Student helpers and visitors at the 2017 Open Day

Admissions launch the MyNottingham portal

The Admissions Team have been using the Campus Solutions system to process undergraduate applications from UCAS since 2015. Since the beginning of October, we have been introducing new system functionality to allow us to manage our other Admissions routes – postgraduate UCAS courses, UCAS Teacher Training courses and Direct Admissions – through Campus Solutions.

To make this possible, we have developed and launched several new interfaces and system parts, including:

  • A new online application form
  • The MyNottingham Applicant portal, where applicants can manage their application, upload documents, receive notifications from staff at the University, update their personal details, pay fees and make further applications
  • The MyNottingham Agent Centre for agents who create applications to our University on behalf of their clients. Using the Agent Centre, agents can create, submit and manage applications
  • A link that allows us to pull applications from the UCAS Teacher Training database into Campus Solutions – similar to our existing link to the main UCAS system
  • A data storage system where information from Campus Solutions will be backed up for use by certain legacy systems
    80% of the finance module of Campus Solutions, which will allow applicants and our finance team to manage the payment of fees and financial records

To learn more about how Campus Solutions works for Admissions, visit the What Campus Solutions does… pages on Workspace.

How the go-live went

We launched the system to applicants and agents in stages. Our launch started by opening up MyNottingham to agents and applicants wanting to make a new application on Monday 23 October. A couple of days later, we extended the access to existing applicants and started to take applications from UCAS Teacher Training. This first week went roughly to plan and we were able to receive over 500 applications through the new system.

In the following weeks, colleagues from Admissions and the School of Education have been able to successfully process the applications coming from UCAS Teacher Training and pass decisions back to the organisation.

Progress with the direct admissions system was delayed by some problems with the accuracy of the information needed to populate offer letters. However, we believe these issues are now resolved and we have started to send out offer letters to our new applicants.

There is now a large backlog of applications for the team in Admissions to work through. Once the backlog is clear, we will be able to return to our normal one to two day turnaround for applications. However, until then, there will be a longer waiting period for applicants. The team in Admissions are formulating a plan to manage the backlog and overtime is being offered to the team who process the applications. Admissions Tutors, Heads of Operations, Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellors and colleagues in Student Services who are impacted by this, have been informed.

Issues

When going live with a complicated IT system, glitches are to be expected. The Project team and Admissions have been working closely to identify, escalate and resolve issues as soon as possible.

If you would like more information about the process and system issues we found during go-live, take a look at the Project Transform Workspace.

Whilst we did experience a few issues, we were able to launch the site to applicants and agents on the advertised dates. A huge thank you to the teams who were working hard to make sure that we could meet our deadlines for applicants.

What is next for Admissions and Campus Solutions?

In the short-term, the Admissions team, along with Admissions Tutors and staff in schools and Student Services, will continue to use Campus Solutions to process our applications. This includes tasks such as recording decisions and sending out offer letters.

In December, we will be launching visa processing for direct applications. We launched visa processing for UCAS applications earlier this year and the functionality is very similar.

Due to the deadlines involved with processing visas, MyNottingham is only being used for direct applications to courses starting from April 2018. Any direct applications for courses starting before then are still being processed in the older systems. Once we have passed 1 April, we will be using Campus Solutions for all of our Admissions.

Related to Admissions, is the launch of an Online Scholarship Application system, accessible to applicants through MyNottingham. Colleagues in Student Services will be looking to launch that part of the system over the next week. Using the system, applicants will be presented with a pre-filtered list of scholarships they are eligible to apply for. At launch this only pulls from the list of centrally managed scholarships aimed at international and EU offer holders. If successful, we will look to expand its use next autumn.

Thank you

Admissions have pioneered the use of Campus Solutions in the University of Nottingham over the past two years. There has been a sustained commitment during this time to making the implementation of Campus Solutions a success. Teams in Admissions have worked in close partnership with colleagues in Project Transform and the IS team to make this happen with support from Admissions Tutors and staff in schools and Student Services.

Whilst implementation has been difficult at times, the Campus Solutions system will allow us to reduce the number of systems that we need to use to manage applications. With fewer systems, we will see a more robust and simpler process for staff, applicants and agents.  The new system will also see the automation of many processes which were previously manual.

Thank you to all involved with our launches over the past two years. Your hard work, patience and dedication have been fundamental to our progress to date.

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