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What's in the April 2022 Release

  • Campus Solutions upgrade with user interface enhancements, to help users better navigate applications.
  • CRM Dynamics new features and updates, including Modern Advanced Find and user interface improvement for Business Process Flows.
  • New automated communications to support immigration compliance activities, helping us communicate more efficiently and effectively with students.
  • Processes to support the communication and the reporting of all eligible students for the Graduate Immigration Route, to comply with UKVI returns requirements (now planned for a July release).
  • New Right to Study process, helping us comply with Home Office rules. Regardless of residency or nationality, all students must prove that they have the 'right to study' (i.e. they are not legally restricted from studying at the University) by completing a Right to Study check before they can matriculate.
  • Functionality outstanding from the October 2021 Admissions Release - including changes to improve compliance, security, performance and data quality; changes to improve processes around agent-generated applications, and improvement of the experience of withdrawn or rejected applicants (removing administration burden and preventing unnecessary communications).
  • Changes to the online admissions application process - improvements to the referee log-in process and option to upload a reference as an attachment. This will streamline the process and give a more positive referee experience.
  • Student Finance:
    • Improvements to applicant payment processes, enabling automation of some processes and timely addition of payment information to student and applicant CAS records.
    • Applicant sponsor upload facility to be released via My Manchester, with streamlined management process for central admin using CRM workflow. This should ensure that applicants only need to provide a letter once and relevant areas know when a document is available. Note: This is for applicants only in this release - staff should only direct applicants online, current students should continue to submit letters via email. The upload facility will be rolled out to all students in the August 2022 release.

Changes

  • There may be small changes to the look and feel of Campus Solutions, such as changes to the shape of icons and ‘Nav’ will change to ‘Menu’. However, the way in which the system works will remain the same.
  • Applicants will have a new component in My Manchester where they will be able to upload sponsorship letters.
  • Streamlined CAS process in My Manchester, to prevent applicant stress and cut down on enquiries.
  • A Right to Study process that will be automatically initiated for all UF applicants, starting from four months before registration, which will facilitate Tier 4 data reporting. Administrators no longer need to collate pre-CAS responses and passports/visas manually.

Support

Step 1: Access online resources

The first thing to do is access the online and self-service materials available to staff:

  • Transition videos: These provide an overview of the changes with high level information. A transition video is currently being produced to explain the changes to the Campus Solutions interface, and will be published on CS Updates webpage and Sharepoint Hub. A bulletin will be circulated providing links to Student Records Administrators.​
  • Online training: Staff with key roles in Student Payments & Registration, University Language Centre, Service Delivery Team and Student Immigration will be asked to complete training on the new processes. It has been designed to provide you with detailed knowledge on the new systems and how they integrate with current ways of working.
  • Knowledge Hub: As you begin to follow the new processes, you may find you need to check a specific aspect along the way. Rather than directing you back through the full training, we will provide searchable guides to help you find the information you need more quickly, via a Knowledge Hub which is currently being developed.

Step 2: Speak to your local team

If you have not been able to resolve your query using online resources, we recommend that you contact your local manager via your usual communication methods e.g. Teams chat for specialist advice.

Step 3: Escalate your query for more support

If the issue cannot be resolved, your manager will escalate this into a process for resolution. It is unlikely that you will need to be involved in this, as they will represent you and your query. During this process, work will be prioritised based on the risk and impact – so your query may not be resolved immediately, but your local manager will keep you updated.

FAQs

What systems will go down and when?

The downtime for Campus Solutions was on Thursday 21 April 16:00 to Monday 25 April 14:30.

How are colleagues being prepared and trained for the changes?

Teams will start to be involved in transition activities from February 2022 onwards. These activities include discussions in team meetings and the provision of introductory videos to explain key changes and benefits. The focus of these discussions will be to listen to any concerns, identify actions for teams relating to transition, and assess understanding of the forthcoming changes.

The project team has worked in close partnership with managers and leaders of impacted teams to plan and ensure teams will be ready. One of the criteria by which SEP will assess whether it should go-live as planned, will be whether the business leads confirm that both their local teams and stakeholders are ready.

Online training will be available for technology and process. A Knowledge Hub is under development with easily searchable how-to guides to help colleagues find reminder information quickly, once they have completed the initial training guides.

How are we reducing the risk of things going wrong?

SEP is subject to rigorous governance and regular status reporting. During the lead up to a major milestone such as the release of new functionality, this scrutiny increases to ensure that a decision to proceed with the release is based on the appropriate balance of risks. Extensive planning and monitoring of risks between IT, business and programme colleagues is a significant step in ensuring things go as smoothly as possible.

What happens if something does go wrong?

In the first few weeks the majority of the queries raised will be easily dealt with by signposting to appropriate training materials or with the assistance of your manager.  Arrangements are in hand to be able to update training materials and information quickly as necessary.

Where an issue cannot be resolved locally, there are escalation processes.  Issues will be triaged and prioritised according to the scale and impact of the problem.  Dedicated teams of business and technical colleagues will work through any issues based on prioritisations.

Local managers and leaders will have regular meetings with the programme team to assess how the change is going, and to monitor the progress to resolving issues and risks.

What if a student needs support?

The IT Service Desk will also be provided with information on the most common support issues such as applicants activating their University IT account to allow them to complete transactional processes.

If a student has a query, ssc@manchester.ac.uk can be used for support/ direction to the appropriate team.

If a student has a query relating to their visa, international check or the graduate immigration route they should contact visa@manchester.ac.uk.

Resources

Dynamics CRM enables staff to manage interactions with our students, from their initial enquiry as applicants right thorough to graduation. CRM is at the forefront of improving the student experience whilst enhancing the way we capture and share information. You can find an introductory course here.