See it live: https://apply.stipendiumhungaricum.hu/
Tempus Public Foundation (TPF) is a non-profit organisation established in 1996 by the Hungarian Government, with the task of managing international cooperation programmes and special projects in the field of education (such as the Erasmus+ programme on a national level), training and European Union-related issues. Currently, two of our scholarship programmes are managed through the DreamApply system – including the full application and admission process. The larger one of them is the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme, launched the Hungarian Government in 2013. The core mission of the programme is to increase the number of foreign students in Hungary and to encourage Hungarian higher education institutions to attract top foreign students. Each year, thousands of students from all around the world start their higher educational studies in Hungary with the Stipendium Hungaricum programme. In 2019, we have received more than 28 000 submitted applications and we expect the number of submitted applications to grow each year.
How were things done before DreamApply?
Before the DreamApply system, we used a Hungarian-developed application management system. Due to the growing number of submitted applications and the complexity of our application process, the system was not able to respond to our needs anymore and it also proved to be rather complicated for the students and for our partners to use. Besides, it did not provide us enough flexibility to improve the system further in order to manage some other parts of our application process online. As a result, we decided to switch to a system that is much more capable of satisfying our growing needs – including a continuous support from the developers with a flexible approach to our requests.
Why did you decide to use DreamApply as your application management system? Did the system fulfil all expectations that were promised by the DreamApply team?
Our previous database system, made by our in-house team, was discontinued and as our needs became more complex and diverse, we decided to upgrade our entire system with an outside resource.
We had to find a new way to handle the Summer School applications as well as the course applications from the teachers. After reviewing several options, we found DreamApply to be the best solution for us. We’ve been pleased since making the change. It has been delivered upon our needs and wants.
How have the results been with DreamApply?
We are much satisfied with the DreamApply system and it has completely fulfilled our expectations. It is not only the application process that we manage through the system but the whole admission process and the website also serves as an information base with details about e.g. the universities, study programmes and admission criteria.
One proof of how user-friendly the system is to use is that even though the number of the submitted applications has doubled after we transferred our Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme to DreamApply, the number of student inquiries and the workload of our student advisors (customer service) has remained the same. We estimate that the efficiency of our staff had increased by 40%. Due to the application history logs, journals, instant reports, statistics and diagrams, it is super-easy to follow up what happened and when. Besides, the possibility to send out emails templates in bulk makes our work much less time-consuming.
We also appreciate that the system is really flexible and we can shape it according to our own needs. For example, we are also able to create, download and share tables with filters and columns of our own preference. Customized official documents can also be generated and sent out to the students with just a few clicks.
Results from DreamApply: how does the system benefit different stakeholders you have, applicants, administration, external examiners? How has DreamApply helped you in your recruitment?
The system enables us to provide different type of admin rights flexibly. As a result, we are able to give just the right access to our stakeholders to the data in the system. This is of utmost importance for us as we work with a great deal of stakeholders including partners from almost 70 countries and the staff of 29 Hungarian universities – from administrators to head of departments.
In 2018, we conducted a survey regarding the satisfaction of our partners that also included questions about the introduction of the DreamApply system. The results show that 84.4% of the respondents agree that it was easy to learn how to use and manage the DreamApply online system. The majority of the respondents think that DreamApply is the best solution for the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme. Moreover, we have nearly 500 admin accounts for the universities’ staff who are also very pleased with the system as it helps them to coordinate and conduct the selection and examination process and forward us the results in a fast and simple way. As an example, they are able to share the application materials with the examiners transparently and even comment on the students’ applications. The application is also simple and fast from the applicants’ side and they are even able to self-check due to the task management feature.
The marketing feature of the DreamApply system clearly contributes to our promotional activities. We are able to track the efficiency of our communication channels used for promotion such as tracking the influence of our participation at international educational fairs for students or the statistics about the trends of the website clicks.
DreamApply configuration, usability and support: How do you find our Client Happiness team to be doing alongside the system’s general usability?
We believe that DreamApply is a very easy to use system. The applicants are supported by help-texts and even the admin users are guided by clear instructions embedded in the system and by a separate Knowledge Base website maintained by DreamApply. We are also really pleased to work with the Client Happiness team. It is not an exaggeration to say that in some of the busiest periods of the application rounds, we are in touch with the team on a daily basis and we really appreciate that we always receive an instant reply. We are convinced that the team has a really flexible and supportive approach and they are eager to provide help and find the best solutions in all situations. They have also proved to be fully open to any type of suggestions and new ideas.
To sum up, the DreamApply system is a professional, flexible and easy to use system that is capable of managing a very complex application and admission cycle for tens of thousands of applications a year, including the monitor and follow up of the entire application process and individual applications. The DreamApply cycle starts when the applicants have just begun to look for information about universities and entry requirements or when we provide “tracking codes” for the future applicants at one of our promotional events. The DreamApply experience then goes on through the selection and examination process, followed by the whole notification process and finally, – at least in our case – it only ends after the students arrive to Hungary as even their scholarship contracts are generated and sent through the system. The system is quick and continuously improved with new developments and add-on possibilities – and last but not least – it provides us all tools to fulfil the GDPR requirements and to achieve the maximum level of data safety.Gábor Dobos
Head of Department for Study in Hungary at Tempus Public Foundation