Victoria’s Swinburne University of Technology will implement the Jade Student Management System across its six campuses after a multi-million dollar deal with the New Zealand vendor.
The deal is significant, not only for Jade, but because the education sector in Australia has been cautious about heavily investing in new technology after difficulties last year with a PeopleSoft-based Academic Management System.at Melbourne’s RMIT University.
Nearly $A50 million in assets was written off the books.
Swinburne will replace its 12-year-old inhouse technology, Ascol, with Jade SMS. Implementation will take place over 18 months and run concurrently with the phasing out of the current systems.
Jade SMS will interface with external systems such as the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre, Department of Education, Science and Training, Australian Taxation Office, and the Department of Immigration.
Internally, it will interface with finance, library, human resources, scheduling/timetable applications, and e-learning systems.
Recently, the University of Canterbury selected Jade as its preferred supplier. Other New Zealand users are the University of Waikato, Otago Polytechnic and the Christchurch and Manukau institutes of technology.
Jade chief executive, Rod Carr, says there is a big opportunity in Australia for the software. “After what happened at RMIT, tertiary institutional buying had frozen. They were all waiting for someone else to go through the cycle," he says.
Swinburne spent two-and-a-half years on evaluation. "It’s up to us now to make it work," says Carr, "but there are more than 100 tertiary institutions in Australia. They all need new student management systems.”
He says Jade SMS is well suited to the Australian market because of its polytechic origins in New Zealand. “We grew it from a polytechnic base into Waikato University, and it has the granularity that Australian tertiary institutions need.”