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  • Writer's pictureICS.AI

Coleg y Cymoedd go-live with SMART AI Assistance to revolutionise student experience

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

We are excited to announce our new customer - Coleg y Cymoedd - and the launch of their new SMART AI Recruitment Assistant.


Two students sat outside looking at a laptop

Dedicated to fostering learning opportunities, Coleg y Cymoedd opened in 2013 following a merger of The College Ystrad Mynach and Coleg Morgannwg. The college offers a diverse array of full and part-time courses. Spanning sites in Aberdare, Nantgarw, Rhondda (Llwynypia), and Ystrad Mynach, the institution welcomes over 10,000 students each year.



Coleg y Cymoedd’s introduction to AI


The college wanted to explore the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance student outcomes and empower students with comprehensive information about course options and campus details. They were looking to introduce an AI recruitment assistant to seamlessly integrate into the Colleges website.

Rory Meredith, Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at the College comments, “The purpose of the assistant is to improve the student recruitment journey for Cymoedd. We selected ICS.AI based on their trusted experience in the education sector and the innovation offered through a conversational AI experience, leveraging their SMART: AI platform and pre-built further education organisational language model”.

The ICS.AI SMART AI Student Recruitment platform houses a pre-built further education organisational language model containing over 400 relevant topics and questions, and is designed to offer an immersive, conversational user experience.


View of the ARNY chat, message reads "Hello, I'm ARNY. To start a chat, please choose 'Continue' to confirm you have read and understood our privacy policy.  I respond best if the question is phrased clearly in four or more words, but not too long. If you do not receive the answer you are looking for at first, try re-phrasing the question.  I am continually learning, so please provide your feedback when prompted. We will use this information to improve your future chatbot experience.  More information can be found on our website."

Meet A.R.N.Y. - Coleg y Cymoedd's AI assistant



“Say hello to, A.R.N.Y. – ARNY was chosen and named by our staff and learners – not after the Terminator himself you'll be pleased to hear, but from the acronym of our 4 campuses: Aberdare. Rhondda. Nantgarw. Ystrad Mynach."


Rory Meredith, Director of Digital Strategy, Coleg y Cymoedd.

Coleg y Cymoedd's logo.







Key features:


  • Translation - To comply with the Welsh Language Act, it was vital to Cymoedd that language recognition and translation was curated in English and Welsh. The ICS.AI SMART: AI platform supports over 100 languages to enable recognition and translation through curated knowledgebases. To extend this further and ensure the best user experience, the SMART: Chat user interface provides a complete user experience in both English and Welsh, enabling personalisation and catering to individual user preferences.

  • Accessibility - The SMART: Chat user interface aligns with WCAG 2.1 AA standards, ensuring a seamless experience for every user.

  • Infrastructure integration - This project also marked a pivotal moment for the College as they embraced Microsoft Azure Hosting and Language Services for the first time. To support them on this venture, ICS.AI provided additional infrastructure support, facilitating their subscription model and tenant setup and configuration.


What’s next?


We are thrilled to announce that their SMART: AI Recruitment Assistant is now live. This launch signifies a significant leap in streamlining and personalising the recruitment journey for prospective students at Coleg y Cymoedd as well as marking the start of their AI transformation journey.


Coleg y Cymoedd have been the perfect partner and have a deep willing for collaboration and innovation. As part of their wider AI transformation, we’re also working together on a pilot evaluation project utilising generative AI to enhance the teaching and learning experience, which has successfully been granted funding via the Welsh Government. You can find out more about that here, or by downloading recent webinar where Rory gave insight into their evaluation process – download recording).

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