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Applications for change in student status

Improvements were introduced on 15 March as phase one of this work, including the introduction of notification emails to students and reviewers and improved functionality for administrators reviewing applications on CamSIS.

For phase two of this project, the Project Board has agreed that the highest priority improvements are those to applications for leave to work away, intermission and extension to submission date. Some leave to work away functionality is being extended to encompass undergraduates as well as graduate students, and will include a feature to track students whilst they are away from Cambridge and to confirm their return.

May 2018 

The situation

Graduate students can apply for a change to their student status which can include intermission, working away or changes to their supervisory team. The process of reviewing the application involves the student's supervisor as well as their Department, College, Degree Committee and the Student Registry.

Many students currently experience delays in the application process and there is a feeling of a lack of transparency around application progress. Furthermore, students and other users report that the process is not user-friendly because guidance about information to include in applications is inconsistent. Feedback from users is that accessing and reporting relevant information relating to applications for changes in circumstances is cumbersome and time consuming. 

Aims of phase one

  • Introduce target due dates to ensure applications are reviewed in a timely manner. Each reviewer will have seven calendar days to approve applications and will receive a reminder email after seven days have elapsed. Applications will be advanced to the next stage if applications are not approved within 14 calendar days.  These target due dates will be included and explained in notification emails sent to reviewers when previous review stages have been completed and an application has been assigned to them.
  • Use new dynamic reporting functionality introduced by the recent system upgrades to introduce progress update emails for students and reviewers to be sent at each stage of the process. 
  • Introduce new monitoring, tracking and reporting mechanisms on CamSIS for administrative staff to increase transparency and awareness of pending applications.
  • Introduce task-based homepages to users at the Student Registry, including a tile to manage the leave to work away process. The current 'Classic' homepage and access to functionality such as 360 and CamSIS Search will still be available.

Phase one benefits

The changes in phase one should reduce the time taken for an application to be reviewed, meaning that students will be less likely to need to chase for progress updates.  A quicker application time is particularly important for applications to work away from Cambridge which can at times be made at relatively short notice and which must be approved before the student leaves Cambridge.

It will also be easier for staff in Colleges and Degree Committees to monitor and report on these applications. 

Aims of phase two

  • Enable all graduate students’ applications for leave to work away to be recorded on CamSIS.
  • Review and improve data captured for intermission applications.
  • Review and update the approval process across applications to remove unnecessary steps.
  • Reduce manual processing of applications for staff at the Student Registry

Phase two expected benefits 

  • Facilitating compliance with the University Policy to Safeguard Students Studying and Working Away by providing a system for students to track and record their arrival and movements when working away from Cambridge
  • Enabling more timely approval of applications
  • Enabling the production of reports about students working away from Cambridge more quickly as there will be a single repository for information: CamSIS
  • Reducing the amount of time spent by Student Registry staff in processing applications.

Target delivery month

The project is introducing improvements in phases:

Phase one March 2018
Phase two 2019

Project Board

Name and job titleName and job title Role on Project BoardRole on Project Board
Name and job titleKate Maxwell
Senior User Lead
Role on Project BoardUser Lead
Name and job title

Kerri Gardiner
Head of Graduate Student Administration

Role on Project BoardProject Sponsor and Business Lead
Name and job titleLitsa Biggs
Secretary of the Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine
Role on Project BoardProgramme Board Lead
Name and job titleMark Rowland
Programme Manager
Role on Project BoardSupplier Lead and Project Manager
Name and job titleSian Gardner
Tutorial Office Manager, Trinity College
Role on Project BoardUser Lead
Name and job titleAnthony Dangerfield
Head of the International Student Team
Role on Project BoardUser Lead
Name and job titleDr Sheila Watts
Lecturer for the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Role on Project BoardUser Lead
Name and job titleRachael Deadman
Assistant Faculty Administrator for Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Role on Project BoardUser Lead