Embracing change: How Drupal 8 is transforming the higher education sector?

By Bipasha Baijulal | 27th January 2016 | 4 min read

Colleges and universities were the early adopters of web technology. The education sector, especially the higher education sector, designed customized websites to promote their educational activities, news and events online.

As in the case of any business, the educational industry also faces stiff competition, and this is the reason why they need a flexible and robust website to enhance their reputation. And with more and more audience spending a significant time online, there is a significant need for a scalable and accessible platform for building a website.

At the crux of transformation: Drupal in higher education

Drupal is most relevant for higher education sector because it is, by default, a content management system. With Drupal, it is easy to maintain academic content such as articles, pages, books, research papers, statistics and so on. The “user roles and permissions” provide excellent security and the access to content can be managed from the admin console easily. With every new version, Drupal has become more versatile and powerful enough to spread its wings across new sectors like higher education.

Today, Harvard University, Stanford University, Cambridge and almost 71 out of 100 top universities in the world run on Drupal. As you might already know, universities are a cobweb of diverse departments, students and faculties. This means content management has to be efficient and precise. A powerful and community driven CMS like Drupal can be of great benefit while building a university website.

Why Drupal is best for institutions of higher learning?

Flexible Content management: Campus or university website has to deal with huge amounts of content every day. With a CMS like Drupal 8, you can manage and update content from a central repository. This reduces the effort and time required for managing content. With Drupal anyone can design Pages, Blog entries, posts, and Polls easily. This means you don’t have to rely on IT professionals for managing your daily content. Also you don’t need separate asset management software if you have a Drupal website. Drupal 8 is equipped to produce, manage, distribute and share digital data.

Workflow and access: Since university websites are operated by multiple persons, managing the workflow and access is very important. The new workflow management system in Drupal 8 provides a whole and reliable import and export of all configuration settings, and Git also offers amenities for managing parallel work in different departments.

Managing multiple department sites and administrative sites: Higher educational sectors often need to have multiple niche sites and administrative sites for various departments. Drupal 8 allows you to manage all these multiple sites from a central core. The multi-site module lets you look over the different subsites of the university. Drupal provides the channel for the faculty and other university members to interact with the prospective students, enrolled students, the university members, and the public.

Supporting E-learning and social media interaction: A lot of higher educational institutions promote E-learning and interact with students through the social media. So students can learn and make queries off-campus and this creates a more convenient environment for learning. As a content focussed platform, Drupal 8 makes it simpler to build and maintain social sites that promote online learning.Drupal 8 has a wide range of social networking and community-building modules, such as Facebook-style micropublisher, an activity stream, and a social-sharing toolbar. Any educational institution can leverage Drupal to offer its students online study materials including lesson plans, notes, and even links to reading materials.

Financial advantages: Unlike other CMS, Drupal is a free and community backed platform. The features are regularly updated by developers for free. And in case of any technical snag or query, you can get in touch with the community developers. Drupal websites require very less maintenance and are ranked higher on search engines. So in the long run, a Drupal website is a sensible and modest investment.

In-built marketing tools and mobile-first design: Drupal 8 offers finer search engine optimization features that ensure a wider reach. Since students use their smart devices for reading and browsing, Drupal 8 follows a mobile-first design. Drupal 8’s first priority is to make websites mobile-friendly. With Drupal 8, the university does not have to build a separate design for mobile users. Drupal 8 makes sure that your website fits well and is easy to navigate on different smart devices.

As a Drupal development services company, we help you build an interactive, dynamic and secure website with Drupal 8, thus giving your institution the much-needed competitive edge. If you need a Drupal-powered website for promoting the activities of your university, then please get in touch with us to build a vibrant and interactive website.

References:

Why Drupal is Dominating the Higher Education Sector

Resource Guide: Drupal for Educational Institutions