University of Galway logo in colour

Safeguarding Student Success

We partnered with one of Ireland’s leading universities, the University of Galway, to upgrade its student services with a custom Al-powered student engagement platform

About the client

The University of Galway is a public research university located in the city of Galway, Ireland. A tertiary education and research institution, the university was awarded the full five QS stars for excellence in 2012, and was ranked among the top 1 per cent of universities in the 2018 QS World University Rankings.  The University has a student population of 18,000.

A+ Results


Reduction in repetitive manual tasks


Staff hours saved


Student queries answered


Student queries resolved instantly

The Challenge

The University of Galway, like many other universities worldwide, faced significant challenges brought to the fore by the Covid-19 pandemic. These challenges included an overstretched Student Support workforce, anxious students in need of personalised support, and data siloes within the organisation. To address these issues, the University sought a scalable and user-friendly solution that could save time and resources while providing high-quality, on-demand student support services.

Key Objectives

Set up 24/7/365 support through automated query responses

Create a centralised student information hub

Offer personalised real-time student wellbeing support

More than a chatbot

We needed to create something that went beyond the standard chatbot and offered personalised, real-time support to the University’s staff and students.

And so, Cara was born. Cara (meaning “friend” in Gaelic) is a custom AI-powered virtual assistant available on WhatsApp and web, that operates around the clock to provide vital on-demand support and resources for students anytime, anywhere.

Galvia’s AI platform leverages state-of-the-art advancements in AI, open source technologies, and industry best practices to deliver scalable AI solutions. The platform is built on a highly scalable Kubernetes-based infrastructure and utilizes cutting-edge DevOps tools like Dockerhub, Jenkins, Nexius, and GitHub for continuous delivery, deployment, and management services. This infrastructure supports the delivery of highly scalable AI, analytics, natural language processing (NLP), auditing, and visualisation services to the user interface.

The outcome for the University of Galway

Cara saves time for everyone.

The implementation of this platform in November 2021 has to date resulted in a 40% reduction in repetitive manual tasks, saving over 2,300 staff hours. Additionally, the AI system has successfully resolved over 30,000 student queries, with 91% of them being resolved instantly.

By freeing up staff members from common queries and basic information provision, they can now focus on more strategic and impactful work. This shift allows the University of Galway to offer a higher level of support to students without overwhelming its staff.

With Cara handling the heavy lifting, the University’s staff can concentrate on areas that require human expertise and creativity, such as research, mentoring, and community engagement. This shift in focus not only enhances job satisfaction but also enables staff to undertake more meaningful work.

Cara’s content management system provides real-time insights and analytics that help staff optimise workflows and make data-driven decisions. It can identify areas where students may be struggling and offer personalised support and resources to address those challenges, ultimately improving student outcomes and enhancing the overall university experience.

What’s next

Cara is just the beginning.

Through the collaboration between Galvia and the University of Galway, the student services team has been inspired to explore innovative ways of utilising AI to further enhance the student experience. This partnership positions the University as a trailblazer in culture, creativity, and innovation. Furthermore, as Cara has the capability to answer thousands of questions and can be easily replicated across the higher education sector, its potential applications extend beyond student support and well-being, spanning the entire student lifecycle from recruitment to alumni support.

Josephine Walsh, Head of Student Projects, University of Galway

“Cara has taken a huge amount of queries, equivalent to a physical space with three people working there. That gives you an idea of the time our team has saved responding to repetitive questions.”

Josephine Walsh, Head of Student Projects, University of Galway

Watch Josephine’s testimonial

Continue Reading

success story
Transforming Curriculum Authoring
Read More
success story
Optimising the Workforce
Read More
success story
More Projects on Track and on Target
Read More