Bespoke web application development: University Database Systems


The web application systems developed have played a critical role in the success of two widening participation projects in the UK. One project is a unique collaboration of 15 leading universities. The other is the University of Birmingham’s similar internal project, which came from the success of the other project.

The task:

It was quickly determined at the start of the collaborative Partnership that a secure, online resource was needed for the effective management and delivery of the project by both the Central Team and staff at all Partner universities. The second project built on the success of the first, with the goal to increase administrative efficiency within the project.

The creative:

Bespoke products which have met the needs of the universities while being straightforward to use (given that users are spread across the UK) and easily accessible. Upgrades have been made regularly to both projects since launch in 2010 and 2012 respectively, with significant new functions added as the projects and their needs have matured. Features include; an area for Academic Tutors from the Partner universities to mark student assignments; custom data exports; tutor-student support system; and an online application system.

The result:

The applications are crucial to allowing sustained and scalable growth for the projects and the online developments have been successfully and smoothly managed while working closely with project staff to ensure that the system is user-friendly and delivers the outcomes required. With on-going support, the systems continue to evolve. The overall collaborative project based at Newcastle University won a Times Higher Education Award in 2011.

Client feedback:

Project 1:

“The day-to-day support offered for the database is second to none, with fast response times and accurate (and friendly!) service.”

Project 2:

“We have had a great year, recruiting over 320 students to the University. Managing the volume of work this involves would not have been possible without the online system.”