Client name . Boston University London
Sector . Education
Summary comment . Michael Oliver, Associate Director, Student Life
Boston University, London
"FileMaker is very intuitive and easy-to-use. With just a little bit of coaching we've been able to create a system that is now a core part of our organisation. We really could not afford to lose FileMaker."
Boston University London
FileMaker Goes Back to School in London
As the London campus of a well-respected American University, Boston University London is host to nearly 1,000 US students a year. Three times a year a fresh group of 300 to 350 students arrive in the Capital for a semester of academic study and work placement.
The university needed an easy-to-use tool to manage the inflow of students and help them make the most of their London experience. As most are young and living and working outside the US for the first time, the students needed help with housing, choosing room-mates, and obtaining visas as well as the usual student matters such as choosing courses and professors, obtaining grades and more.
Boston University London has been using FileMaker for over a decade. They began with FileMaker 4.0 as a simple solution that charted and kept track of students, their courses and where they lived. Today, after several years of growth and a recent upgrade to FileMaker 10, the system is an indispensible tool for students and administrators alike.
- Paper-based registration has been replaced with a web-based system reducing admin costs and allowing forward planning as data now comes in a stream rather than a single batch.
- One-stop student personal page enables students to choose and sign up for courses, view and select accommodation, read profiles of and communicate with potential flat-mates, manage electives and grades, explore work placement opportunities and more.
- Interaction between FileMaker and Orange allows students to order a mobile phone before leaving the US. When they arrive, the mobile is waiting for them in their flat. As well, FileMaker automatically captures the Orange data and adds the student's mobile number to the university's database.
- In order to be vetted for a student visa, FileMaker uploads relevant information to the Home Office network. Home Office then issues an approval number which enters the FileMaker database and appears on the student's personal page.
- As the main Boston campus also uses FileMaker, data can be shared between London and the US.
- Entire solution can be managed by the Director of Student Life with assistance from two part-time IT staff.