Student Systems News

August 2018

University Card and Student Registration Reminder: Hints and Tips

This item is to remind administrators involved in admissions and on-course registration of the importance of marking the University Card Form as Sent/Release to Card Office and to provide a few hints and tips on helping to make the issue of students’ University Card and their subsequent registration happen smoothly. Marking the Card Form as sent in eVision is an important step in completing the undergraduate (‘Release to Card Office’) and graduate admissions (‘Send Card Form’) process and should be carried out when the Card Form is sent to the Card Office.

Why is it important to mark the Card Form as sent in eVision?

If the Card Form is not marked as sent in eVision, this will delay the creation of the student’s on-course record (Applicant Transfer). Applicant Transfer must be completed before the University Card and single sign-on details for registration can be generated. It already takes a minimum of three nights from when a student’s University Card form is processed in eVision to their Single Sign On (SSO) being issued in order to enable them to log on to IT facilities. By making sure that you have marked the card form as sent in eVision you are ensuring that this process doesn’t take longer than it needs to.

When should I mark the Card Form as sent?

The option to carry out this step will be available once the applicant has an unconditional offer. As soon as an applicant meets the conditions of his or her offer, you should record their unconditional offer in eVision. This will put the application in the correct state to generate an on-course student record, once the University Card form has been processed. This step is carried out by colleges for undergraduate applications and by departments for graduate applications; please see the links below for further guidance on how to mark the Card Form as sent.

Is there anything else I can do to make the process as smooth as possible?

In addition to promptly marking conditions as having been met, it is also important that any issues are dealt with quickly and that email addresses are updated.

  • Issues: If the application record is not in the correct state, SITS: Vision cannot generate an on-course student record once the Card Office has processed the Card form.  If you receive an email telling you there is a problem with the record, please fix the issue promptly. The issue may be that an admissions condition has not been closed off in eVision. If your level of eVision access does not allow you to fix the issues, or you cannot see what is wrong, contact the Student Systems Support Centre.
  • No school or University email addresses: If an applicant has one of these types of email address, or if their SSO activation email bounces back, IT Services will contact their college department to ask for a different email address. Applicants should therefore be encouraged to update their email addresses before they return their Card Form. For undergraduates and PGCE applicants, they should update their email addresses at UCAS. Graduates who applied through the main application form can update their email directly via Applicant Self Service. For applicants who applied via another method (e.g. Apply Yourself) then the department will be able to update the email address in eVision (see section 7 ‘Edit Contact Details’ in the Graduate Admissions Manual – UABs).

Where can I find further guidance?

For further guidance on managing undergraduate or graduate admissions as a college or department, please see the relevant training manual on the eVision training documentation page. For further information on the how the University Card process works, please see the presentation. The registration process diagram and FAQs can be found on the IT Services help pages.

SITS/eVision will be running 'at risk' on Thursday 23 August, 08:00-17:00.

IT Services will be undertaking urgent and essential work on the SITS infrastructure on Thursday 23 August, 8am to 5pm. During this time the SITS/eVision will be considered ‘at risk’. At risk, means that if any issues result from this work then there is a very small chance of SITS/eVision being unavailable or that the overall performance is temporarily affected. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Undergraduate Admissions: Enhancements now live

The enhancements (pdf) which have been developed for eVision earlier this year are now live. These include the improvements to Other UCAS Conditions flags, ability for colleges to edit contact details, improvements to the Confirmation Checking Report, and improved access for Joint School administrators. The Confirmation section of the Admissions Handbook has been fully updated for 2018 confirmation round.

Student Systems Support Centre: Monthly Service Report (Incidents and Response rates) - July 2018

The Service Report is now available for July 2018 on the Support Statistics web page.

July 2018

SITS/eVision will be running 'at risk' on Tuesday 31 July 7.00-9.00am [updated 30/07/18, 10:43]

IT Services will be undertaking urgent and essential changes on the SITS infrastructure on Tuesday 31 July, 7.00-9.00am. At risk, means that if any issues result from this work then there is a very small chance of SITS/eVision being unavailable or that the overall performance is temporarily affected. Apologies for the short notice and any inconvenience caused.

eVision Progression Process for Michaelmas Term 2018/19

The Data Quality Team (DQT) and the Academic Records Office (ARO) will run the progression process within eVision and SITS:Vision in the week commencing Monday 20th August 2018 in preparation for Michaelmas Term 2018/19. This message is to advise you of the process so you can prepare for any changes which may affect your own systems, and to ensure you are aware that aspects of student records may change.

What is the progression process?

The progression process for this term will roll forward students who are classed as Michaelmas Term students and whose anniversary of registration is in September onto their next year of study (e.g. first year students will become second year students). This will then allow students to re-register for the Michaelmas Term 2018/19 registration period. Returning students will be able to register online via Student Self Service from 1st September 2018.

What changes might I notice?

This is an important part of the system functionality and as such you will notice some changes to student data affected by the progression process, including:

  • Most of your returning students will have been rolled forward onto the next year of their study.
  • The student Enrolment Status will change from ‘Enrolled’ to ‘Ready to Enrol – Returner’ until the student has re-registered in Self Service.
  • As students begin to register there are likely to be frequent updates to personal details.

When is it happening and what will be the impact?

Progression will be undertaken by ARO and DQT, primarily between Tuesday 21st and Friday 24th August 2018, during which time the student records and the system will rollover from the 2017/18 to 2018/19 academic year. The main impact of this will be noticeable within eVision and Dataviews where the default academic year will begin to show as 2018/19.

Who do I contact for further information and advice?

If you require any further information in regard to progression please do not hesitate to contact the Academic Records Office (aro@admin.ox.ac.uk) for all matters concerning Undergraduates and Visiting/Recognised Students and the Data Quality Team (dqt@admin.ox.ac.uk) for queries regarding Postgraduate Taught and Research Students. If you have any further questions regarding rollover activities please contact the Student Systems Support Centre (student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk).

Undergraduate Admissions: Embargo during July and August

Examination results undergraduate admissions are under embargo during July and August. Results and decisions must not be communicated outside of the university before the embargo periods end (Tuesday 7 August, for Scottish Qualifications Authority results, and Thursday 16 August for everything else). We strongly encourage users to do the online embargo training course developed by UCAS.Please see the Undergraduate Admissions Handbook for further information, or contact Admissions Operations if you have any queries.

Student Systems Support Centre: Monthly Service Report (Incidents and Response rates) - June 2018

The Service Report is now available for June 2018 on the Support Statistics web page.

June 2018

Factors Affecting Performance (FAP) Outcomes: enhancements now live.

The enhancements to the factors affecting performance (FAP) outcomes functionality in eVision has now gone live thereby enabling outcomes to be recorded against both the year result and/or assessment(s) results.

This enhancement has been developed in response to feedback in 2017 to enable greater flexibility within the system in-line with applications and the nature of differing course setups, for example those with interim results. The updated Quick Reference Guides are now available to both department and college users on the eVision training documentation page.

The guidance in the Exams and Assessments online handbook has also been updated. These changes will have no effect on outcomes that have recently been recorded in eVision.

Trinity Term: eVision Dataviews and Reports Hints and Tips

We will shortly be entering one of the busiest times in the academic calendar for users running reports and dataviews on eVision. Here are a couple of hints and tips to assist you in ensuring that your processes run smoothly:

  •  If you wish to run a report for an individual student it is recommended that you use the ‘View Student’ report on the Student Records tab or the ‘Individual Student Search’ available on the dataviews tab. While it is possible to search for individual students on other dataviews, these purpose-built screens generally run faster and return results more quickly than dataviews.
  • If your dataview or report is timing out, please make sure that the minimum recommended parameters have been entered and that you allow at least two minutes for the process to be run. If the spinning wheel icon is still running, please do not attempt to rerun the dataview or report; refreshing and re-running any dataview or report more frequently than this leads to performance issues.

Thank you for your co-operation. By everyone following a few best practice steps it should mean that dataviews and reports will run much faster and will be more stable for all users of eVision.  If you encounter any difficulties running dataviews or reports please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

Student Systems Support Centre: Monthly Service Report (Incidents and Response rates) - May 2018

The Service Report is now available for May 2018 on the Support Statistics web page.

May 2018

Upgraded SITS: Vision and eVision are now available (Monday 21 May 2018)

SITS: Vision, eVision, Student Self Service, Graduate Application Form, and Graduate Application Self Service are now available again for use following the scheduled SITS:Vision Upgrade which took place over the weekend (19/20 May 2018).

Find out more about the upgrade
SITS: Vision and eVision (including Student Self Service, Graduate Application Form, and Graduate Application Self Service) were upgraded to ensure the University’s student systems continue to be supported and secure. The SITS: Vision and eVision functionality remained the same for users however if you encounter any issues or have any queries regarding the upgrade, please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

SITS: Vision Upgrade and Planned Downtime

SITS: Vision, the underlying application for eVision, Student Self Service and Graduate Applicant Self Service, will be upgraded from version 9.3 to 9.5 over the weekend of 19/20 May 2018. This routine upgrade will ensure that the University’s student records system remains up to date and continues to be supported. There will be no major changes for users, however the aforementioned systems will be unavailable from 17:00 on Friday 18 May throughout that weekend, and made available again in time for 09:00 on Monday 21 May. If you experience any issues accessing eVision outside of these hours then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Student Systems Support Centre: Monthly Service Report (Incidents and Response rates) - April 2018

The Service Report is now available for April 2018 on the Support Statistics web page.

Student Systems Support Centre (SSSC): Mailing List Usage Statement

The SSSC's Mailing List Usage Statement is now available on the Student System website. Active eVision users are automatically included in the mailing lists and membership of the mailing lists is mandatory. Information on when and why you may occasionally be contacted via email is on the Mailing List Usage Statement webpage.

April 2018

Student Systems Support Centre: New Monthly Service Report (Incidents and Response rates) now available

The first Student Systems Support Centre (SSSC) monthly service report is now available on the Support Statistics webpage. This month’s service report illustrates the huge improvements which have been made in reducing the number of open incidents since a programme of work began to improve the SSSC’s internal processes from late 2016. We are pleased to announce that the number of incidents open at the end of last month was at a record low of 52 compared to 337 in the same month last year. SSSC aim to resolve over 70% of tickets received within one week and 90% with four weeks – a target that has been achieved almost every month since June 2017. From April 2018, there is a new target to ensure that all tickets are resolved within six weeks. As this is the first report we have published we have included the statistics from the last 19 months. The next service report, covering the last 15 months, will be available in the first half of May and we hope you will continue to follow our progress over the summer.

Dataviews and reports in eVision will be unavailable on Thursday 26 April, 08:00-18:00

Dataviews and reports in eVision will be unavailable from 08:00 on Thursday 26th April until 18:00 the same day in order to apply an essential software upgrade to the reporting infrastructure. We regret that this outage will occur during working hours, however these updates are necessary to ensure that the software remains up to date and supported by the supplier. All other areas of eVision will be unaffected and will remain operational throughout the day.

We are aware that users based in Graduate Admissions and divisional offices will need to access reports in late April in order to decide which graduate programmes to reopen for admission after 1st May. Please allow for the outage when planning this work; we will take steps to ensure that this data could be provided by the Support Centre in the unlikely event of any eVision reporting problems after the upgrade.

For a list of the Dataviews affected, please see this List (11kb). If you experience any issues accessing Dataviews outside of these hours then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk.

March 2018

Graduate Admissions (departments): Verification of Qualifications Change

In order to improve the quality of data in eVision, a change has been implemented in Graduate Admissions to ensure that qualifications can only be verified by a department where the necessary information has been completed. While previously it has been possible to verify qualifications where important details, such as the Actual/Expected Result and Main Subject, are missing, now Verify Result and Record Result & Verify will only appear if the necessary information has been entered.

  • The option to Verify Result will now only be available if the Actual/Expected Result and Date of expected/actual completion have already been entered.  If this information is missing then Missing result will be shown rather than the Verify Result option (red circles in screenshot below). If the Verify Result option is missing, then choose Record Result & Verify instead.
  • The option to Record Result & Verify will now only be available if the Qualification, Main Subject, and Institution detailshave already been entered. If this information is missing then Missing Details will be shown rather than the Record Result & Verify option (blue circles in screenshot below). If Missing Details is displayed rather than Record Result & Verify, then use the Edit Qualification Details option instead.

 

The Graduate Admissions Manual - UABs training manual has been updated to reflect this change and can be found on the Training Documentation web page. If you have any queries regarding this change then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

SITS/eVision User Experience Survey: results and plans for the future

If you were among the 475 users who participated in the eVision/SITS User Experience Survey last year, we would like to thank you for taking part. We would also would like to share feedback from the survey with you, and explain how this is being taken forward.

The overall results show that staff with an administrative role and frequent users are comparatively satisfied with eVision/SITS and the support of the system. Staff in academic roles, and infrequent users, are less satisfied with eVision and the support of the system.

In view of these results, we plan to:

  1. Review the ‘front page’ and structure of eVision in order to improve navigability, in particular for academic staff who use the system less often. We aim to make common tasks and information more intuitive to find and complete;
  2. Undertake a technical review of eVision with input from the supplier, with a particular focus on performance improvements;
  3. Continue to improve support procedures to ensure a fast response and resolution to helpdesk calls. Significant progress was made in this area during 2017 which provides a good basis for further improvement, as follows:
  1. Helpdesk calls: the number of open support tickets was reduced from 739 on 1 January 2017, to 140 tickets on 1 January 2018. For context, we received c6300 tickets during 2017. In January 2017 we resolved 87.5% of calls within four weeks. In January 2018 this had improved to 97.4% resolution within the same period.
  2. Problem management: a new process was introduced to identify and prioritise issues which require more detailed investigation, which will ensure we focus our effort on systems issues with the greatest impact and urgency.
  3. Communication: we will review our communications with users to ensure these are better targeted, appropriately timed, and relevant.

This survey will also serve as a baseline against which to compare our services in future.

For detailed information on the feedback we received and any planned system developments please see the eVision/SITS: Vision User Experience Survey Results web page.

If you have any feedback in the meantime, either regarding the service or systems we provide, then please contact student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or follow the guidance on our Improvements page.

Graduate Admissions: Application PDF Bulk Download Surname Range

There is now a surname range search parameter available when using the Application PDF Bulk Download functionality. This enables searches to be run in smaller batches where required. See the Bulk PDF Download QRG for further details.

February 2018

New eVision Graduate Offer and Intake Target report now live

The new eVision Graduate Offer and Intake Target report is now available to all UAB and college staff with access to Graduate Admissions eVision functionality. The report is intended to facilitate closer monitoring of the admissions cycle and will show the number of offers made by a programme against the offer target and student intake target. The student intake target will be available for all programmes, but please note that the offer target will only be available for full-time matriculated programmes (with the exception of those in Medical Sciences).

This report will be found under the Graduate Admission Reports section of Admissions in eVision:

The Graduate Offer and Intake Target report was implemented as part of the Graduate Admissions Improvement project. The existing training manuals for University Admitting Bodies (UABs) and colleges have been updated and can be found on the Training Documentation page.

Reduced System Resiliency of SITS/eVision: Friday 23 February to Monday 26 February

Essential works will be carried out to migrate some of the servers which support SITS to a new data centre over the weekend of the 24th and 25th February in order to improve the long-term stability of Student Systems, as well as other University services. Due to this SITS: Vision, eVision and Student Self-Service should be considered ‘at-risk’ from 10:00am on Friday 23 February and continuing throughout Monday 26 February. Every effort has been made to ensure that any disruption to our services are minimised, but please note that the service will be running at reduced capacity and resiliency during this period. If you encounter any issues outside of this period, please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

January 2018

Brief outage to eVision and the Graduate Application Form [19 January, 12:30pm]

The Graduate Application form and eVision are now available again after a service outage due around 12pm today. The service is now available again but please contact the Student Systems Support Centre if you continue to encounter any problems. 

The Graduate application deadline has been extended to midnight due to service outages and an unprecedented volume of applications. If you are encountering problems attempting to submit fee payment with your application please could make alternative payment method:

  1.  Please go to www.graduate.ox.ac.uk/applicationfee and make a purchase of the application fee. Click on ‘Add to Basket’ and then proceed to make payment. If you have not used the Online Stores before, you will need to create an account, and provide some personal details and the name of the course to which you are applying.
  2. Once you have paid your application fee, you will receive an email with your application fee order number, which begins with OXF followed by six digits. Please email graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk with the title OXF NUMBER and provide the six-digit number so that your payment can be located in the system.
  3. When Graduate Admissions has located your payment, they will give you instructions on how to submit your application without paying an additional fee.

If you are having any difficulties making the payment using the above method, please contact Graduate Admissions (graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk) as soon as possible. Please be aware that although the application deadline has been extended to midnight you need to contact Graduate Admissions by 5pm today.

SITS 9.5 Upgrade: planned for Trinity Term 2018

This routine upgrade in Trinity Term 2018 will ensure that the University’s student records system remains up to date and continues to be supported. This year, as with last year, SITS/eVision will have a double upgrade – taking it from version 9.3 to 9.5. No major changes are expected for users and further details regarding the dates and times of the upgrade will be displayed here shortly.

December 2017

Student Systems Support Centre: Christmas Closure dates

The Student Systems Support Centre will be closed from 16:00pm on Thursday 21 December until 8:30am on Wednesday 3January. During this time, telephones will be diverted to voicemail, and queries should be sent to student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk. The Support Centre will respond to queries as quickly as possible after opening again on Wednesday 3 January 2018.

November 2017

Graduate Admissions Improvements - for applicants, academic assessors and administrators

The Graduate Admissions Improvements project was set up in response to Council’s goal of achieving faster funded offers in the graduate admissions process. It has implemented a number of system improvements for the 2017/18 admissions round, which are listed on the Graduate Admissions Improvements page on the Education IT website.

Student systems: possible slow-down to services on Monday 20 November and Tuesday 21 November.

Users of eVision, SITS:Vision, GSS and OxCORT may experience a temporary slow-down in service from 16:00pm Monday 20 November until 12pm Tuesday 21 November due to a planned network migration.  If you encounter any unexpected issues on during this period please contact the Student Systems Support Centre Tel: 01865 (2)84848. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. 

Student Systems Improvements Update

Since the start of the Trinity Term improvements have been made to:

  • Undergraduate admissions functionality (see News item under July 2017)
  • Registration, including disabilities, career plans and employability skills
  • Research management; inclusion of students' specialism on a variety of eVision reports
  • Extension to disability codes by making them more usable and informative for applicants and students
  • Degree ceremonies; internal to the Degree Conferrals team
  • Emergency contact details
  • Submissions (see Submissions Item Detail News item below).

New eVision functionality was also developed for departments to record the final outcome decision of factors affecting performance (FAP) (see News items under May and June 2017).

During Michaelmas Term, work will commence on the following functionality in eVision:

  • Suspensions for post graduate research students
  • Factors affecting performance (FAP) enhancements to enable the ability to store multiple outcomes.
  • Usability improvements in eVision

Further details regarding these improvements can be found on the Student Systems Improvements page.

New eVision Functionality: Submission Item Details

The new ‘Submissions Item Details’ functionality has been developed in the Examinations area of eVision in order to facilitate relevant processes relating to submissions deadlines. Department Exam Board Administrators will now able to quickly and easily enter, check, and change submission details directly into the system for any exam boards they are responsible for. Staff in the colleges, ARO, the Proctor’s Office, and Education Policy Support will then be able to view this information on a read-only basis. Users who have already been identified as requiring access to this new functionality will have received an email from Submissions and Research Degrees Team with further details.

The ‘Submission Item Details (Department Exam Board Administrator)’ and ‘Submission Item Details (Read-only)’ Quick Reference Guides can be found on the eVision Training Documentation page.

If you have any eVision queries please contact the Student Systems Support Centre. For queries regarding Submissions, please contact the Submissions and Research Degrees Team .

eVision and SITS Vision User Experience Survey Results

The results of the User Experience Survey have now been analysed and will be used to inform future development plans. The outcome of these results will be displayed on the User Experience Survey webpage shortly. The current Improvements planned for this term can be found on the Student Systems Improvements webpage.

October 2017

Graduate Admissions Automated Emails

Two improvements have been made to Graduate Admissions automated emails from eVision. Details are on the Graduate Admissions Improvements project web page. 

September 2017

Datacentre works on 16/17 September: postponed

Essential works were planned be carried out at the Begbroke datacentre over the weekend of the 16th and 17th September in order to improve the long-term stability of Student Systems, as well as other University services. These works have now been deferred to a later date yet to be agreed. Please check back on the Student Systems homepage for future notices.

News items Pre-September 2017

To see older news items please see the Archived News section.