It is becoming a common practice in the education industry, both in public and private institutions, to redesign processes with new technologies in order to reduce costs and get rid of bureaucratic procedures. Using the electronic signature is one of those improvements introduced.
In this post we want to explain how the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) has joined this digital trend, collaborating in a project with Signaturit to carry out the process of signing internship agreements by students online.
This Client Story is also available in Spanish
The Autonomous University of Barcelona, an example of digital innovation in university education
Society is currently at a decisive time of social and technological change that represent a challenge for the education industry.
In this new context, it is necessary to modify both teaching methods, and the traditional sequential path between studies and work, and therefore also the management processes that connect students with the university and the new world of work.
Using the electronic signature is one of these technological initiatives that produce positive effects in the financial and efficiency results of the educational institutions which we want to demonstrate in this post through a Client Story involving the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and Signaturit.
Reducing costs by gaining in flexibility is a consequence of technology and this has been proven by the UAB in a project with Signaturit, in which they are already enjoying our electronic signature solution that we want to explain in this post thanks to collaboration from the UAB's Employability Service Director, Vicenç Sellés Martínez.
The Autonomous University of Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, in Catalan, is a public university in Spain, founded in 1968 with various educational centres and extra-academic services in the city of Barcelona, although it has different facilities in other cities such as Sabadell, San Cugat del Vallés and Manresa.
The UAB is one of the most prestigious institutions according to international studies:
The prestigious Times Higher Education Young University Rankings list (THE) between the world’s best universities that are aged 50 years or under, placed the UAB at number 13 in its 2018 list.
The UAB providing added value to other universities
The UAB is part of the 'European University' project, an initiative resulting from the European Commission's call that seeks to build transnational university structures, where the participation of industry, public organizations, society, academics and current and future students is sought.
For this reason, it is an institution that seeks to facilitate mobility, the development of innovative higher education and the generation of more joint projects among universities. Therefore, one of the university’s priority objectives is to review its internal processes in order to offer an added value that lives up to its good name.
As explained by the UAB's Employability Service Director, Vicenç Sellés Martínez “at the UAB we detected that we had a problem when it came to managing documents for extracurricular internship agreements, approximately 2,500 documents each academic year. The people involved, both students and companies and institutions, perceived the University's process to be outdated (as it was analogue), tedious and complicated.”
Therefore, the reasons that led the UAB to seek an electronic signature tool were mainly the following:
The digitalization of the preparation process and signing of the extracurricular internship agreements.
The simplification of the signature process.
The elimination of paper.
The security in safeguarding documents.
The correct dedication of resources.
The University's image.
The electronic signature, key piece in the signing of internship agreements
In order to formalize the signing of the internship agreements in a satisfactory manner by all the signatories (students, the company and the University), the UAB was clear that the best possible solution was to integrate an electronic signature tool to ensure that the entire process was carried out digitally, but without compromising security.
According to Vicenç Sellés, “for us it was essential to digitalize this process but always with full legal security as, being a public university, one of the requirements that the solution we chose had to fulfil was its adaptation to Law 39/2015 on Common Administrative procedure of public administrations.”
“We have reduced the signing time to a few minutes and there are no document losses or signature omissions. In addition, user satisfaction is very high.”
Vicenç Sellés Martínez,
UAB's Employability Service Director
After evaluating the different electronic signature tools already on the market, the UAB decided to opt for Signaturit's advanced electronic signature solution for three fundamental reasons as explained by Vicenç Sellés: “the quality of the service, the speed of implementation of the solution and the reliability and legality of the solution”.
In addition, after making the decision, integration was completed in just 6 months, accompanied at all times by the Signaturit technical team to resolve any issues.
The UAB has recommended Signaturit's services in various forums to all universities of the Catalan University System for the following reasons:
How can educational institutions use electronic signatures?
There are many use cases in which universities and other educational centres can integrate the electronic signature in addition to the signing of the internship agreements:
1. Registration of new students with related documents
Each year, universities welcome thousands of students, which implies the generation of an even greater number of bureaucratic procedures, such as printing and signing enrolment certificates, confirmation of enrolments in different disciplines, etc.
But if the institution had Signaturit’s electronic signature this procedure could be carried out remotely, reducing the time of signing and sending related documents.
When everything is signed, those involved would receive a copy of all signed documents via e-mail. In addition, the university would keep all the documents stored electronically, so that everyone could subsequently access them quickly and safely.
2. Signing of academic research documents or staff employment contracts
How are applications for scholarships and contracts related to scientific initiation signed? And postgraduate ones? Consultants? Temporary lecturers? In the midst of the mobility era, all these HR procedures can be carried out digitally, reducing the consumption of paper, ensuring the complete processing of this documentation in a safe way.
3. Grades Reports
The high volume of exams and grades than cover the tables of lectures and university secretaries is very common.
This implies analysing hundreds of documents that are passed around from one hand to another generating huge queues, loss of requests, delays in other administrative tasks, when they could be managed with just a few clicks thanks to integrating our electronic signature in this whole procedure.
4. Application for scholarships
Finally, the scholarship application can also be analysed through the electronic signature. The analysis of the socio-economic declaration, performances in evaluations for scholarship contests. In addition, even the receipt can be restricted to the digital environment, all validated electronically.
Using the electronic signature drastically reduces the consumption of paper, money spent on printer cartridges, as well as significantly increasing employee productivity.
Client Story: UAB y Signaturit
If you want to know all the details about the UAB's experience with Signaturit and what the main benefits of our advanced electronic signature solution to this prestigious university are, do not hesitate to download the following Client Story.
If you have any questions please contact us for more information on how to be more efficient at your school, college or university by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by simply calling us on +34 935 511 480.
This Client Story is also available in Spanish