Massey University's new myMassey website may not look very exciting, but it is already saving the tertiary institute money while providing an improved service for its students and staff.
The site can be access through Massey's main site at www.massey.ac.nz or directly at www.mymassey.com.
Prospective students can enrol on the site, although they will need to download a Citrix client application to allow remote access to the university's servers, says Gerrit Bahlman, head of computing services.
"We'd planned for 20 per cent of this year's enrolment processed online but it looks like we'll have more than that," says Bahlman. Already 30,000 copies of Massey's annual handbook have been downloaded, saving on printing costs that would run into the thousands of dollars.
"We're running the site in conjunction with our 0800 call centre and the two are working together very closely and very well."
Bahlman says students are not only signing up for courses online, they're able to check on everyday issues like course credits and timetables via the web and pay their fees.
"We've got an online payment system and even before we told the students it was there they were using it to pay course fees which was great to see."
Students can also check exam results online, as well as changing details such as phone numbers and addresses.
For basic information like timetables, the standard web interface is capable of delivering the information. However, students wanting to enrol online can do so using Citrix, once they've downloaded the ICA client to gain access to "a really rich GUI environment. It gives them access to every aspect of their student record."
The site is only in the first iteration - Bahlman says he was more interested in getting the back end to work properly and so avoid the problems seen at other institutions with servers failing to cope with demand.
Future services to be added include a function to allow students to top up their computer department accounts through the website, as well as more news and information if that's what users want. Bahlman says there is a feedback box on the front page of the site that he hopes staff and students will make use of.