For Staff

Student Lifecycle Programme

Throughout July, you may have noticed the Student Lifecycle Programme (SLP) Roadshow popping up on your events calendar. The five events – which were attended by more than 350 people – kicked off a long-term transformation project, which aims to align processes, systems and ways of working, from the moment a prospective student applies until their graduation.

Led by Programme Director, Sarah Lund, and sponsored by Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Education, Professor Tom Ward, the SLP isn’t just about IT changes; it aims to make managing every part of a student’s time with the University better suited to them and simpler for staff to administer.

The roadshows generated more than 70 questions about the focus of the SLP and the imminent move from Banner 8 to Banner 9, and the answers to all of those questions have been given by the SLP team and sent out to everyone who attended. But if you’ve never heard of the SLP, here’s a beginner’s guide:

What is the SLP and what will it cover?

The Student Lifecycle Programme is a long-term transformation initiative to ensure end-to-end processes, systems and ways of working that support the student education lifecycle, from prospect to graduation, are fit for purpose and work efficiently and effectively to deliver an outstanding experience.

The team is made up of project managers, process experts and subject matter experts from across the University (including the Student Education Service and IT), tasked with analysing, testing and implementing new systems and ways of working that make the student experience smoother and improve the way we work together.

How long will the transformation take?

We’re in the very early stages now, but see the first phase of the programme taking us to 2023. Our initial work is to secure our student records system, Banner, onto the new Banner 9 platform by early 2019. This is business as usual, but Banner 9 also offers additional functionality, which may be part of the longer term transformation.

We’re hoping to secure funding for the longer term transformation towards the end of this year, which will mean 2019 to 2023 are focused on refreshed processes, ways of working and creating a technology platform for student records and curriculum management. This period is very much about getting the basics right. From 2023, we’ll then look at further developments on a robust student information system, which could include functionality to enhance the student experience, digital enhancements and curriculum innovation.

Why can’t we just carry on as we are?

Unfortunately not. There are a number of reasons driving this change, starting with the fact that many of our systems – including the systems that underpin all our day-to-day activities and reporting – are not fit for purpose and, in some cases, at risk of failure. We have hundreds of local systems that aren’t supported by IT and multiple ways of doing the same thing across schools and faculties, not to mention an unknown number of processes and databases that just aren’t visible.

We aren’t able to extract the right data to be compliant with new reporting regulations and staff are having to create time-consuming workarounds to hold everything together. Add to that a change in student numbers and cohort mix in the future, our competitors taking action to improve the student experience plus the increasingly joined-up, digital world we live in, and we don’t have any choice but to act.

Will the changes mean job losses?

One of the aims of the programme is to improve the efficiency of how we administer students and particularly in how we perform ‘back office’ transactional activities. It’s about creating systems and processes that are fit for purpose and freeing up people’s time to focus on more high-value activities, like face-to-face interaction with students. With anticipated changes to student numbers, cohort mixes and student needs increasing, we know that we will need further investment in student education services in the years ahead. We anticipate roles changing and skills changing over time to accommodate different needs and new ways of working but no overall risk to jobs.

Can I get involved?

During the coming months and years, the SLP team will need as much input as possible from you – the people who use our systems and processes every day – to understand what’s working well and what’s holding you back. We don’t plan to sit in a darkened room and design processes; we want the programme to be as collaborative as possible. It’s the only way we’re going to create a future that works for our students, and for you.

We are firstly looking to build a network of ‘champions’ across the University, who will represent their peers’ views and concerns to the team, working with us to ensure the right people are consulted and brought in to the project at the right time. Let us know if you’d like to be part of this.

Email communications manager Liz Wilmshurst to find out more about how you can get involved with supporting the programme, or to be added to the SLP mailing list.

Updates

Revised plans for Student Lifecycle Programme

Key priorities for the Student Lifecycle Programme (SLP) have been set for the remainder of 2019.

HESA Data Futures returns delayed for another year

A programme by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) to change the way Higher Education organisations reports student data, known as HESA Data Futures, is now planned to go live on 2021/22.

Banner upgrade: system downtime and briefing sessions

Student records system Banner will be unavailable for several days later this month while it undergoes a vital upgrade.

Making a change from the ground up

Colleagues from across the University are coming together to make a difference in the Student Lifecycle Programme’s (SLP) Change Network.

Creating a first-class student experience

A major investment in improving the student experience – from enquiry to graduation – has been given the go-ahead.

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