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Increasing Efficiency and Performance at Lancaster University UK and Ghana

Increasing Efficiency and Performance at Lancaster University UK and Ghana
Lancaster University
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EventMAP’s leading-edge software suite increases efficiency and performance in the UK and globally for this innovative university.

Lancaster University is among the best in the UK. They are top 10 in three major national league tables and are also highly ranked in international league tables such as the QS World Rankings.

Out of over 120 UK universities, they are consistently in the top ten in three main league tables. Currently 8th in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2020 and 8th in The Complete University Guide 2021. Lancaster is 135th out of more than 1,000 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2021, putting them in their top 14%.

Lancaster have been customers of EventMAP for over 15 years, originally using their exam scheduling software in the UK.

The Challenge

The university were in the process of handing exam and course scheduling effort to the Ghana campus, making their internal processes more independent of intervention from the UK campus. They were interested in utilising EventMAP’s cloud-based scheduling software, especially due to the opening of a new campus for Lancaster University in Accra, Ghana.

The challenge was to minimise IT effort of provisioning their own server hardware, and managing deployments of software themselves into Ghana. They also sought anticipated savings in terms of training timetabling staff due to a focus on user-friendliness and simplicity of user interfaces provided by EventMAP.

The Solution

The solution was to implement a suite of Optime applications:

Timetabler: Academic class scheduling and data management.
Exam: Examination scheduling and invigilator management.
Collect: Staff requirements elicitation and exam marking.
Ceremonies: Graduation ceremonies management, seating plan generation and ticket allocation.

Exam, Collect and Timetabler are now fully utilised and relied upon by timetabling staff at Lancaster University in the UK and Ghana for all aspects of both examination and class scheduling. Lancaster University spends less time and money on training staff to use the systems because of the effort put into the design matching the particular needs of a UK and African deployment, with staff remarking that they find the system intuitive and easy to use.

The Benefits

EventMAP received overwhelming positive feedback from stakeholders and users at both Lancaster University and LU Ghana as the solution has delivered a variety of benefits:
Lancaster have achieved greater efficiency in their processes around academic planning and scheduling through the use of EventMAP’s web applications. Users no longer have to work by connecting to UK based VPNs while abroad, which was very difficult, especially with intermittent and slow internet connections.

LU Ghana has achieved much greater independence and no longer relies on UK staff for academic planning and scheduling, reducing the cost to the university as a whole.

Collect has revolutionised the way the university deals with invigilation requirements, allowing full automation of gathering their availability and feeding into the scheduling engine. Attendance marking is now fully paperless, with all examinations being marked using Collect.

Finally, all the new cloud-based software is integrated seamlessly with their existing student information systems through integration with the provided API. At the time EventMAP’s cutting-edge scheduling algorithm had not been used on a web-based platform. But in doing so, EventMAP unlocked the potential for migrating 100% of our Lancaster’s legacy desktop software functionality to web, gaining all the advantages associated with web applications in the process.

Another notable innovation was the use of geo-located servers to ensure speedy web page load times for customers in more remote regions of the world. EventMAP now has application database servers in Asia, Africa and the UK serving Lancaster University staff members across the world.

In the video below, Ian Denny, Head of Student Registry at Lancaster University and Daniel Kwofie, Academic Coordinator at Lancaster University’s Ghana Campus in Accra talk about their practical experiences with implementing EventMAP’s platform at Lancaster – and how it formed the ideal solution for developing a robust timetabling and scheduling strategy across remote campuses.

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In short, Lancaster are honoured by both the support and service that’s been provided by EventMAP… the support team have been very receptive to their needs. They’ve bent over backwards to address any issues over the course of the service relationship. The training times are basically non-existent and the service level agreement is next to none; response times are excellent.

Ian Denny
Head of Student Registry, Lancaster University
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