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UK University Chooses Perceptive Software App To Meet Immigration Legislation

Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom has selected ImageNow from Perceptive Software for an initial deployment in its admissions department to help with the paperwork of a sizable international student population. The university operates four campuses in Oxford with 18,000 students. About five percent of that student population derives from other European Union countries; 11 percent come from non-EU countries.

New immigration legislation required the university to begin searching for a way to scan and capture overseas student passports and related documents, a system that needed to be in place before the start of the fall semester. The solution also had to integrate with Brookes' electronic course and student information system.

Under the new legislation, implemented on March 31, 2009 and known as the points-based system, students need to be sponsored by a licensed education institution. The student visa links the student to that sponsor. Formerly, students were able to obtain a student visa and go to any institution that had provided an offer of admission. Now the foreign student must select just one.

By sponsoring students, universities take on new legal responsibilities--for example, ensuring that students comply with immigration conditions. Universities will also be required to keep up to date records, including copies of passport, visas, and current address, and to monitor student registration, attendance, and progression. Changes, such as non-arrival or non-attendance, have to be reported to the UK Border Agency. Institutions that fail to comply could have their sponsorship licensing downgraded or revoked, affecting their abilities to admit international students.

The admissions office at Brookes will use the software to scan, capture and auto-index passports, biometric cards, and visa extension letters during enrollment.

"Perceptive Software's proven track record and strong reputation in the higher education industry were key factors in our selection of ImageNow," said Rosemary Burton, university business systems project manager. "The solution's user-friendly interface and tight integration with our student records system will allow our Admissions Office to efficiently capture student passports, ensuring our institution is legally compliant."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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