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Student Lifecycle Programme - an introduction for staff

29 Feb 2016

A major programme of work has begun to scope out our requirements across the whole of the student lifecycle for the next 10 years


The University, led by the DSE, has embarked upon a major programme of work scoping out our requirements across the whole of the student lifecycle for the next 10 years. Professor Clive Agnew (Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students) is the Programme Sponsor and Tim Westlake (Director for the Student Experience) has day-to-day operational responsibility for the programme.

What are we doing?

The programme will have at its core a scoping project sponsored by Tim Westlake, which will:

  • scope out the Student Lifecycle Project by mapping the student lifecycle and identifying all key business processes;
  • identify opportunities (benefit realisation) from the Student Lifecycle Project and prepare a business case for implementing a student information system with minimal customisation.

In addition, there are two cognate projects that will be overseen by the Lifecycle Programme Board:

Student Lifecycle Pilot (Blended/Distance Learning) Pilot Project (Sponsor - Tim Westlake)

  • Scoping and developing a full business case for piloting the ‘vanilla’ version of Campus Solutions 9.2 with MBS Worldwide and three new DL programmes;
  • Mapping business processes for blended and DL programmes;
  • Provision of real time ‘lessons learned’ to the Student Lifecycle Scoping Project and the overarching Programme.

eProg Replacement Project (Sponsors - Matt Lambon Ralph and Andrew Walsh)

  • Bringing the existing eProg replacement project into the overall programme of work;
  • Defining and implementing a replacement solution for progression, attendance monitoring, thesis submission and examination processes for PGR students which addresses the core issues of maintainability, performance, scalability, usability and functionality.

Bringing together a number of projects into a single programme of work will provide considerable benefits for students as processes become simpler for them, and for staff as processes become standardised.

Why are we doing this?

The University’s Student Information System (SIS), Campus Solutions, underpins many of the key business processes that support students as they apply to the University, register, progress and complete their studies, ie the student lifecycle. At the end of 2015, Oracle, which owns CS, released a major upgrade to CS (CS9.2). Since its implementation by the University in 2004, CS has been heavily customised to satisfy a broad spectrum of user requirements. It has therefore been decided that the University should take this opportunity to review how we utilise CS as our core SIS together with other associated IT tools relating to the student experience.

Benefits will be realised for students and their experience at Manchester, but also for staff in the way they work and the systems they use. The following principles concerning improvements to the student experience are at the heart of the programme:

  • Students should only provide personal information once;
  • Students should receive a high quality online experience;
  • Students should have a seamless administrative experience;
  • Students should have a single point of access to information and online services;
  • The University needs complete and high quality student data;
  • Staff should only need access to information and systems necessary for their role.

The following examples are of where potential benefits will be realised by delivery of the programme of work:

  • Attendance recording and monitoring;
  • Timetabling and course unit selection;
  • Student record administration;
  • Student payments;
  • Programme set up and amendments;
  • Improvements on completeness of data;
  • Removing duplication of effort for staff;
  • costs associated with upgrades to IT systems.

Progress to date

The overall governance structure for the programme of work has been approved through PRC. KPMG have been appointed as the external management consultants that will be working with the University on this programme of work. A Student Lifecycle Programme Office has now been established which includes colleagues from the DSE, Faculties and IT Services, so work can start in earnest. A final report is expected by July 2016.  

Who is involved?

The scale of the overall programme of work is likely to impact across large parts of the PSS and many colleagues will be asked to participate in business process mapping sessions over the coming weeks and months. This is not an IT project, but is about business process improvement and how we can all work better to deliver an outstanding experience for our students.

Colleagues with considerable roles to play in this programme of work in addition to project sponsors, include Sarah Beer, Director of Student Admissions and Administration, and Louise Walmsley, Director of Teaching and Learning Support. 

Further information

Please contact: