Banner upgrade is a significant achievement and the foundation to build upon

Jeff Grabill outlines the significance of this Banner upgrade and expresses his sincere gratitude to those involved in the work.

The Student Lifecycle Programme has achieved a major milestone for the University with the successful upgrade of Banner – our Student Record System – but vital work is still ongoing to ensure continued success. 

On 19 June 2023, our Student Record System, Banner, was successfully migrated onto the cloud, and essential updates were implemented to the system. 

This delivery was the culmination of almost two years of preparation, planning and hard work from many people across the University as well as external partners. 

This work included moving the system from a physical, on-premises state to a cloud-based platform called Azure. On top of this, essential updates – known as releases – were implemented. This included an update to Financial Aid, ensuring full compliance and continued ability to make payments to students, in the face of ever-changing financial regulations, and an update relating to UCAS, which supports confirmation and clearing.  

Whilst users will not see any visible changes to the systems they use, the University is now equipped with a more secure and stable platform for the system moving forward. The changes will also enable future and essential ongoing updates to occur with minimal impact on staff and students.  The project has received unwavering support from university executive members throughout, in particular from Professor Jeff Grabill, Vice-Chancellor: Student Education and Rachel Brealey, Chief Operating Officer, both of whom were fully invested in the successful delivery of this upgrade, whilst still appreciating the complexity of this work.  

Rachel Brealey said: “The successful migration of Banner and its essential upgrades is a fantastic achievement for the University, and most importantly it has created a safe and secure environment for our Student Record System. We will continue to build on this solid foundation, to improve user experience for both staff and students, in addition to supporting our digital transformation and sustainability goals.  

“I am incredibly proud of and grateful to everyone who contributed to this work over the past few months. Despite facing challenges and adversity along the way, the success of this project is ultimately down to the hard work and commitment of individuals and the collaboration between teams to ensure we were able to achieve what we set out to do.”   

In a short video outlining the significance of this upgrade, Professor Jeff Grabill expresses his thanks on behalf of students and staff: “[They] will have a much more transformational experience because of this essential foundational work.”  You can watch the full video below. 

Collaboration was a fundamental component to the success of this project as the last few months have seen colleagues from across the University coming together to dedicate their time, effort and commitment to delivering this work. This includes colleagues from the Student Lifecycle Programme (SLP) who led the activity, the Student Education Service (SES), IT, Admissions, Policy and Regulation, and Risk Management.  

The period of hypercare (the time that follows a system go-live where an elevated level of support is necessary to ensure a smooth adoption of the new system) is now complete. The IT team will be continuing to work hard to ensure that our Banner system is stable as we move through the academic year and the various processes we will perform for the first time since completing the work on Banner 

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