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So how did the revised student HESA return actually impact on an institution?

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Presentation on theme: "So how did the revised student HESA return actually impact on an institution?"— Presentation transcript:

1 So how did the revised student HESA return actually impact on an institution?

2 We will:- Compare the experiences of two institutions which either use an ‘off the shelf’ or an ‘in-house’ student management system. The sessions will aim to review the availability of resources, technical expertise and business knowledge needed within an institution; identify practical implementation issues and describe on-going work.

3 The workshop will review and detail:  How the two institutions differ.  What worked?  What didn’t work?  The sharing of experiences – group work.  Feedback and summary.

4 Size and Shape information  20,431 active students in 2008/09  122 countries represented at Huddersfield.  2,338 internationally domiciled students  Circa 20,000 UCAS applications per year  Academic Staff/UG Student ratio, 1:19  1,920 people employed at 31 st July 2008  3 university campuses  Lead institution for West Yorkshire LLN  Lead institution for PCET Consortium

5 Size and Shape information  24,004 active students in 2008/09.  131 countries represented at Sheffield.  4,636 internationally domiciled students.  Circa 35,000 UCAS applications per year.  Academic Staff/UG Student ratio, 1:14.  5,749 people employed at 31 st July 2008.

6 Corporate Information System:- Student ‘SITS-Vision’ system with Agresso Financial and Professional Personnel HR, with data linked to the data warehouse:  Programme and module management  Admissions and recruitment  Online student registrations and devolved (web) student personal data maintenance  Other web-enabled functions eg results  Student Finance and Fees  Course/Module Assessment  Placements  Progress Records and Thesis Tracking  Ceremonies/Awards and Transcripts  Alumni  Management applications, external returns e.g. HESES, HESA, TDA etc.  Agress0 Financial and Professional Personnel HR  Corporate Data Model (data warehouse). Corporate Information System:- Student ‘Oracle Education System’, with SAP Financials and HR, with data linked to the data warehouse:  Programme and module management.  Admissions and recruitment.  Online student registrations and devolved (web) student personal data maintenance  Student Finance and Fees.  Timetabling.  Departmental Assessment System.  Progress Records and Thesis Tracking.  Ceremonies/Awards and Transcripts.  Facilities Management.  Management applications, external returns e.g. HESES, HESA, TTA etc.  SAP – Financials and HR with eRecruitment.  Corporate Data Model (data warehouse).

7 HESA Related Resources at Huddersfield:-  Business Requirement  Business analyst  Business liaison  HESA Specification  Project management  Data quality  Technical  XML Support HESA Related Resources at Sheffield:-  Business Requirement. o Business analysts. o Business liaison and systems development.  HESA Specification. o Project Management staff. o Data Quality and MI Team.  Technical. o CIS technical and data infrastructure. o Oracle/XML/SQL programmers and developers.

8 Implementation:-  Project Staff o Project Manager/Business Analyst o Data Quality o Ad hoc requirements Implementation:-  Project Staff. o Project Manager – liaison. o Business Analyst. o Data quality work. o Oracle programmer with XML expertise. o Various CIS developers as required.

9 Implementation :-  ASIS Development Group  ARO and School/Service staff  Regular progress monitoring to Deputy Vice Chancellor and Senior Executive Officer Implementation:-  Project Committee (Prince 2 Project Management). o Policy decisions. o Resource allocation. o Guidance and support.  Operational Sub-Group:-  Acquisition of new data (admissions, student services, international office, research office).  Changes to business processes.  Data Quality Review.  Technical Sub-Group:-  Reference Data.  SQL script design.  CIS process changes.  Oracle and XML outputs.

10 What worked?  Internal Liaison:-  Strengthened existing co-operation between different areas  Opportunity to remind operational staff of wider impact of their work  Strengthened work already carried out on consistency of operations  Gave ‘business case’ for certain operations  Additional data quality checks leading to further improvement in data quality  Support from XML expert  Majority of data in single system What worked?  Internal Liaison:- o Increased co-operation in addressing external data requirements from across the institution. o Greater understanding by operational staff on the wider impact of their work. o Refocus on how the CIS student record was operated so that there was renewed consistency in its use. o Further agreement on data quality responsibilities across operational offices (admissions and student registrations offices). o Improvements in overall data quality for both internal and external users. o Support from HESA in creating a manual OS Aggregate Return in Excel, including XML conversion.

11 What worked?  Third party software  Programming work done for us thereby allowing us to concentrate on data quality and business process requirements  SITS Forum enabled help from other HEIs  Process documentation  Forced us to sit down and improve what internal documentation we already had  HESA Liaison  Accommodating with requests for extensions  Reassurance that others were in the ‘same boat’ What worked?  CIS Developments:- o Allocation of development resources. o The management of new data fields and reference data changes, which impacted on the ‘live’ operational systems. o Development of specialist algorithms e.g. proportional load calculations. o Overwriting student, programme and unit system data. o Creation of a schema database populated with data errors allowing for easy analysis and identification of records requiring correction. o Schema and XML – no (or very few) problems as created locally (local expertise at hand).  HESA Liaison:- o Realistic in the way they liaised over late returns.

12 What didn’t work?  Project Management  Fixed deadlines  Shifting specification and late changes to business rules and validation kits  Slowness of HESA guidance on interpretation of specification – not always their fault  Very devolved institution on academic side – ensuring all staff involved in this understand importance and implications of what they are doing? What didn’t work?  Project Management:- o No flexibility to re-schedule/extend timescales. All fixed to a national deadline. o Unable to maintain development schedules due to a shifting specification. o Support resource from HESA – slow responses; continued reference back to their statutory customers for clarification on requirement. Unfair on HESA Liaison and us. o Excessive call on local HESA expert. Revisions in specification tied up this vital resource; interfered with scheduled analysis of the full specification from HESA for supply to programmers. o Inappropriate lead times from HESA’s statutory customers. o Insufficient time to check that the local specification had been created correctly.

13 What didn’t work?  3 rd party software:- o Timing of release of ‘hot fixes’ with necessary updates for HESA processing o Resources required to provide software too reliant on certain individuals o Changing specification added to delivery problems o Lack of wildcard functionality meant couldn’t cross-check to HESES re-creation in same way as in previous years  Data and Quality Issues:-  UCAS data for HESA (*J) – too late and poor quality  Validation/data quality issues raised by HESA post-submission What didn’t work?  CIS amendments:- o Reference data at the heart of CIS. o Built co-operation from operational areas, until CIS had to be amended – just as finalising recruitment and online registration of students – but had no choice. o Operational and MI reports required rewrites (approx 300 operational reports checked).  Data and Quality Issues:- o Need for unit records against all students. o Relational structure of the HESA record does not reflect operational reality. OWNSTU as a unique student identifier? o UCAS data for HESA (*J) o UofA for student supervisors

14 What didn’t work?  HESA and their Statutory Customers:- o Too much change in a single year ▪ New reference data and amendments to existing. ▪ Changes to existing data fields. ▪ New data requirements. ▪ Different time scales of implementation between HESA and UCAS.  The specification failed to deliver a stable requirement; too many versions being published (even past key delivery dates).  Conflicting guidance on some key data fields between HESA and funding council – each cross referencing each other.  Business rules and validation questions did not always seem logical. What didn’t work?  HESA and their Statutory Customers:- o Too much change in a single year.  New reference data and amendments to existing.  Changes to existing data fields.  New data requirements.  Different time scales of implementation between HESA and UCAS. o The specification failed to deliver a stable requirement; too many versions being published (even past key delivery dates). o Conflicting guidance on some key data fields between HESA and funding council – each cross referencing each other. o Business rules and validation questions did not always seem logical.

15 Please discuss and summarize your discussion points on the supplied paper. Identify a member of the group who can feedback points at the end of the session.


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