July 20, 2017, by Jessica Watson
Meet Leanne – Direct Admissions Decision Maker
In this blog, Leanne Williamson, Decision Maker for UK Direct Science Admissions, writes about her experience with Admissions systems and the preparation for the go-live in October.
How wonderful an all new and shiny system to assist us with our work.
I have been working for the University of Nottingham since January 2016, working for six years in Further Education (FE) before this. Funding was constantly cut in FE (I had to take my own pen to work). Their online records system was fairly old however it served its purpose.
Working in the student services department of the college, I could work in admissions, fee and charges, student finance and enrolment using the same system. All the students’ records would come under their student ID number and they would have this number for life (no matter how many times they studied at the college). Enquires and timetabling were also done in the same software.
It was a huge shock when I came to work in Admissions, in what was then the processing team. I was surprised that a prestigious university would be using such an obsolete system. We need to use four different systems to be able to assess and process an application.
We’re getting MyNottingham
Systems not talking to each other, applicants not being able to use the same Saturn ID number and a not-so-user-friendly application system creates a lot of email traffic and additional work. When we were told we would be having a new online system, I, personally, thought this would be fantastic.
The initial information we received on what the new system could do was brief. However, it already sounded like it would streamline the application process, benefiting admissions but, most importantly, the applicant.
The general feeling around the office was that we would be able to work more efficiently. There were some concerns as some of the team had been using PGA (and other systems) for many years. We were also worried about having to learn how to use a new system and whether it would work or not.
At the go-live briefing
The new system was planned to go live in April 2017, however launches in Malaysia and China have delayed this until October 2017.
I attended the go-live briefing on 1 March 2017. It included a whistle-stop tour of MyNottingham and an opportunity to share our thoughts about it. I thought this was a great idea. It gave the correct forum for people to put forward their concerns to colleagues who were able to give them answers whilst allowing us to celebrate the positives.
I then attended the MyNottingham training on 22 May 2017.
This training session enabled us to see the new system from an applicant’s perspective, looking at the applicant’s dashboard and submitting an application. This was extremely beneficial as we are often contacted by applicants with queries regarding their application. It is always useful to know what they are looking at.
We also had the opportunity to search for applicants using various criteria. The session was very small as it was a mop-up session (there were only three of us). I felt this was better though, as we could ask questions as and when we felt necessary throughout the training, without feeling like we were holding up the others in the group.
So far MyNottingham looks like a step in the right direction.