmarking between institutions and/or comparison with other sectors?

Are there sound methods of costing available? How do you demonstrate value for money?

Mobile computing, anytime, anywhere computing, home working
Ranking: Equal 8th
Concern number: 13

The increase in the use of mobile devices, be they smart phones, laptops or iPads brings significant support issues. How do we deal with the variety of devices and permit connection to the institutional network? Wireless networks in institutions need to be pervasive and cope with huge increases in connections. Appropriate security policies need to be in place as mobile data is much less secure.

The rise of the iPad and other appliance devices looks inevitable at this stage, and the very existence of general purpose computers (desktop or portable) is looking less secure.  The dramatic drop in price means that more and more staff and students are willing to invest their own money in personal IT which they will wish to interface to our systems – and for it to work wherever they are.  At the same time, the conventional model of client computing will wane and lose the economies of scale it has enjoyed as more people move towards appliances. New device formats bring the challenge of providing generic and useful services in a diverse environment.

The challenges of occasionally working at home and home working (where the worker is based at home for the majority of their working day) need to be addressed. There are also particular health and safety matters that need to be considered for home workers.

IT/IS departments need to develop policies to manage anytime, anywhere, using anything computing which address these issues. IT/IS departments need to support their institutions in developing their policies for occasional working at home, and home based workers.

Cloud, managed services and alternative service delivery models
Ranking: Equal 10th
Concern number: 17

Outsourcing and cloud computing can provide an opportunity to reduce operating costs and release staff to new tasks.  However, these models also presents a range of issues (perhaps most noticeably when operating environments are provided as a service, but applications for business and infrastructure remain in house). 

Such services need to be underpinned by mature service management processes from both the provider and the institution.  Is your institution ready? Does your institution have the staff skills required to manage an application in the Cloud?    What are your institution’s commitments to the vendor and what is your exit strategy?  

Use of technology in teaching
Ranking: Equal 10th
Concern number: 34

Virtual learning environments are now embedded in higher and further education institutions to support learning. They are now being supplemented by a range of other services available at low or no cost to the user such as YouTube, iTunesU etc. The growth in the use of mobile devices also offers opportunities for introducing new teaching methods, particularly in the field. There are a number of issues under this topic:

  • How do you encourage academic staff to adopt new technologies?
  • Should the institution exert a level of control over the use of external services in order to protect its intellectual property?
  • What policies should be in place regarding the use of social media by an institution’s staff in general and regarding the interaction with students in particular?
  • How can lecture capture be managed in cost effective way?

Governance of IT
Ranking: 12th
Concern number: 4

How should institutions achieve a workable decision making structure around investment in developing enterprise wide IT systems? Should IT departments be providing leadership and, if so, what options for structures for IT Governance can we agree with our colleagues for this purpose? How do we resolve competition for IT support between core academic areas and revenue generating activities such as summer schools, executive degrees etc? How do we make sure that the business cases for new university franchises overseas take cognisance of the IT support and development costs required?

IT/IS Governance encompasses giving the strategic direction, developing and owning the organisation’s IT/IS Strategy, negotiating an investment plan for IT/IS, appropriate monitoring of and support for the IT/IS department, definition of governance standards and reviewing organisational structures and reporting lines to ensure that IT/IS has the correct level of direction and empowerment to be able to perform effectively. Proper governance ensures that IT/IS is accountable to the organisation for the services and levels of service it provides. IT/IS Governance is a key factor in providing accountability; it allows the organisation to assess its IT/IS department’s performance and helps the IT/IS management team to deliver focussed service improvement programmes.

Omniture: Why use it in HE/FE?

When you understand what Omniture does the answer to the question is fairly obvious, especially in these days of tight budgets and the need to attract and retain students. here is a case study from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia explaining how they used Omniture to increase their online submissions; thereby attracting and retaining the best students – a competitive edge.

Murdoch University Success Story

Here’s an extract ……………..

One of Australia’s leading research institutions, Murdoch University wanted to relaunch its brand, including rebuilding its main website designed to communicate with multiple audiences. The university implemented the Adobe Online Marketing Suite as a solution for its online acquisition, analytics, and conversion efforts.

Leading research university increases online applications by 28% with a targeted campaign microsite


Murdoch University had a core online focus on improving the user experience of its website, including the relevance of its content, which would in turn yield greater conversion and increase submitted online applications from prospective students. However, Murdoch not only had to focus on making content to various external audiences relevant, it also needed to ensure that staff and student-focused content was easily accessible and digestible. “Like many Universities, we have hundreds of sites structured organisationally with varied branding and an inconsistent user experience. Part of our strategy is to move to a main external facing site, and a main internal facing site, that serve our vast pool of visitors in a more coherent fashion,” explains Tim Elleston, senior eBusiness manager for Murdoch University. “We set out to acquire the best-in-class tools to help our online team efficiently analyse, understand and optimise the online content we delivered, all backed by a user-centric and best practice approach.”

After using Google Analytics, the university realized it needed a more robust and customizable analytics solution to get a clearer view of engagement, conversion, and abandonment. Understanding user behavior, where visitors were coming from, what they interacted with on the site, and from where and why they tended to leave was paramount to success. Finally, the online team wanted to improve its efficiency and responsiveness by having a single, fully integrated measurement platform for optimization, natural and paid search, campaign activity, testing, targeting, and email.


• Leveraged the Adobe Online Marketing Suite to gain a broader understanding of internal and external audience needs and to optimize content by audience

• Worked with Adobe SiteCatalyst and Discover for real-time analytical insight into visitor activity across the entire online presence

• Selected Adobe Test&Target to modify and target content to distinct audience segments and Adobe SearchCenter + to increase return on ad spending and paid search campaign performance

• Implemented an Adobe Genesis integration with marketing email provider ExactTarget to optimize and target email content


• Increased seasonal campaign online application submission rates by 28% through testing and optimization of microsite content

• Improved content relevance and conversion after targeting home page content to visitors based on category affinity and previous site visits

• Streamlined marketing efficiency through better informed online content decisions

• Targeted reengagement messaging to prospective graduate students who had previously started an online university application without completing it, which converted 34% of these prospects

Adobe Video Solutions in Education

Hee are some great references for Adobe Video Solutions, including Bournemouth University here in the UK. Adobe Video Solutions Help Higher Education Institutions Develop the Art of Filmmaking

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Adopted by 10 Additional Leading Schools Worldwide and Rapidly Gaining Momentum in Video Industry

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that the company is working with leading higher education institutions worldwide to expand their video and film programs to better equip students to learn the art of filmmaking.

“We are proud to continue our dynamic and long-standing relationship with Adobe, a company whose unswerving commitment to innovation gives our students the tools to build new worlds and tell stories that resonate with audiences everywhere.”

Institutions have recently adopted Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS5 into their curriculum due to its technical leadership and efficient approach to filmmaking. A few of the institutions include (see full list below):

  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • Ball State University

Key innovations and cross-platform performance in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 help address the needs of today’s student filmmaker. These innovations include:

  • Multi-core and native 64-bit support
  • GPU-acceleration with the new Adobe Mercury Playback Engine
  • Native editing of DSLR and file-based media
  • Unparalleled integration with other Adobe software such as Adobe After Effects® and Adobe Photoshop® Extended

These features and functionality accelerate workflows from scriptwriting through post-production, dramatically increase productivity, and provide the power to help students craft great stories while creating engaging media for virtually any screen.

Adobe Solutions at Work in Film & Television Programs

  • The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television will mark its collaboration with Adobe by expanding the school’s interdisciplinary curriculum to include the latest Adobe Creative Suite® Production Premium software in its leading Film and Television programs, including Production, Animation and Digital Media. The expansion will also include the opening of a new Digital Lab for Cinema Media Studies and Research, which will feature Production Premium software as its primary editing platform. In addition, TFT is installing this latest technology in all of its Digital Post Production Student Editing Suites and Post Production Lab for New Media.
  • USC’s School of Cinematic Arts has added Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, along with Cineform NEO 3D Plug-In to incorporate stereoscopic editing and playback in the new 3D training and screening facilities. Additionally, they have made a commitment to integrate the use of the professional video suite by Adobe into their non-linear editing labs in multiple programs across the school, including the USC Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML).
  • Ball State University created the Digital Corps, a mix of professionals and students who provide support and training for the University community, to integrate training for Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects and Flash® Professional into the curriculum and help facilitate interdepartmental collaboration.
  • An agreement also has been made with California-based Chapman University and Vancouver Film School in Canada to include Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 in the film, television and media arts programs.
  • Additionally, AFI Conservatory, a program of the American Film Institute, has been using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 along with Adobe After Effects in its teaching curriculum.
  • Outside the United States, many other prestigious institutions have recently started teaching and/or using Adobe Premiere Pro in their film and television programs, including Sheridan College in Canada; Bournemouth University and University College Falmouth in the United Kingdom and Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam University in the Netherlands.

Adobe certification programs take learning a step further by offering faculty and student recognition as technology experts, helping them stand apart from their peers in a competitive job market. Adobe now offers English, French and German versions of the Adobe Certified Associate credential for Adobe Premiere Pro certification.


Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts

  • “We are proud to continue our dynamic and long-standing relationship with Adobe, a company whose unswerving commitment to innovation gives our students the tools to build new worlds and tell stories that resonate with audiences everywhere.”

Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

  • “At TFT, we are dedicated to developing and training the next generation of outstanding, innovative humanistic storytellers. Keeping pace with explosive technological change, in service of master visual storytelling, is one key to implementing this important strategy. Without question, Adobe is an ideal partner for us in this effort as we have historically used its innovative software in several of our programs. TFT is especially thrilled by this latest alliance as Adobe continues to prove that it understands the forces shaping the film, television and digital entertainment industries for now and the future. The clarity and ease of use of Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 gives us a great platform for teaching our students the art of storytelling, which is where it all begins.”

Matthijs Clasener, teacher of the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam University in the Netherlands

  • “Adobe has been in our school for as long as I can remember. All different kinds of software from Adobe sum up to a clear and understandable workflow for our students. We are happy to welcome Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 in our Filmmaking and Animation course. And now the Mercury Playback Engine will make things even better and faster.”

Jim Guerard, vice president and general manager for Dynamic Media, Adobe

  • “Companies all over the world seek professionals who can create and deliver compelling video, motion graphics, visual effects and interactive experiences to engage their audiences. By integrating Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 into their curriculum, coupled with Adobe certification, these top institutions are producing students ready for careers in any field.”

Helpful Links

Spending Review: Where did the Axe fall?

Where did the spending review Axe fall as far as Education is concerned? All the spending review details published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies can be found at:

For Education specifically, here are the details:

Graduates and Universities:

Under proposals released today by the Browne Review of higher education funding and student finance, graduates would expect to pay on average at least £5,300 more for their degree, according to analysis by IFS researchers. However, the lowest-earning graduates would be protected from the burden of increased debt and would actually pay less than under the current system.

Despite the proposed increase in tuition fees to £6,000 or above, universities would not be likely to see any benefit: they would need to charge fees of £7,000 or more in order to recoup their losses from proposed cuts in public funding. The real winner of the proposed reforms is the Exchequer, which would save up to £6,000 on the cost of a degree for each student. 

Download full version (PDF 428 KB)

A Progressive Graduate Tax?

Lord Browne’s recommendations for higher education funding have provoked controversy. The potential sharp increase in tuition fees has grabbed the headlines, but another proposed measure has also received considerable attention: increasing the interest rate on student loans to 2.2% above RPI inflation. There have also been criticisms of the review’s alleged lack of focus on the potential for a graduate tax. In this Observation, we explore both issues in some detail.

Full article at:

Pupil Premium:

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg confirmed that the Government will introduce a ‘pupil premium’ in England. This will provide extra money to state schools for each pupil from a disadvantaged background.The Department for Education is currently consulting on the design of this pupil premium, and today IFS researchers publish their response to the consultation. Its two key conclusions are that:

  • Overall, it would be broadly ‘progressive’ in the sense that the average percentage increase in funding would be greater for schools that are more deprived;
  • But schools in more deprived areas would, under the proposed model, receive a smaller pupil premium than similarly-deprived schools in more affluent areas.

Luke Sibieta, a co-author of the report and a senior research economist at IFS, said:”The pupil premium proposed by the Government would be broadly progressive since more deprived schools have many more pupils who would attract additional funding. That the pupil premium should be higher in less deprived areas is hard to justify: it would widen inequalities in funding for deprived pupils, rather than reduce them. Attaching the same pupil premium to all disadvantaged pupils regardless of where they live would not only be simpler, it would also be more consistent with the Government’s stated objectives.”Download full version (PDF 824 KB)