The Fiji National University (FNU) is on track in providing first-class online self-service experience to students and staff users with the launch of the installation phase of the University Information Management System (UIMS).

A high-powered team from Ellucian, the suppliers of the UIMS were recently in the country to engage in the UIMS project kickoff meeting with the FNU project team.

Ellucian is the world’s leading software solutions for management system vendor for universities and vocational colleges.

FNU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey highlighted that the software project implementation will cost $20-million-dollars.

“It will give the Fiji National University an advanced UIMS as good as any university in the world. Many of our current manual and paper-based processes will be eliminated and some of our current online systems will be radically streamlined and made “self-service,” said Professor Healey.

The Vice-Chancellor added that the new project is in line with the University’s tenth anniversary next year with the goal of being a modern 21st century institution.

“Work on preparing to install the Ellucian UIMS, which will revolutionize and automate the University’s processes from enrolment to graduation, from HR to Finance, has been ongoing for some months.  This work has involved upgrading the University’s hardware so that it can be configured for the new software, seconding staff from the various divisions and colleges to the UIMS project team and “cleansing” our existing data so that it is ready to be migrated to the new system,” said the VC.

The University Information Management System (UIMS) is an integrated system which will include all Institutional Administrative Systems, Student Services and Timetabling Service. 

The UIMS will integrate with other systems such as Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), financial system, student portal and communications platform thus providing a holistic service to students, staff and all stakeholders.

The project has 2 major components. First is the Student Management System(SMS). The project will cover the entire student lifecycle management from including Application, Enrolment, Course and program management, Graduation and Alumni.

The second component is the implementation of support systems which are Finance, HR, Student Accommodation and Business Intelligence. The entire project is estimated to be complete in 24 months.

This project is focused on providing the best experience for students as they enrol and progress through their studies. This new software-based system will enable our staff to manage all the associated administrative functions efficiently.

UIMS Project Manager Sanjay Singh said the project will produce a centralized information system for the University, assisting the University management with real time accurate information for efficient decision making.

“From staff and student perspective, there will be efficiency in processes, self-service at their fingertips with improved and consistent user experience using digital services. A single mobile app will be for online services and e-learning for students,” said Singh.

During the meeting, the consultants had breakout sessions with FNU’s Student Services team, Finance, HR & Technical to understand current business process and document new processes.

FNU team also had the opportunity to look at various options for new and improved processes that would make FNU provide better customer experience to its stakeholders.

Vice President of Professional Services APAC at Ellucian, Joe Mclver said the company has been helping higher education institutions achieve student access and are excited to be working together with the Fiji National University.

“Our passion speaks for itself, we serve 2,500 institutions and 18 million students in 50 countries around the globe. For this project, there’s already been a lot of work involved and a lot of preparation has been done,” said Mclver.

Currently the Fiji National University (FNU) uses three separate Student Management Systems that were developed around 2007. While the software has been efficient, there is a need for an upgrade as it has limitations.

The UIMS project is expected to be implemented by early next year.

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