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The Student Information System (known as CamSIS) has been in operation since 2004, and has evolved considerably over this period. Part of this evolution has comprised of various adaptations to existing code, additional functionality, and the ability to interface with external programmes (for example, Electronic Document Management System) and on-line web services (for example, student applications). These developments have made the System a comprehensive repository of data for all students, of the student’s record from initial contact and application, through to graduation. The System serves the Universities’ students, central administration, departments, schools, faculties, and the colleges. A change to any system of this size needs to be evaluated and carefully implemented, to ensure that it maintains the integrity of information and continues to run as efficiently as possible.

During analysis of the System in late 2013 it was highlighted that some areas would benefit from further review and a re-implementation of existing capabilities, for example, for reporting to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). In addition, the number of change requests from the collegiate University, for new and improved functionality, was growing rapidly. These change requests can be complex, vast in size, relate to critical business process improvements, or statutory requirements. As the business value of the System to the University increases, it is extremely important that it continues to evolve to meet the challenges imposed by the University, and keeps abreast with the latest functionality provided by Oracle.

The System is one of the first with which an applicant or student will interact. It is therefore vital that it represents the University’s identity, mission, core values, and position as a world leading institution. To achieve this objective we must continually evaluate the System and maintain a strategy of continuous improvement both in terms of the capabilities it provides to the University and its users, and the experience for potential and existing students.

The Programme

To address the demands being placed upon the Student Systems team it was recommended (and agreed by the SISC on 4 November 2013) that the development and functional resources are focused on six major initiatives during 2014: i) a programme of developments to support the business process improvements for Student Operations; ii) replacement of the HESA reporting capability to address changes in the HESA requirements; iii) upgrades to the underlying Student System application to improve performance, manageability, and the core software components of the System; iv) replacement of the user interfaces with a modern and intuitive look and feel that highlights the activities the user is required to complete; v) a new Management Information system based upon Oracle’s strategic reporting capability for the Student System; and vi) to introduce Moodle to support teaching and learning at the University.

The overall strategy is to ensure that the Student Information System remains fit for purpose and supports the requirements of the University now and into the future. Implementation of the System was a major undertaking for the collegiate University and therefore requires the team to ensure a good return on investment is maintained by continued development and improvements, and to keep the System abreast of business and user requirements.

As the team continues to support the student lifecycle processes and the wider administrative and academic community, we also need to keep pace with the changing landscape of Higher Education and external pressures for Government reporting.

New administrative processes are being evaluated and introduced by the central University departments. The new processes are generally in support of the University’s key student orientated business areas of: admitting students, fees and funding, maintenance of the official student academic record from matriculation to graduation, and continuation on to other courses. Many of these processes require the use of the System to collect data at source via an on-line interface. The burden of statutory compliance for HESA and Points Based Immigration (PBI), demands the System delivers robust functionality and reporting to satisfy the requirements of the Government agencies.

High level information from the team’s development schedule is available to view in the Student Systems Roadmap 2015.

Detailed information in respect of each development project is available in the pages listed below:

Development Schedule

Programme 1: Student Operations Programme (Academic Division)

Programme 2: HESA Programme

Programme 3: Student Information System Platform

Programme 4: User Interface Programme

Programme 5: Management Information

Programme 6: Moodle