Cenote, CQ University – Engage, Enrol & Enthuse

How Cenote’s ‘Student Pulse’ Streamlined the CQU Student Enrolment Journey - A Case Study


In his role as Director of Academic Systems & Transformation at CQ University (CQU), there were two areas for Shaune Sinclair around student recruitment management that were time consuming, clunky to deal with and not yielding the viable data in a timely fashion for his Student Engagement Team to act on. 

For CQU, the two target areas around student recruitment were: 

  1. To whom CQU had made an offer and they’d not accepted  
  2. To those students who’d not chosen to re-enrol yet.    

With an enrolment of over 30,000 students across multiple locations in Australia, every single enrolment counts for CQU and its associated communities, especially given the unexpected and ongoing impact of COVID.  

It was important then for Shaune and his teams to ensure they engage, support and enrol all prospective and returning students.


Unifying and streamlining these efforts across a broad and varied landscape with complex issues across multiple locations was a key challenge in enabling CQU’s Student Engagement Teams to track and to personalise engagement with students.  

‘We were dealing with a time intensive process that involved extracting reports, identifying students we needed to reach out to, building lists, tracking and contacting students with only access to phone and email contact’, said Shaune.  

‘Due to the sheer size of the project, we weren’t getting to all our students’. 

CQU began looking for a digital solution with an automated process that would help CQU staff personalise engagement with students, take into account daily changes and provide the latest update of student status with where they were at in their acceptance and enrolment journey.   

In addition to the work of the Student Engagement Team constantly involved in this project, there was a need to build capacity in other CQU staff members who were making only occasional contact with students.   

‘We needed systems and scaffolds for those people to enable them to do a good job. We also needed to extend our contact channels beyond just emails and phone calls to SMS and social media’, said Shaune. 

‘We also needed a solution to work with a very busy work force dispersed across many locations’. 

In October 2021 CQU selected Cenotes Solutions’ ‘Student Pulse’ to address their enrolment and recruitment challenges. By January 2022 ‘Student Pulse’ was live and in action at CQU.


Cenotes’ ‘Student Pulse’ has automated the CQU process of student engagement with regards to accepting offers of enrolment and re enrolment.

This is the result of its easy to use, yet complex query engine. 

The system has many beneficial features including: 

  1. A user-friendly interface making it straightforward and easy to use
  2. It provides teams with access to data that allows staff to make timely and personalised contact with the student while balancing privacy with utility. 
  3. A drop down menu allows staff to track student engagement and record student sentiment while on a call. This provides staff with insight on why students are or are not feeling confident about accepting their offers.

Importantly, access to the data has enabled staff to contextualise the calls made to students which helps students feel they have a connection and that they are known. This replaced the ‘cold call’ quality of the previous contact process. 


The major outcome of the partnership between CQU and Cenotes’ ‘Student Pulse’ has been the management of, access to and delivery of real time recruitment and enrolment data. Not only has this saved over 160 hours of administration time, it has enabled CQU to gain a greater understanding of what challenges may affect the student enrolment journey.


  1. Data analysis that used to take weeks now happens automatically
  2. Staff can react more timely, meaningfully and efficiently to achieve student conversion
  3. Staff have felt more confident and connected with the students       

In terms of enhancing existing operational patterns, ‘Student Pulse’ has allowed Shaune and the CQU staff to know how they are going with student engagement. 

‘This helps us improve student recruitment and more importantly student support mechanisms. The data generated by ‘Student Pulse’ gives us a richer 

profile about each student and how they’re going.’      

All this and in a tight time frame of two months to go live has prompted Shaune to consider what role Cenotes’ ‘Student Pulse’ might have at CQU looking forward. 

‘We may look at how ‘Student Pulse’ can assist with learning analytics and in outbound resource management.’    

‘We’re excited about where this is going to go’, he adds.

This case study was first presented at the EduGrowth and ASCILITE Higher Ed EdTech Showcase Event in 2022 and observes the partnership between Cenote and CQ University.