WA University Innovation Continues to Dominate Ten Years on

Ten years ago this week, Curtin University of Technology was the first Australian university to go live with new Student Management software which enables universities to fundamentally change the way they manage student enrolments.

The result of a joint venture between the University and TechnologyOne, the product took two years to develop. It was designed as a solution to the ever increasing demands placed on education institutions in Australia, and continues to dominate the market today.

The partnership has matured, with Curtin this year becoming the first Australian university to migrate onto TechnologyOne's new generation platform, Connected Intelligence.  This new platform enables Curtin's students, academics, administrators and partners to connect online through one application.

Students now self-manage a wider range of administrative tasks; from enrolment and paying of fees, applying for scholarships and managing their timetables, to obtaining results and other notices and forms.  Staff can communicate easily with students and department heads can gain an accurate snapshot of operations - just to name a few of the product's capabilities.

Professor Jane den Hollander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, who has been involved in the development and implementation of the product, said Curtin always intended the commercialisation of the joint development project to recoup its investment and had recognised the excellent sales potential of the end product, both at home and overseas.

"We knew there was a need and we were confident TechnologyOne was the partner to help us deliver a robust and flexible solution - this is as true today as it was more than a decade ago," Professor den Hollander said.

"The system has stood the test of time and has continued to evolve.  The recent move to the Connected Intelligence platform marked the latest technology migration for this system."

TechnologyOne Executive Chairman, Adrian Di Marco, said the solution was the first on the market to treat curriculum as a product or set of products with a properly managed life cycle that could be planned, implemented, phased out or discontinued.

"There were three major advantages to this approach, namely improved efficiency, quality control and flexibility.

"Firstly, students could now manage most common administrative tasks themselves so their time wasn't wasted and fewer university resources were used for purely administrative activities.

"Secondly, standards that previously could have been subjective became codified, prerequisites for admission were set in stone, and students' requirements for completing a degree were agreed upfront. This again helped to reduce the workload and standardised the system, making it fairer.

"And finally, Student One (now named TechnologyOne Student Management) could and still can be as flexible as a particular university wants it to be, allowing every single student to have a personalised study plan and adjusting the final qualification accordingly."

Curtin and TechnologyOne plan to continue their partnership into the next decade, refining the Student Management product as the sector evolves.

Areas of focus include mobile and smartphone applications for students and deeper systems integration so universities can use the system to better manage the business side of running a university, such as analysing which courses are the most profitable, and plan for the future.

TechnologyOne software is now used in 50 per cent of Australian universities, as well as a number of universities in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

TechnologyOne now has its sights set on increasing its presence in the overseas markets in which it already has a presence, namely Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  These markets are worth an estimated $500 million in potential Student Management contracts alone, and the company is well poised to target them.