Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about the Integrated Renewal Program Student and what it means for you.

 

Recent Updates

May 2021:

Working for IRP Student

IRP Student Scope

Q: What is IRP Student?

The Integrated Renewal Program ‒ Student, or “IRP Student,” refers to the renewal of the UBC Student Foundation Ecosystem that the University is undertaking, along with the related policy, process, practice and data changes that will accompany this renewal. The IRP Student will introduce new tools and new ways of working to enhance the delivery of UBC’s academic mandate. Following is the IRP Student vision: The way we support learning and research and how we work at UBC will be transformed, creating a cohesive, integrated, and enriched experience for students, staff and faculty.

 

IRP Student involves the replacement of our current core student information system (SIS). Through this initiative, we will add new point solutions, decommission some applications, and integrate and retrofit other student-related applications as needed to create a refreshed, modernized student information ecosystem. Our current core SIS will be replaced with Workday, a point solution for processes related to financial aid management, as well as other applications to be determined.

 

IRP Student unites the previously independent renewal programs introduced through Release 1, formerly known as the Application Ecosystem Program (AEP) and the IRP. IRP Student is committed to facilitating these operations as one organization in which all teams (functional, technical, management and Workday) ‒ working to accomplish the same goals and following one overarching schedule ‒ are collectively accountable for the success of the program.

 

More information about the scope of IRP Student can be found here.

Q: What is included in IRP Student?

IRP Student will include system and process renewal for undergraduate admissions, curriculum management, student record and registration management, student financials (fees) and learner financial support. For more detailed information on the program scope, please visit here.

Q: Why are we undertaking the IRP Student project?

A renewed ecosystem will add much needed security and stability enhancements to the systems involved. Our existing system can no longer meet UBC’s needs, threatening our ability to effectively support the University’s educational mission. A flexible and secure platform will enable UBC to react appropriately to unforeseen circumstances, such as those surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

A reliable, modern student information ecosystem is critical to delivering UBC’s academic mission. Our mission to create an exceptional teaching and learning environment that supports world-changing thinking cannot be fully recognized with our current student information system. We rely on information technology to perform fundamental activities, such as admitting and registering students, collecting tuition, managing financial support and tracking academic progress. Without reliable technology, we cannot function or thrive as an educational institution, and we will be unable to deliver on our responsibilities as a public university. 

 

Additionally, faculty and staff will be better equipped to support students, and we will be able to deliver the digital experience users expect. For these reasons, all members of the UBC community will benefit from the implementation of one integrated platform for HR, finance and student administration.

Q: When is IRP Student going live?

Replacing a complex student information system like UBC’s takes time. The IRP Student Team is working diligently to implement Workday Student and to build all the necessary connections in the broader ecosystem. The initial Student Foundation Ecosystem is expected to go live in phases starting in August 2023 and ending in August 2024, with ongoing additional feature releases. In the meantime, we will continue to maintain the current SIS system so we can continue to support community needs without interruption.

Q: What will happen to the existing systems my faculty or unit uses outside of the student information system?

The implementation of Workday Student will require some major changes to existing applications at UBC. As of the date this information was posted, the IRP program looked at 427 Applications in total, of which 156 (UBC wider Ecosystem Application )  & 46 (SIS Core & SIS Ecosystem Applications) are believed to in scope for Ecosystem Delivery & Solution Delivery consideration. The team is responsible for working with application owners throughout the University community to determine if and how these 153 applications (and any others that are subsequently identified) will fit into the overall student ecosystem.

Each application will be assigned one of the following “dispositions”:

  • Retrofit: the legacy application or system requires updates to function within the new ecosystem.
  • Integration: a common service subscription or bespoke API build is needed to enable the exchange of data between the application and Workday.
  • Sunset ‒ Convert Legacy Data: the application is retired because Workday and/or other application(s) will provide its functionality, and the data will be converted from the application into Workday.
  • Sunset-Discard Legacy Data: the application is retired because Workday and/or other application(s) will provide its functionality, and none of the data in the application will be converted into Workday.

A full IRP Student Ecosystem Application Inventory can be found on this page.

Q: What is the Student Foundation Ecosystem?

The Student Foundation Ecosystem is the group of interconnected systems and applications that will be used at UBC in our initial refresh to enable student administrative processes. With the implementation of IRP Student, Workday will be at the centre of our ecosystem; other systems and applications will operate with Workday. UBC will evolve beyond this initial foundation solution as new functionality continues to be released in Workday that can take the place of other components of the current ecosystem.

Q: Why did UBC select Workday to replace its student information system?

Workday allows UBC to better support students. Workday is a modern solution that employs the latest technologies that will allow UBC to move into the future. It provides an integrated experience through which students can manage their courses, enrolment, finances and UBC employment all in one place. Through expanded access and an integrated view of data, UBC will gain better insight into the needs of our students. Better data will help us better serve our students.

Workday delivers the digital experience people expect. Students, faculty and staff expect to interact and conduct business on user-friendly, robust mobile interfaces. Workday delivers this experience.

The Workday-based ecosystem propels innovation. UBC requires systems that are as intelligent and forward-looking as their users. We are boxed into a corner with our existing technology. The foundation we are designing now removes barriers to innovation. Through ongoing development, Workday will offer increasing flexibility and opportunities to support UBC’s ambitions for years to come.

UBC will benefit from one integrated platform for HR, finance and student functions. A sizeable investment was made in the renewal of both our HR and finance technology to contemporize our systems and processes. We maximize the benefit of this software when our data, processes and user experiences are integrated across these three major functions and across the entire University.

Q: Would it make more sense to invest in our current student information system (SIS) instead of purchasing a new system?

Our current SIS system is 30+ years old and presents numerous foundational issues. Many of the components are no longer supported by the companies that produced them, and their fragility opens UBC to significant reputational, operational and financial risk. The system is based on outdated technology and is nearing its end of life. By investing in Workday, UBC moves to the forefront of its peer institutions in implementing next-generation foundational technology that will better enable innovation and excellence in our core mandates.

Q: What is a point solution?

A point solution is a way to solve problems for one particular business area or function, often referring to an additional software system employed alongside a core system. An example in the IRP Student project is the software that will supplement Workday with financial aid functionality, which Workday currently does not provide.

Q: Who will use the IRP Student systems?

Current and future students, faculty, student administrators (e.g. enrolment services advisors, faculty advisors, graduate program coordinators), curriculum administrators, financial administrators and UBC system administrators.