8 Feb 2018

Widespread Massey University enrolment problems 'a nightmare'

From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 8 February 2018

Massey University is apologising for glitches in its new online system that are causing students long delays in enrolment.

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The university introduced a new online enrolment in August. Photo: Massey University

The university is hiring additional staff to cope with the massive backlog of 10,000 outstanding applications. At this time of the year, it would usually have little more than 5000.

The new system, which was introduced in August, has caused students massive enrolment issues and delays.

Some appear to be missing out on courses, and consequently student loans and allowances.

“I understand there are quite a few students considering dropping out of their studies because of this, others are experiencing major stress,” said the president of the Extramural Students’ Society, David McNab.

McNab told Nine to Noon that as well as students falling through the cracks, others are unable to find out what papers they need to complete for their courses.

The president of the students’ association, Ben Schmidt, told Nine to Noon he knows the glitches are also affecting students who have jobs, as they don’t yet know their timetables.

“At the moment the system is like a new car that just won’t start. If it’s failing students wanting to enrol, it’s not a whole lot of use,” he said.

Some students are spending days calling and emailing the university’s call centre without a response, adding to their frustration, he said.

A spokesperson for Massey, James Gardiner, said students need to be patient with staff, who are doing their best to respond, but have a “very long list of enquiries” to deal with.

Allowances would be made for those who have experienced issues enrolling, he said.

“Our message to students is we’re sorry, we understand your frustrations, and we’re going to get you through.”

Information about enrolment is only sent to StudyLink once it is completed.

Gardiner said the university would be in contact with the government agency on a case-by-case basis to ensure no one missed out. He added there would also be communication with Work and Income.

“Ideally we would have had more time to do testing [on our system], and we knew we were going to have glitches when we changed over.”