Find out more about the new Student Information System, including how it can benefit staff and students.

About the project 

The project aims to replace a bespoke in-house student record system which has been in operation for more than 20 years. There are several complexities and nuances in the system which create challenges to implementing the new system and migrating data across from the old one.

The Student Information System is core to the University’s operations, contains highly sensitive information and data and enables a number of key processes.

Expected outcomes

The benefits of the new system include:

  • improved user experience for students and staff
  • reliable secure master data
  • ease of business change (supplier-led where statutory change)
  • robust cyber security
  • standard template processes
  • one system for all admissions processing
  • end-to-end workflows (reducing manual processes, decreasing turnaround times)
  • reduction in time spent completing statutory reporting. 

System release date

The system is expected to go live in two phases, starting with some admissions activity, and be fully live from September 2024. There will be a development roadmap setting out future improvements.

Project timeline

The stages the project will go through are:

  1. Design new business processes and configure system


  2. Migrate existing data


  3. Integrate with other University systems


  4. Testing

  5. User training


  6. Implementation


We are launching the system in phases. We will focus on the core system initially, so that we can minimise the risk to University operations, which may be caused by the scale and complexity of the project.

This approach manages complexity and mitigates risk, while allowing elements of the system (which are ready for launch) to be released to staff and students earlier, so we can experience the benefits sooner.

Integration and compliance 

The new system will have to integrate with other systems and be compliant with things like GDPR. See what we've stipulated must be included with the new system below.

  • Track changes and updates to records

    We have stipulated that the new system will need to include audit functionality and role-based access controls.

  • Integrate with Unit 4 Enterprise Resource Planning

    It must support integration with Unit 4 Enterprise Resource Planning (formally Agresso Business World (ABW)). It needs to synchronise as close to real-time as possible, all transactions between ABW and the student account held in the new system.

  • Comply with security measures

    The new system must comply with GPDR, internal data protection and records management policies and procedures. As such, the new system must be designed to ensure it supports and maintains:

    • confidentiality – including protection from unauthorised access, release of information or confirming its existence, as well as protection from unauthorised release of the identity of the user of a service
    • integrity – protection from unauthorised modification as well as protection from unauthorised manipulation of services and resources
    • availability – protection from unauthorised or unintentional withholding of information or resources
    • non-repudiation – ensuring there is sufficient logging and auditability within the solution to verify transactions and transformations
    • compliance – any financial data must be held within compliance of PCI-DSS or any other required UK legislation
    • documentation – details of the scope and level of information security measures to be implemented must be documented. 
  • Integrate with other existing IT systems

    Integration with other key university systems will be important for the initial implementation, and further integration will be part of our broader roadmap for system development.

Impact on staff

During the project there will be some impact on staff. It is expected that there will have to be some degree of parallel running between the old and new systems.

  • Job roles

    As our existing processes will need to be adapted before launch, this will mean the way staff carry out their work will change. Our staff will have the training and support they need to adapt to the changes and continue to deliver great service to students.

  • Staff training

    As you may expect, many staff will use the new system in their role and we will be delivering a comprehensive training programme ahead of launch, with further guidance, support and resources once the system is live

  • Business processes

    We will be replacing our bespoke in-house student record system with the new SIS, using an ‘adopt not adapt’ approach to using good practice standard processes. This means our existing processes will need to be adapted. These changes will be developed, refined and implemented in partnership with the relevant teams at Sussex to make sure that our staff have the training and support they need to continue to deliver a great service to students.

About the Student Information System provider

Ellucian will be our new strategic partner in delivering the Student Information System. Ellucian work with more than 2,900 institutions in 50 countries, including more than 85 in the UK and Ireland. Ellucian has been committed to the UK market for more than 20 years and their solutions have specific functionality that helps UK customers meet statutory and funding requirements.

The solutions we deploy will enable a single master data source on applicants, students, courses and modules, and other student administration items. The Ellucian solutions support industry-standard information management principles to record information in a manner that ensures its integrity, quality, and security, and works on the principle that information is collected once and used many times.

Ellucian was chosen as the preferred supplier for our new Student Information System following extensive market and risk analysis and a comprehensive and robust procurement exercise. This included soft-market testing, development of a full requirements catalogue, involving staff from across the University, before procurement using a competitive with negotiation procedure under public contract regulations. Following several stages of evaluation of tenders and questions, Ellucian were determined as the successful bidder.

More information 

Further information will be shared in our monthly Transforming Sussex newsletter – sign up to our mailing list today. We will also be engaging with staff across our Schools and Divisions directly in the coming months as we introduce the new system.

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