Western Sydney University

Building an integrated experience across campuses

Challenge

Implement a new student information system that will dramatically improve the student experience.

Results
  • Streamlined university processes
  • Simplified administration for staff and students
  • Provided a clearer understanding of course progression

Western Sydney University invests in an industry leader.

Western Sydney is a very large, geographically dispersed university in Western Sydney but also with campuses in other parts of Sydney. In fact, we have 10 major campuses and we teach out of 22 locations around the city and indeed around the state. We have 45,000 students, over 3,300 staff.

We actually have a dozen or more different solutions that actually meet the administrative needs of the university when it comes to managing the student lifecycle. We really want to collapse all of that down into one common platform that gives that end-to-end experience both to the students but also to our staff, who also have to operate within that environment.

What we really want is to provide an integrated end-to-end experience for our students.

For those reasons, we actually want to reach out to organisations like Ellucian who actually do have that R&D capability and bake them into the products that we can then purchase and leverage, in order to provide that support for the students. It's just not conceivable for us to deliver those sorts of experience ourselves by building the solutions from the ground up.

So, we went through a detailed tender evaluation process. We had over a thousand functional and non-functional requirements that we assessed. We had over 60 staff, including students, evaluate various elements of the platforms that we had before us.

The evaluation of the Ellucian Banner® product suite certainly led us to believe that it was the best fit for our needs, but a couple of other things really resonate with us. One is the market position that Ellucian has across the world. The second thing is the fact that Ellucian is nothing but a higher-education-focused company and I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that the sort of solutions that Ellucian are going to bring forward and the support that we'll get from Ellucian will be entirely focused on what is our core business.

If you're selecting a new system, I think there are two things I would say. Firstly, you need to be really clear about what your objectives are. Why are you doing it in the first place? And are you putting in place an approach that will allow you to get to that end result?

The second thing is I can't underestimate the need for planning. It's very important to make sure that as you go through the decision-making process, you're keeping your objectives in mind, but it's done in a planned way.

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