May 17, 2017, by Jessica Watson
Supporting visa applications with Campus Solutions
This month is the first time the UCAS applicant information in Campus Solutions has been used to support the visa application process for international students.
Campus Solutions in the Admissions team
Whilst most of us are focusing on the UK go-live later this year, this latest go-live was a reminder that Campus Solutions is already live for UCAS admissions. The system has been used for this, and for dealing with enquiries and UCAS visit days, since last year.
Throughout May, the Admissions team have been using the new system to identify applicants who need to apply for a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK. The information is then checked and updated to create a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for applicants.
CAS certificates, and specifically the certificate numbers, are needed by international students to fill out their visa application form.
Going live with this process has required close collaboration between the Admissions Team, Service Development and Project Transform teams.
As you might expect, the Home Office have exacting requirements which must be met to produce the CAS certificates. Everyone involved has worked to make sure these are all in place ahead of go-live.
The Project team have also made sure data can be exchanged between Campus Solutions and the Home Office’s visa system. Selected data can now be exported direct from Campus Solutions and uploaded into the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) application system.
Data can also flow the other way, being exported from UKVI and uploaded back into our own systems.
With all the right data in place, our international applicants can apply for their visas without delay.
Working with the new process
The go-live of the new process went well, with only a few issues.
Deborah Webb, Head of Specialist Processes, and Rachel Atkin, Director of Student Recruitment, gave us an honest view of what the challenges were with the go-live for their teams.
The view in Admissions
“The team are moving forward with using the CAS elements of the new system, building on their knowledge of using the system for the last two application cycles. There have been some teething problems, as anticipated, but the Project are supporting the team where these arise.”
Rachel Atkin, Director of Student Recruitment
The view in Student Services
“We are working through a few technical glitches but this is probably to be expected – I think the challenge is for staff to get used to new processes.
It’s been good for the Student Services staff to actually get their hands on the system and to start using it.”
Deborah Webb, Head of Specialist Processes
The go-live emphasised how experience using the system is a big help to colleagues.
For the full go-live of the system, colleagues will be able to practice most of their processes using the Model Office. This will be introduced to staff in training.
We recommend that colleagues take the opportunity to practice on the Model Office as much as possible between their training and go-live.
For those of you who already have access, the Project team are working on improving the Model Office. Data is being added into the practice site. Colleagues will then be able to find student records at varying stages through their University career.
Thank you to everyone involved in delivering this process. We look forward to welcoming the international students – visas in hand – in September.