Case study: Imperial College London.

The Graduate School at Imperial College London hosts Professional Skills Development courses for all Postgraduate students at the College. It has two separate programmes, one for taught Master’s students and one for Doctoral students. In the 2020-21 academic session the overall student attendances for both programmes was over 11,000.

The challenge:

In Spring 2021, Imperial College London’s Graduate School began looking for a more efficient and effective course and attendance booking system to cater to its postgraduate students.

The Graduate School’s PhD students have a requirement to attend a certain number of courses before their early-stage assessment and their late-stage review, and the Graduate School has a requirement to report student attendances at such courses to all departments across the College. Up until October 2021, the Professional Development Programmes team was using an Access database which was not fit for purpose. All processes were time consuming and outdated. A large proportion of data was input manually, and processes had become long-winded.

Information just a few clicks away

“One of the main benefits to us as administrators is that we can now easily book students onto a course and remove them when needed, with just a few clicks. We previously had no admin function to do this. This means no more attendance registers, and there is no need to enter attendance into other systems manually.” Kelly Hayes, Professional Development Coordinator

The implementation began with Inkpath, the Graduate School and Imperial’s ICT team working together to ensure all necessary student data was imported into the system e.g. programme name, code and department information. Another major requirement was the import of five years’ worth of backdated attendance data. It was imperative that this was available via the system to ensure that when it came to reporting we had all of the necessary information to hand so that our departmental reports were accurate.

The Graduate School went live with Inkpath in September 2021, and today, the simple and easy to use in-app bookings allows administrators to quickly set up activities or go into detail and specify segmented places. They can also create and manage cancellation policies, pre-event questionnaires, resource links, and joining links to online sessions and venues.

Rapidly scaled in just a few months

The platform was rapidly scaled and implemented to meet the evolving needs of the Imperial team. New features developed and delivered to specification.

For students, it is as simple as clicking ‘book a place’ in the Inkpath app – there is no need to re-enter their details.

Booking benefits

Benefits the Imperial team saw immediately included: no manual course bookings; waiting lists were easy to manage; students can cancel their own courses; registers are easy to download; administrators can easily keep track of course booking numbers.

“The Inkpath team are really responsive, approachable, problem solvers and very friendly.  We have received such a dedicated and bespoke service. If any problems arose, they would always find a solution to suit our needs.  We have provided our feedback on the system and they have always come up with resolutions.” Kelly Hayes, Professional Development Coordinator

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