Key MI systems in use in English colleges of further education.

Cloud services for FE project

We’ve produced a report, which you may find useful, as part of the groundwork for the Cloud services for FE project. This once rejoiced under the name of “Jisc in a box” and also “Shared Services for MI R&D”, if you’re thinking that you haven’t heard of it before.

The report provides a picture of which student management, finance and HR systems are in use in England. It also uses previous information from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to provide a picture of use across the UK.

Why was the report commissioned?

The project aims to provide colleges with an easy, cost-effective method of procuring MI systems on a “Software as a service” (SaaS) basis. We needed to understand what systems are currently in use across in order to determine which systems should be included within the scope of the project. We had reasonable data for all parts of the UK except for England, where about 90% of existing colleges are located.

How was the information obtained?

Jisc commissioned external consultants from Hapsis Ltd. to obtain the information. Hapsis used Jiscmail lists to email contacts within English FE colleges, asking them what systems they were using, how well they integrated together and how satisfied they were with the suppliers. 88 colleges responded – 26% of the current total of colleges in England, which should provide us with a very representative sample.

Main findings

A small number of suppliers, typically 4, provide around three quarters of the systems, but these suppliers differed across the functions.  The four main suppliers of student management systems are: Capita, Tribal, Compass and Civica. MidlandHR’s iTrent system is the dominant HR system in use with a market share of one-third.

Satisfaction varied across respondents, with Ffnance systems showing the least dissatisfaction but more neutral responses. In contrast, satisfaction was more polarised for student record systems. Ease of access for finance and HR systems, plus security and reliability of HR and student records were amongst the highest scores. Ease of implementation was identified as an issue, particularly for HR systems, and supplier relationships and value for money in both HR and student records scored the lowest ratings. The high response and willingness to engage demonstrates the interest from the sector in this project.

Where to find the report

Please go to here.

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