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The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has recruited its first virtual member of staff!

“Westie,” the chatbot dog, has been launched to help prospective students successfully apply and enrol at UWS.

Westie engages students in two-way conversation on Facebook Messenger to support them from enquiry right through to enrolment.

The new virtual assistant guides students through key enrolment processes, connects them to on-campus advisors, and is available 24/7, 365 days a year, to answer questions about UWS, student life, campus services, funding advice, housing, and more.

A product of artificial intelligence and supervised machine learning, Westie builds on UWS’s already impressive range of digital services for students.

Bre Edwards, UWS’s Director of Student Life, said: “One of our top priorities is to offer our existing and prospective students a very personalised experience. Automation is one of the many tools that can help us to personalise and tailor services."

“One of our top priorities is to offer our existing and prospective students a very personalised experience. Automation is one of the many tools that can help us to personalise and tailor services."
Bre Edwards, UWS Director of Student Life

"By interacting with students via their preferred method of communication, we are taking an innovative position in the UK to deliver timely, on-demand assistance to every student interested in pursuing postsecondary education at the university.

“Importantly, Westie will also be able to answer many of the frequently asked questions that we receive. He will therefore free up the capacity our support teams to provide an even higher level of personalised support to those who have more complex queries and requirements.”

UWS is one of the UK’s most innovative universities and ranked by Times Higher Education in the top 3% of universities worldwide.

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