MyCampus: Just 42% of postgraduates enrolled

Just 42% of full-time postgraduates enrolled are in the new MyCampus system. Academics say “entire project appears to have been driven by the SMG’s need to control and command us more effectively”.

University Senate will today discuss a report on the implementation of the new MyCampus system. The paper, submitted by David Newall,Chair of the Student Lifecycle Project (SLP) – the University scheme which delivered MyCampus – blames lack of training and insufficient preparation of data. However, members of the School of Computing Science have issued an angry rebuttal in a email sent out to all members of Senate, arguing that the software is “capricious”, “buggy” and “unfit for purpose”. They also say that “the failures were predictable and were predicted by staff of this school.”

As previously reported by this paper, the implementation of MyCampus has been plagued by problems. Last month, the MyCampus debacle saw the University hire around twenty temporary staff and receive thousands of support calls in and around Freshers’ Week. The confusion saw the creation of various groups on social-networking sites that were highly critical of the new system.

Newall’s MyCampus report admits that

Students have experienced considerable difficulties with class enrolment, which has been consuming much more staff time than had been estimated.

The report goes on to blame a

Lack of familiarity with the system on the part of staff and students, some poor configuration of the software [and] a high level of manual intervention required by advisers.

Computing Science staff disagree. They say:

Lack of familiarity would not be an issue with any other piece of software. This software is unintuitive, riddled with errors and extremely difficult to use.

Hours and days have been spent fighting with the software. Despite the best attempts of the SLP team we do not see how this can be alleviated for next year, or ever.

The email finishes with a scathing demand:

Are we going to press on with this ill-advised and damaging project, or start behaving intelligently and take bold and courageous action?

Sandy MacDonald, head of IT services and member of the SLP Board, refused to comment.

Stuart Ritchie, President of the Students’ Representative Council (GUSRC) said:

It’s clear that there has been a degree of mismanagement on the part of the University in how the system has been implemented, creating unnecessary levels of stress for students. It’s now up to the University to ensure that those students struggling to use the system are given assistance, and to ensure similar problems are not encountered in the next academic year.

Just 42% of full-time Postgraduate Taught students had their full 180-credit programme
reflected on MyCampus, and it is estimated that 2,000 Undergraduate students have still to complete their enrolment.

To view the report submitted to Senate by the SLP board, click here.

To view the Computing Science email to the Senate list click here.


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