Frequently asked questions

  • SRS Programme Questions

    The following are general questions about the SRS Programme.

  • There are three main benefit categories around which benefits can be recognised for the new SRS:

    • Better decision-making and improved services through easier access, sharing and storing of relevant data and information.
    • More efficient and streamlined processes and ways of working, driven by digital storage that's easily accessible.
    • Better user experience for applicants, students and staff through use of a modern, single integrated platform that works across multiple devices and platforms.

    The University has learnt several lessons from past IT projects which have informed ways of working within the SRS Programme.

    Business Change

    First of all, we do not see the SRS Programme as simply an IT project. Oxford Brookes has recognised that implementing Banner will bring changes to the University. We have therefore formed a team of change facilitators who will work with key teams to make sure we can extract all the benefits that the new SRS can bring us.

    Governance

    In addition, we have set up an appropriate governance structure that is apt for the scale of the SRS. This structure has clear lines of reporting and responsibility. You can find a breakdown of it in our “Who makes decisions?” section in our About page.

    Strategic Partners

    In order to address acknowledged gaps in the University’s capacity and capability for this large body of work, we have appointed PA Consulting as our strategic partner. With an off-the-shelf system, the University also gains the knowledge, support and expertise of Ellucial Global Ltd. 

    You can find a breakdown of members in our Meet the Team section. In that same section, you can also see a breakdown of our Governance structure including who is in our Executive Board as well as in our Operational Management Groups.

    Additionally, several SRS stakeholders including support staff, students and academics, will also contribute to the SRS Programme in several ways. One of this is through the Change Network. You can find out more about it in our dedicated Change Network Google Site. 

    Training will be provided to everyone who needs it. Depending on what area you work in, training will be tailored to the type and level of your use of Banner. Training will take place as close to the Go-Live times as possible and colleagues who need to be trained will be contacted well in advance. To determine these times, the SRS Programme team is liaising with heads of departments and directors to identify the best times to train people. For dates and times of courses available please go here.
    No, June Graduation will be through the current system, eCSIS and other processes. The first graduations to be processed through the SRS system are planned for June 2020. 
    One of the advantages of an off-the-shelf system is that it is flexible and can be upgraded more easily when changes occur in the sector. At the same time Ellucian Global Ltd. is committed to keep the product up to date with many of the regulatory systems in the higher education sector. Regulatory bodies include HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency), UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration), UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) and SLC (Student Loans Company).
    Depending on the regulation, this may already be wrapped in as part of the maintenance cost to Ellucian Global Ltd. However, this will have to be assessed on case by case basis.
    The current SRS interacts with close to 50 systems. Work to implement Banner will include an in-depth process of designing and defining each of the elements of functionality that the new system can provide, which may include some of those systems. As part of the process of implementing Banner, decisions on what systems to keep or replace will be made.

    Where suitable, existing interfaces will be migrated from eCSIS to the new system. These will continue to operate as today with minimal changes. We will continue to use Moodle. Modules will continue to be synchronised between it and the new system. However, the structure of modules in Moodle will be updated to match the new system.

    In addition to Moodle, there are about 30 interfaces that will continue to be used with the new system. We will also add some new interfaces such as WPM, which will replace our existing card payment system.

    eCSIS will remain live for 6 months after June 2019, as a back-up in case any issues arise. Once the University is happy that Banner is working well, it will decide what archiving options to implement and finally a decision will be made to turn off eCSIS and dispose the hardware.
    Organisational change is not part of the scope of the SRS Programme. However, Business Change as a whole is recognised as important for Oxford Brookes University. The SRS Programme aims to encourage more efficient processes in order to be able to free up time to allow staff to focus more on adding value to the student experience. The Business Change facilitators in the SRS Team will work with department heads and leads to facilitate change in aspects such as training and skills development.

    The Academic Framework Review (AFR) is an initiative to refresh the regulations and policies of programmes of study at Oxford Brookes University. It aims to help structure and organise the University’s programmes in order to enhance the student and staff experience.

    The AFR implementation is intended to dovetail and complement the implementation of the SRS whilst also taking into account the volume of change happening within the University. Although the AFR is a separate project from the SRS, we are working to ensure that our new system is flexible enough to support any academic structure and policies that the AFR intends to implement. 

    If you have any questions about the Academic Framework please go here.

    The SRS Programme and key stakeholders have been collaborating with other institutions to share best practice. This has included user groups relating to Finance, Admissions and HESA reporting, as well as the Banner UK User Group. In addition, in May several key stakeholders and SRS Team members are attending the Ellucian Europe user conference in Bath, Somerset, to share best practice with higher education peers.
    Part of the implementation of the new SRS involves transferring all data for current students and any students who completed and/or left on or after 1st September 2016. This includes students’ biographical data, course and finance details, amongst several other categories. The SRS Team has identified the need for an archiving project to deal with all legacy data from eCSIS. More information about progress on this work will be available at the end of April.    
    Some colleagues have mentioned that they are facing difficulties when writing letters for graduating students. The new system will provide more self-serve options for Program Administrators. Banner also has improved reporting and self-service functionalities. The SRS Team is currently looking into the role-based access functionality within Banner. At the moment, the SRS Team can confirm that Administrative staff will be able to run standard reports. However, highly complex reports will require technical assistance. Further work will be required to define exactly what level of data access different groups of staff will have.
    1. Operational Reporting: For each work stream which is in scope for the SRS programme we will capture reporting requirements and provide the required reports either via the reporting functionality in CRM Recruit or with new Argos reports. After developing reports we will coordinate training and testing and provide rollout support (e.g. user accounts and security grouping) as well as early life support leading to handover into business as usual.
    2. Existing Reporting Solutions: Existing reporting solutions e.g. Business Objects (Finance) and Qlikview (APTT) will continue to operate and we will work with the relevant teams to adjust the reports provided by those reporting platforms to reflect the data in Banner. Support for these reports will continue to be provided by the existing BaU teams.
    3. Strategic Reporting: Qlikview will continue to provide reports on a strategic level and we will continue to work with the Data Warehouse project which will be the future source of strategic reports and reports on data aggregated from multiple systems.
    4. Satellite System Integration: We will re-integrate all satellite systems which are listed and approved as part of the SRS integration strategy. This will ensure that those systems receive the required data feeds from Banner and that reports provided from those satellite systems continue to be accurate.
    Student Support Coordinators currently perform a lot of programme checking. This involves instances when a student requires support from student support coordinators (and others) to understand the options open to them for the remainder of their course of study. The SRS Team along with Subject Matter Experts from the areas in the University that will be using Banner are currently learning about the module registration functionality in the new system and exploring the different options available.
    Staff will be able to log their interactions with students in Banner. This can be done, for example, in the form of comments. Other staff may also be able to see the history of interactions that a particular student has had with staff members, as appropriate.
    Continuing students will use PIP until the end of the 2018/19 academic year. From September 2019, it's expected that once Banner becomes the main source for student data, for new and continuing students, that PIP will no longer be used. We will be providing more guidance for students and staff about Banner 'self-service' as part of SRS communications and training for the 2019/20 academic year.

    The systems currently being developed to interface with the SRS are:

    • Star Rez
    • WPM
    • Hobsons
    • Student ID Cards EMOS
    • PEMS
    • Moodle
    • Banner staff and student account provisioning
    • Single sign-on
    • Global MBA
    • Google Calendar
    • E5
    • New Library Management System
    • CMIS/CMIS GO
    • Raiser’s Edge
    • Student Union CMS 
    The Wellbeing system, PCMIS, falls outside the scope of the SRS as it does not interface with the current SRS, eCSIS. However, within specific workstreams eg Exam Management, Wellbeing has been incorporated and therefore within scope where adjustments for students need to be communicated to other areas of the University. 
    All 'current' students plus 3 years of graduated students will be moved across to the new system. There is an ongoing discussion regarding data retention covering archiving of historical data beyond migration scope. The recommendation of options for archiving will be put before the ITS governance board.
    Yes, SRS and OBU are working on a plan, though the system is on track to go live at the end of June. Time to plan for contingency will depend on the nature of the delay and is unknown at this current time.
  • Curriculum Workstream

    The following questions relate to the implementation of Banner's Curriculum functionality.

  • Yes. The Banner programme codes will be defined by a combination of the award and the subject codes. For example ‘BA Honours Anthropology’ in Banner will be ‘BAH-AX’. Where possible, this team has retained the current subject codes for user familiarity.
    Yes. The Banner module codes will be a combination of subject area code and module number. The first digit of the module number will define the level of the module. For example, a Geography level 4 module in Banner will be ‘GEOG 4001’ and level 5 'GEOG 5001'. 
  • Admissions Workstream

    The following questions relate to the implementation of Banner's Admissions functionality.

  • Admissions and Oxford Brookes International (OBI) teams are now preparing to test the applications that colleagues submitted during the dry-run. Our faculty staff will also help with this work to ensure that we can test the complete journey of a student application.

    Admissions and OBI will receive training in April to enable them to use the new system and will also receive more training closer to the go-live dates. Our findings from the dry-run testing will feed into our change plans ahead of Go-Live. These plans will be updated and managed by the Admissions change group.

    There will be different levels of access, according to colleagues' specific roles. Faculties members will be able to review direct applications from a central dashboard where documents related to students will be stored. These include references, awards, identity documents and evidence of prior attainments, among others.
    Undergraduates who apply currently through UCAS will continue to complete their applications and obtain decisions through the UCAS web link. However, their data will be stored in the new system and their applications will also be processed in the new system.

    Banner's reporting tool is called Argos. We are currently working on creating user-friendly reports - statistical data and lists of applicants - and writing a training programme which we hope to have ready in December 2018. We plan to deliver the training to Faculty and Directorate staff initially on a face-to-face basis and thereafter to create an online course so that newly-arrived staff, or those who don't get to the initial sessions, can access this on an ongoing basis.



    Yes. We are beginning by looking at flagging applications from target WP schools; when we have completed that we will review other items to see how these can be flagged. 
  • SRS Programme Questions/Feedback form

    Please fill out the following anonymous form if you would like to provide questions/feedback to us.