Since its foundation in 1967, Central Queensland University (CQ University) has grown into a renowned higher learning institute. It provides a wide range of diplomas and degrees to more than 30,000 students across 23 campuses and study centres around Australia.
A merger with the Central Queensland Technical and Further Education College (CQ TAFE) in July 2014 consolidated the university’s ability to deliver quality vocational qualifications for professionals in industries such as teaching, nursing, midwifery and logistics.
“In order to preserve the quality of our academic and administrative services, we launched a digital transformation plan. We are now in the process of streamlining our wide range of workflows into a single, unified platform that delivers everything our staff and students need,” says Jeffrey Santamaria, Associate Director of Information Systems.
Australia's tertiary education sector is experiencing a period of significant change; demand for courses, the rise of online learning and new funding models are challenging institutions across the country. In this context, CQ University urgently needed to foster an environment in which new technologies could converge to keep strategies agile.
“We knew we were asking for a lot,” says Mr Santamaria. “Designing, implementing and managing such a system would be no easy feat. But our future business prospects depended on us finding a simple, straightforward solution that allowed us to easily configure its features and that was not costly to maintain or update.”
CQ University has adopted TechnologyOne’s OneUniversity enterprise solution including Student Management, Financials, Supply Chain, Business Intelligence and Business Process Management (BPM), to improve its key administrative processes and become more operationally efficient. The university implemented BPM and Student Management Self Service on TechnologyOne’s Ci Anywhere platform, making the software available on any device, from anywhere, at any time.
The university implemented TechnologyOne’s enterprise software, overhauling many of its administrative processes. TechnologyOne’s Ci Anywhere mobile capability has played a key role in the university’s digital transformation.
“A key process that has been changed for the better is the handling of administrative forms,” says Mr Santamaria. “In the old system, people would have to search for individual forms on the website, find the right one and email it to us for filing and processing.
A key process that has been changed for the better is the handling of administrative forms. This process is now automated.
To respond to changing students’ expectations, Central Queensland University saw an urgent need to implement a sophisticated student management system that would allow it to deliver real-time, customer-focused services throughout students’ journeys and across the university’s multiple locations.
“All around the globe, the higher education sector is greatly challenged by the advent of virtual, digital and shared educational environments,” explains Mr Santamaria. “Students today want to be able to do everything as simply and as quickly as they need, from wherever they may be; whether it is enrolling into courses, paying fees, getting results or timetables, or simply contacting professors, they expect a certain level of seamless and personalised integration from their day-to-day operations.”
“Today, this tedious process is automated both for the user and for our administrative staff; digital forms can be completed online, instantly reaching the right person or department through automated workflow, who can then file the document with the touch of a button from any desktop or mobile device.”
This saves time and motivates staff to create more forms within the system to consolidate the university’s administrative processes.
“Our vision down the line is to extend the digital transformation process to other key areas of our organisation,” says Mr Santamaria. “The plan is for all sorts of staff-related matters – payroll, schedules, training and promotions – to be streamlined into a fluid and integrated environment that makes life easier for everyone.”
The university’s rapid growth and diversification over the years allowed it to cater to a wide range of students, from young graduates and doctoral candidates to people changing vocations and careers. However, it also raised the stakes for the organisation, as managing the day-to-day needs of such a diverse population strained its logistical and operational capabilities.
The journey to a forward-looking and future-proof environment is now well underway thanks to TechnologyOne’s enterprise solution for student management.
“From a business point of view, our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of vendors we work with,” says Mr Santamaria. “We are working towards replacing all the other tools we use with a corresponding OneUniversity product. Once we do this, we will be well on our way to creating a high performing academic and administrative environment.”
Working with TechnologyOne has proven beneficial, with the university and software provider developing a long-term partnership.
“Our experience with the TechnologyOne team has been great,” says Mr Santamaria. “They have been responsive and professional despite working with tight deadlines and our demands being extremely specific. We know the company works with many clients across eight different industries, but we have always felt our particular needs are being heard and met. That is why we see TechnologyOne as a long-term partner as opposed to a temporary vendor.”
About Central Queensland University
Central Queensland University provides a wide range of training courses and education programs to more than 30,000 students from certificate to post-doctorate level. CQUniversity has also established itself as a research-focused university, and is highly ranked in the areas of agriculture, applied mathematics, nursing, and medical and health sciences.
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