Aliat Universities Mexico
How Mexico’s Largest University Network Centralized and Optimized its Complex Academic Planning
With a 50-year history, Aliat is the largest University Network in Mexico. Its vast outreach consists of seven educational institutions, 30 campuses, and more than 50,000 students in 18 Mexican states.
Resource planning at an institutional level is always a challenge, more so with a constantly expanding organization, as is the case with Aliat. In 2016, they found that growth made the scheduling of spaces and resources more complex. There were inefficiencies in the definition of groups per course and with academic scheduling in general.
At the time, Aliat carried out academic planning locally for each campus, using primarily manual methods. Also, operation expansion had made this a very complex task, demanding many hours from the institution’s staff. When the search for better alternatives to perform these tasks began, it became clear that the solution had to incorporate specialized technology.
Given the institution’s reputation and its continuous expansion, the solution had to be world-class and flexible. In addition to centralizing time and physical space scheduling with the planning of other resources, the tool had to provide helpful data visualizations to aid the management of various elements involved in planning and allocation decisions.
In this search, Aliat found uPlanning to be the ideal academic planning tool and uPlanner was the right partner to implement best practices.
The experts at uPlanner started by focusing on data management and storage needs across institutions and helped with standards definition and process automation. With uPlanning, a standard for sections per course was established, and several manual processes were replaced by automation and artificial intelligence methods. Now, the new planning process involves:
1. Obtaining an enrollment forecast per campus informed by academic development data. This forecast is verified and refined by the academic leaders of each campus and program.
2. Sharing an optimized timetable with academic leaders to enhance collaborative work on necessary improvements and changes.
3. Allocating classrooms optimally, taking into account local installed capacity, specific course requirements, and estimated demand for each section.
4. Allocating the best teachers on campus for each programmed subject, based on institution-defined standards of excellence for teacher assessments.
5. Evaluating operational efficiency using the Net Promoter Score Index to assess performance indicators and overall academic quality, including student satisfaction, performance, and retention. The increase in average group size, facilities usage, and profitability is analyzed during this process.
After incorporating uPlanning’s algorithms, the average size per section increased by 47% during the first year and 77% over three years (2016 to 2018), with a return on investment (ROI) of $3.8 million in instructional costs. In December 2021 this indicator showed 33 students per section, an improvement of 154% compared to January 2016, and a cumulative ROI of $12.5 million.
These changes also improved teacher performance by simplifying and automating academic planning, freeing up significant time to focus on their classes and students. The platform also allowed the highest-scoring and most inspirational teachers to be prioritized in the assignment process.
Also, student interaction between different study programs increased after implementing uPlanning, enriching their educational experience.
“uPlanner helped us achieve the same level of control we have in Mexico City, translated into the other 29 campuses throughout the country. In addition, the platform’s interface is very user-friendly and its database easy to install.”
Institutional Rector Aliat Universities
Juan Pablo Mena
“Since 2016, uPlanner has transformed itself. We went from being a company that implements technology to a company with a focus on empowering its clients to turn them into high-performing Educational Institutions. Every year, uPlanner releases a new version of uPlanning that incorporates these insights.”