Tribal's Dan Barrass explores the role of Registrars in Student Information Systems - including the key considerations, concerns and benefits of moving to the cloud.
Registrars play a critical role in the success of UK Universities, ensuring a University-wide system of effective academic administration - from enrolment right through to graduation.
One of the things I often hear Registrars say is how critical the relationship is between stakeholders - in particular the CIO and all the individual academic departments across the University.
Whilst the CIO's primary concern is ensuring the technology solutions meet the requirements of the academic goals, individual stakeholders from across the institution are focussed on aligning that technology with the overall mission.
The role of technology across institutions has become increasingly critical over the last decade or so, with Student Information Systems sitting at the heart of it. Of course for Registrars, this is the one system which brings everything together - giving that all important view of student's activity, progress, experience and achievements.
But students expect more now than ever before - since COVID-19 first swept across the Country in early 2021, the experience - and demands of students changed almost overnight.
So how does moving a traditionally on-premise system like SITS to the cloud help? What impact does it have on the student? And why should a University Registrar be interested?
For me, it boils down to the following...
- Greater Accessibility: Being able to interact from any device with an internet connection, including smartphones and tablets. This means that students can easily access their academic records, ask for support, transcripts, and get exam timetables, from anywhere, at any time, without the need to physically visit campus.
- Real-Time Updates: Cloud-based systems provide real-time updates, meaning that changes made to a student's academic record are reflected immediately. This can help students stay up-to-date with their academic progress, as well as any changes to their course schedules, financial aid, or other important information.
- Self-Service Capabilities: Cloud-based student information systems typically offer self-service capabilities, which enable students to complete tasks such as registering for courses, requesting transcripts, and making payments online as well as a whole host of support functions. This can help to reduce the administrative burden on the registrar's office, as well as provide students with greater flexibility and convenience.
- Improved Communication: Adopting communication tools, such as messaging and chat features either through the SIS or via a Student App empowers students to communicate quickly and easily in a way they prefer. Sending emails is likely to have poor engagement, increasing the risk that important information gets missed. This can help to reduce response times, as well as provide students with a more personalised and engaging experience.
- Enhanced Data Security: Like I said before, for a Registrar the SIS is critical! There's no shortage of horror stories from Universities who have been the subject of brutal cyber attacks - cloud-based systems typically offer vastly enhanced data security measures, which can help to protect students' sensitive data from these brutal threats. This not only gives the Registrar piece of mind, it'll also help to increase students' confidence in your University's ability to protect their personal information, leading to increased trust and satisfaction.
Moving previously on-premise systems to the cloud is no small challenge - but the benefits can be transformative, and more and more institutions are making the move now to meet the needs of the future.
For a Registrar, it's about joining the dots between systems - providing a future-proof system for the whole student journey - right from the moment they enrol.
If you would like to learn more about Tribal's SITS Cloud, you can find out more here:
or if you would like to contact us directly to discuss the next steps in your Cloud journey, please book a no-obligations call with us
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