Auck University students storm online

Around half of Auckland University's full-time students have enrolled online since the university's new web-based system went live in November.

Around half of Auckland University’s full-time students have enrolled online since the university’s new web-based system went live in November.

The director of student administration, Kay Wills, says 10,000 students had used the system for enrolment in first-semester courses closing off on March 9.

“That’s great considering that usually at this time of year we have no people enrolled,” she says.

Wills says about half the enrolments have come from students’ homes or outside the university. Students without a PC at home can use one of the 10 manned computer labs around the campus where the system, known as nDeva, will also be available.

“When I went overseas last year to look at other universities that have done this, I learned that you have to have all students enrolling on line. It’s too confusing to have two systems running at once.”

The system is supported by an email help desk and call centre. Wills says the main problem encountered by the help desk is students forgetting their passwords.

nDeva is part of the university’s student administration system by Peoplesoft and replaces SEARS (student enrolment and records system) which drew student criticism several years ago when it crashed during enrolment week, causing long delays.

Apart from enrolment, nDeva contains the entire 2001 calendar and has a link to the WINZ website where students can apply for their loans. It is also integrated with the university’s Peoplesoft human resource and financial systems, and the Voyager library administration system. Staff will also have access to class rolls.

Wills says the aim is for nDeva to become a definitive source of information for students with content such as graduation details, exam timetables, lecture timetables and tuition fees. To these ends, the university will be implementing recruitment, graduation and advancement modules of the Peoplesoft student administration package this year.

“It will eventually track the student from the time they first request information on attending the university through graduation and their becoming an alumni.”

The systems architecture for nDeva is an IBM Shark disk storage unit, a Sequent (now IBM) Numa-Q database server, five Windows NT application servers and four web servers.

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