The merger of two East Coast polytechnics has created the largest Artena student database in New Zealand, containing around 150,000 student records. In December 2010 the government approved Hawke’s Bay’s Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and Gisborne’s Tairawhiti Polytechnic merger to take place the following January. However the two institute’s student databases remained separate until now.
“Having a combined student management system before our institutes merged would have been ideal. However, this wasn’t possible due to timeframes,” says Chris Collins, chief executive of EIT.
"Despite that, we are delighted with how quickly and smoothly we have been able to combine the student management systems. We have been able to retain all historical data and there have been no major technical difficulties since going live."
Artena is an online student lifecycle management system which allows users to track and manage students from their enrolment to graduation.
The system is developed by Student Management System Solutions (SMSS), a collection of New Zealand tertiary institutes which joined together to develop and maintain a common student database system.
This is the first time SMSS has merged two Artena databases of this size.
Harvey Buchman, product manager at SMSS, says that the merger was a side project for SMSS, whose main focus is to support and develop Artena and its functionalities.
However, he sees the merger as a valuable learning experience for SMSS.
“We have broadened the skills base at SMSS and we now have the knowledge and templates to replicate this kind of project.”
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