Plymouth College of Art invests in future as applications for further and higher education rise

By Victoria Wilson

Plymouth College of Art has chosen Capita’s UNIT-e management information system to support the administration of its broad provision in further and higher education courses and help it to deliver an improved experience to students and staff.

An independent specialist art college, Plymouth has expanded significantly over the past five years with a current student population of 1,600, split 60:40 in favour of higher education. The college selected UNIT-e as it was the best solution for delivering the requirements of both further and higher education, offering efficient and effective management within one system.

Steve Trotter, Registrar at Plymouth College of Art, said: “We wanted to move away from the bespoke system we had been using for 10 years to a managed solution that would offer us the benefits of best practice across both FE and HE sectors, along with added flexibility. Having made the decision to implement UNIT-e ready for the start of this academic year, we are now working with Capita to tailor the system to our specific needs.”

He continued: “It is essential that we have an integrated system that enables the efficient management of student data for internal business and external reporting. We also need to assure compliance with further and higher education procedures and policies, and their different requirements. From the range of products we explored, UNIT-e was the only management information system that could handle both sectors.”

UNIT-e provides the functionality institutions need to process direct applications for further education courses such as A-levels and BTEC Extended Diplomas, as well as UCAS applications for degree courses. While the statutory returns for both sectors are processed differently, the software is designed to ensure they can be managed simply within the same system.

Committed to delivering an excellent student experience, Plymouth College of Art is keen to develop the UNIT-e system and its range of innovative solutions designed to support the student journey.

As Steve explains: “Students are at the heart of our institution, so the technology available in UNIT-e that gives them ready access to the information they need really appealed to us. We aim to provide the best support possible for our students to progress and achieve their ambitions – in both their studies and transition to their chosen careers. UNIT-e will play a key role in this.”

Nigel Rayner, head of Capita’s further and higher education business, said: “Following the Government’s recent announcement to lift the cap on higher education places, the growth in HE provision being delivered by colleges looks set to continue. Colleges naturally want to manage their provision in both sectors seamlessly, while ensuring that every student benefits from a positive learning experience – from application to the completion of their studies. UNIT-e provides the solutions these institutions need and we are delighted that it has been selected as the system of choice for Plymouth College of Art.”

Capita’s further and higher education business supplies the UNIT-e student record management system as well as solutions for delivering mobile technology, document management, library systems and payment solutions.

For more information about UNIT-e, please visit www.capita-fhe.co.uk. To find out more about Plymouth College of Art, please visit www.plymouthart.ac.uk.