New student records processing a welcome change

This month marks 4 years since the ‘new’ student records system went live with external hosting. Over the last 12 months, Corporate Records & Digitisation Services (CRDS) have introduced a range of technologies to enable digitisation and automation of many paper-intensive processes.

Changes in how CRDS process student records have resulted in some significant streamlining which will save the University money and improve turnaround times. And in all cases, these changes will provide better service to our clients.

Image of man with stack of papers

They include:

  • The ability to send confidential records to student file via email
  • Automatic processing of all recopy student email processing
    Up until now CRDS staff have had to manually forward every student email to be saved to student file to an external email address. This equates to approximately 3 hours of work each day to send circa 6,000 emails per month to file, which can only occur during business hours. The automatic processing of student email to file is now securely transferred via sFTP, reinforcing our commitment to information security. Email records are being polled every 10 minutes, 24/7 and transferred to student file. This change now enables CRDS staff to spend time on more beneficial activities.
  • CRDS now scans all student records onsite.  There are significant advantages of no longer sending scanning off site, which include:
    • Faster processing: From receipt in CRDS to when a record appears on the student file. Previously records would typically take up to 72 hours to appear on student file. They will now typically be available on file in less than 24 hours and usually within hours of receipt in CRDS.
    • Environmental savings: the team used to place a coloured barcode separator A4 page between every “document” in a batch. Scanning in-house means this is now avoided, saving tens of thousands of pages per annum (and associated dollars for not having to have these printed).
    • Cost savings: We don’t require courier services any longer, a saving of approximately $12,000 per annum. We don’t outsource scanning anymore.
    • Work Health & Safety: Eliminates almost all preparation effort we needed to do for external scanning, reducing WH&S issues associated with repetitive strain injuries
  • The opportunity to leverage the digitisation and automation technology to do things in a smarter way
    For example, the CRDS Team received between 10,500 to 12,000 Academic Standing records each year for scanning to student file, which originate digitally from PeopleSoft. Until recently, these records would be generated by Exams and Timetabling and then photocopied to create a record to send to CRDS. CRDS then inserted a coloured barcoded separator (required by the scanning vendor) between each document, batched in bundles of 25 documents, engage a courier, and send the records offsite for scanning. The sheer volume of these records meant that they could take up to a week or more to appear on student file in peak periods. This process created an additional 21,000 to 24,000 pieces of paper just to place a born digital record on a digital student file. Leveraging the new technology, Exams and Timetabling now simply create a PDF file containing multiple student letters, and place it in a specified drive location. The drive is polled automatically 24/7, the PDF is automatically split into individual letters, metadata is mined, and the individual files are sent to the student file.  All without human intervention or creating one single additional piece of paper!

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