September 15, 2015, by Ryan Neal
Meet the Student Finance workstream
Welcome to the third post in our new blog series entitled ‘Meet the workstream’. Previously we met the Student Records workstream; this week are meeting the Student Finance workstream. In each of these posts we will focus on a different workstream belonging to the larger Project Transform Process Design team, of which there are five – Admissions, CRM, Student Records, Student Finance and iHub. You’ll learn a bit about who the team are and precisely what kinds of tasks and processes they are working on. We hope that this will help to increase your understanding of Project Transform and the sheer scope of tasks that lie ahead of us.
1. What’s your workstream?
Student Finance – Fees and Funding
2. Who are the members of your workstream?
Laura Brooks – Team Leader/Senior Business Analyst
Ilze Skujina – Workstream Specialist
Claire Palmer – Workstream Specialist
Jennifer Tavano – Ciber Functional Lead
Faizel Ebrahim – Ciber Functional Lead
Daniel Watson – Ciber Associate Consultant
Lizabel Crisafi – Oracle Functional Consultant
With valuable support from:
Jacky Gallagher – Tuition Fees Services Manager
Carole White – Income Services Manager
Paul Levy – Debt Services Manager
Sharon Davis – Payments Centre Manager
Kerry Williamson – Group Finance Business Partner
And other Financial Operations and Financial Management staff
3. Which processes does your workstream cover?
It encompasses all student-related ‘Fees’ and ‘Funding’ activities. The obvious example is tuition fees but our work also covers things like accommodation fees, discipline fines, field trip fees, as well as scholarships, sponsorships and all other types of funding.
4. Which areas of the University will be impacted by your work?
The main area affected will be Financial Operations but other professional services and all of the schools will also be affected. The processes of charging and/or paying students will change so anyone involved with these activities will be impacted.
5. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment the main thing we’re working on is setting up tuition calculation rules – there are a number of different things that factor into how much a student is charged for their studies, such as the specific course they’re studying, where they are from or whether they’re a full-time, part-time or distance leaner. So we need to create rules for each of these scenarios.
We’re also working on developing processes for charging all other fee types, such as disciplinary fines, car parking fines and anything else that a student might be billed for.
We have also started work on operational processes – billing, cashiering, accounting and reporting.
On the Funding side, we have been working on understanding the processes of the Student Loans Company and other types of funding, primarily focusing on non-competitive scholarships.
6. What are some of the main challenges that your team are facing and how are you overcoming these?
One of the main challenges is to gather the full list of student charges and to understand the different processes across schools and professional services within the University. Our aim is to find the best process solution for everybody.
Another challenge comes from the differences in financial processes in the UK, Malaysia and China. Although there are plenty of similarities, we have to make sure that local requirements are accommodated within our processes.
However, our biggest challenge is the sheer number of funding options within the University. We hope that with considerable streamlining of funding within the University, it will be possible to deliver significantly improved funding management processes for applicants and staff.
7. What will you be delivering as a result of your work?
Each student (even from an applicant stage) will have a financial account with the University. This account will show all of the charges, payments, scholarships, stipend payments and any other financial transactions. All student fees and any awarded funding will be recorded in one place against a student’s record. In addition, processes will be designed to support and maintain all inputs into the student account management.
8. What’s in store for you for GoLive 3?
Everything related to ‘Fees’ and some of the ‘Funding’ functionality. However, there will be further ‘Funding’ functionality delivered for September 2017; this will include displaying relevant funding options to students and applicants, an online application form and an application evaluation management.
There concludes our introduction to the Student Finance workstream. Let us know if you found this blog post helpful and if there’s anything more you’d like to see added for future editions of ‘Meet the Workstream’. You can subscribe to the Project Transform blog to get future updates sent to your inbox.