College software wins industry award

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Software developed by Cumbernauld College that is being used across the education sector was the winner of its category at the JISC iTech Awards.

Following the restructuring of the further education sector in Scotland, new software was required to ensure that the four Lanarkshire colleges were reporting to the Regional Board and the Scottish Funding Council in timely, accurate and robust way.

Jason Quinn, head of information systems and technology, and Gerry McAdams, systems developer, at Cumbernauld College, created FEDonline through collaborative working with the Lanarkshire colleges.

The web-based software solution allowed all four colleges to merge the online records onto one shared database.

Nominated in the Technology and Business Systems category, the awards ceremony took place in the John McIntyre Conference Centre of Edinburgh University, as part of the “Bring Me That Horizon” Conference, earlier this month.

Jason said: “This award really demonstrates the benefits of partnership working in Lanarkshire. We set out to ensure the statistics we provided to the Regional Board and the Scottish Funding Council was clear and consistent and we achieved this goal.

“Since the software was implemented in November 2012, we have been funded by the Scottish Funding Council to install FEDonline within six other regions in Scotland, which is a huge achievement.

“To win this award means a great deal in terms of recognising that individual colleges can provide bespoke and meaningful software solutions internally, that can also be of benefit to the Scottish college sector.”

The main function of the software is to allow each college to upload their FES data onto a single database. Relevant information can then be extracted in a consistent format, which means that there is a standard method of calculating and reporting ROA data to the funding council.

Jason added: “Although the solution may be a simple one, it has provided an effective solution to a difficult problem.”