University responds to MyCampus criticism

Published

glasgow university main building grounds

Credit: Taylor Robertson

Georgina Hayes and Laurie Clarke
Editors-in-Chief

The Glasgow Guardian stands by the opinion expressed in the editorial that highlighted the issues that many students faced when enrolling and we do not believe that the University sufficiently answered our questions

In a recent editorial, the University came under fire for its treatment of students with regard to the registration and enrolment process for the coming academic year. In response to this opinion piece, the University wishes to make the following statement:

“The recent opinion piece in The Glasgow Guardian on how MyCampus operated during registration and enrolment raised a number of issues that the University would like to clarify. The language used in that commentary must also be challenged.

The Glasgow Guardian gave the impression that there were widespread problems and systematic failures with MyCampus. We do appreciate that a very small number of students did experience some issues, and staff members are doing all that they can to make things right. On the whole though the system was robust. The facts bear this out. For example, more than 6,000 students successfully registered on day one, compared to fewer than 4,000 on the first day in 2017 and by the end of the first week significantly more students than ever before were able to complete registration and enrolment. Our helpdesk and social media feeds were there to support, as were substantial numbers of staff who worked tirelessly and for long hours – because it is their job but also because of the genuine care and concern that they have for students.

However many members of staff have expressed their hurt and disappointment at the personal nature of some of the language used in The Glasgow Guardian article. We would simply ask whether it is appropriate and justifiable to state that ‘the University’s staff are treating its students with blatant disregard at best and outright malice at worst” or the revised wording of “certain university departments are treating their students with blatant disregard’.

It is fair to ask difficult questions, seek assurances and find out the facts. Some of which are outlined above. What isn’t fair is to engage in unsubstantiated attacks on colleagues in various University schools and service departments who are doing their very best for all of our students.”

We have approached the University with several questions regarding the registration and enrolment process and why the issues raised in our last article occurred. These questions were the following:

1) We’ve had many complaints from students who have been on study abroad claiming that although they have provided all the required information on time, they have not been able to get processed and have therefore faced a delayed enrolment and missing out on their class choices. Do you think the process of registration and enrolment for students who have been on study abroad needs to be improved?

2) Do you think that communication between students and staff could be better regarding their academic standing and the entire enrolment process? For example, students who had Good Causes and handed in essays or sat exams during the resit diet experience a delayed registration and enrolment, but oftentimes weren’t made aware that this would be the case until realising they were unable to enrol and contacting University staff.

3) Many students have claimed that their course administrators and advisors of studies have been out of office during enrolment time. Does the University concede that this is inviting confusion and potential chaos, and that perhaps leave should be disallowed during this most crucial time?

4) MyCampus has been crashing throughout the entirety of the enrolment process and some departments (I can confirm that History and English Literature) have delayed enrolment onto classes more than once. Does the University think that MyCampus needs to be replaced with a more efficient system that makes life easier for both students and staff alike? Many students are now in a position where they can’t be certain of their reading lists until September.

The answers to these questions were vague and left most questions unanswered.

A spokesperson for the University said: “We constantly review our processes and the channels we use to communicate with students to ensure that registration and enrolment is as smooth and efficient as possible. The vast majority of students experienced no issues with MyCampus this year, and for the very small numbers who did we have both apologised and taken action.

More than 6,000 continuing undergraduates accessed registration and enrolment on the day that access opened – this compares to fewer than 4,000 on the same day last year. That trend has continued with significantly higher proportions of students fully registered than at the same period last year.”

The Glasgow Guardian stands by the opinion expressed in the editorial that highlighted the issues that many students faced when enrolling and we do not believe that the University sufficiently answered our questions. We understand that the University’s staff work very hard and have the students’ best interest at heart and we apologise if any staff feel that this piece was a personal attack. However, we believe that the University as an organisation is failing its students with regard to enrolment and registration.