I’ve spent the last three days at UCISA’s CISG Conference – time to reflect on developments in and affecting the corporate systems area. I’m a bit behind on blogging the event so I’ll post some thoughts over the next few days.
The conference included a presentation on the Managing Information Across Partners (MIAP) programme. Being a member of the group advising the programme on the implementation within the sector, it was interesting to hear comments after the presentation. A common theme was that delegates were unsure of the benefits that the programme would deliver their institutions. Whilst there is always a degree of “what’s in it for me?” when faced with new initiatives, the comments highlighted the need to identify and promote the benefits the programme can deliver to the institution and the need to establish a sound business case for its adoption. This is particularly important given that adoption of MIAP is not mandatory in the sector and as a consequence the cost of any development required of student records systems will probably have to be met by the community rather than the suppliers.
The programme needs to find a balance between cost, the benefits to individuals and the benefits to organisations. It will be challenging. For example in order for the learner record to deliver the greatest benefit to the learner, results data from award bodies and institutions needs to populate the record as soon as results are published. However, for the institutions the zero cost option would be for the record to be populated directly by HESA. This will deliver less benefit to the learner as there is a significant lag before the validated data is available to populate the record. Institutions aren’t going to want to meet the cost of an earlier feed to the learner record if they are not going to gain any benefit from it. The programme will need to work with all parties to effect an appropriate compromise.