Building the Foundation for a Renewed Future: Exploring Workday Student
Building the Foundation for a Renewed Future: Exploring Workday StudentMarch 06, 2023
At UBC, we are continuing our mission to modernize university-wide administrative processes, with the renewal of our Student Information System (SIS). Workday, UBC’s renewed, reliable, and secure student information system will serve as a foundation for a modern educational experience, and support UBC’s academic mission, both today and into the future. Read this blog to learn more about how Workday will benefit our UBC community; including how the way we work at UBC will be transformed to create a cohesive, integrated, and enriched experience for students, staff, and faculty for many years to come.
Launching at a time of renewal, UBC’s Strategic Plan - Shaping UBC’s Next Century, was announced as UBC embarked on its next century as a leading public university. A primary goal of this plan is the complete renewal of UBC’s core systems (HR, finance, and student information). The HR and finance Workday components of the Integrated Renewal Program successfully went live with Release 1 in November 2020. The next step and current phase of the renewal, Workday Student, focuses on the renewal and modernization of UBC’s student information system.
An SIS supports a student’s journey and manages academic administrative functions such as course registrations, grades, and financial information. Workday Student will be the new anchor system replacing our current SIS. This renewed, reliable, and secure student information system will serve as a foundation for a modern educational experience, and support UBC’s academic mission, both today and into the future.
Under the umbrella of Workday, Student Administration, HR, and Finance will become part of one, integrated system, providing reliable data and more efficient processes to support our UBC community.
UBC’s current SIS was launched over 35 years ago, which presents numerous foundational issues. Many system components and integrations are no longer supported by the companies that produced them. This fragility could result in reputational, operational, and financial risk for UBC. By investing in Workday, UBC is enhancing security and stability in our core systems, and moving away from paper-based and manual processes. Moving forward, new digital workflows with automated and integrated systems will allow us the opportunity to use data in new and innovative ways.
As the anchor of the new digital system, Workday will provide one cohesive platform where Workday HR/Finance and Student will operate simultaneously. In order to ensure business continuity, and to fully meet UBC’s current and future student academic administrative needs, many existing and newly created applications (point solutions), will function alongside Workday going forward. These point solutions are being developed to complement and enhance the functionality of Workday, and create a more interconnected system of information technology resources that function as one unit.
More Efficient Processes
Changes to various student academic administrative activities at UBC through this transition will challenge us to learn new ways of working, and require training, new skills, and competencies. With this change comes exciting new possibilities and efficiencies in our day-to-day work and operations.
As we saw with HR/Finance, Workday provides the potential to automate many administrative tasks, which will ultimately result in greater efficiencies. As Workday HR/Finance and Student will operate simultaneously, it will provide convenience and cohesion for users to conduct work across both areas on a single platform and with one sign-on. One interconnected Workday platform will also provide flexibility and improved integration with other administrative and reporting capabilities. As the foundational system evolves over time, ongoing continuous improvements will lead to even further efficiencies.
Access to Reliable Data
Workday’s software and data are delivered to users via the cloud and hosted at a data center in Canada. This provides much needed security and stability, ensuring the safety of student data in line with UBC privacy standards.
Additionally, Workday Student will be available on the internet and mobile devices; allowing students, faculty, and staff the ability to seamlessly access information in a secure environment - anywhere at any time. Users can not only access information quickly, but for administrators of the system, this means more visibility into the cohesive data and information they need to make informed decisions and focus on student success.
The IRP Student governance structure is aligned with UBC’s existing governance framework to ensure decisions related to budget, resourcing, and program scope adhere to university policies, risk management standards, financial controls, legal compliance, and regulatory requirements. IRP Student has depended upon the active engagement of faculty, administrative staff, student representatives and academic and administrative committees to inform the configuration and design of the new student information system. This has provided a foundation for successfully transitioning UBC programs, services, and operations to meet the University’s vision and goals for the future.
Ahead of and during the launch of Workday Student, the Transition Network has also been established to effectively support the UBC community in preparing for the changes ahead. This has been done through the preparation and support of customized transition planning and implementation, faculty/unit leadership engagement, and regular communications. As we approach the launch, system users will be onboarded and trained to ensure everyone is well-prepared for this transition. With the implementation of Workday, our community at UBC is well-positioned to become more efficient, interconnected, and informed through the use of modern systems and reliable data.
UBC has embarked on a process of transformation and renewal. The implementation of next-generation foundational technology, will better enable innovation and excellence in our core mandates, while ensuring UBC is ready for the future. UBC’s success will come through community investment and partnership, as we work together to move the university forward. Very soon, 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 for many years to come.