With more than 45,000 students, Queensland University of Technology is focused on producing graduates fully equipped for the real world of today and tomorrow.
Like other Australian universities that receive federal government funding, QUT is required to monitor the access, representation, success, retention and attrition of a range of student equity target groups, including students from low socio-economic status (LSES) backgrounds.
At QUT, this activity is supported by the Reporting and Analysis section within the Division of Finance and Resource Planning. Wayne McCullough is QUT’s Director, Reporting and Analysis.
‘QUT provides the student equity data annually to the Department of Education as well as to a range of stakeholders within the university’s community,’ Wayne said.
‘This reporting supports the evaluation of the effectiveness of programs as well as monitoring our progress towards achieving the desired levels of student equity group representation.’
In 2010, the Department of Education moved from the postcode method for the measurement of low SES introduced to the more rigorous Statistical Area 1 (SA1) measure where the ABS Socio-Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA) – Index of Education and Occupation is used to assign each SA1 with a score.
‘QUT has long been committed to modernising its SES definition to keep up with changes arising from each new Census and from the Government’s changing preferences. But finding a way to geocode thousands of student addresses that was both sustainable and cost-effective proved to be a major obstacle,’ said Wayne.
PSMA Cloud is a web service that provides geocoding, address verification as well as spatial attributes. It is designed to be implemented within existing business applications.
Developed by PSMA Australia, PSMA Cloud accesses authoritative national location datasets such as G-NAF and Administrative Boundaries to verify or find information.
OMNILINK is a certified PSMA Cloud Integrator and has a proven success record in working with a range of organisations to access address verification and related mapping functions and workflows within a ‘pay as you go’ model.
‘This included providing an API for PSMA Cloud which made it easy to incorporate within the reporting environment and was consistent with our strategy to introduce greater automation to ensure staff time is directed to high impact activities,’ he said.
‘In December 2015, we batch geocoded some 100,000 addresses which went really well. We have now put in place nightly batch processes to automatically identify new students and pull through updated addresses.’
Wayne said that QUT will start using the new geocoded format for reports from June 2016. In collaboration with the Equity Services Department, new reports were designed to accommodate this new data and, opportunistically, to completely re-vamp the reporting of student demographic and outcomes for all stakeholders, including those who work in the pre-tertiary domain.
‘Already, the sample reports we have produced have been really well received by the university community and there is a lot of interest in the information we can now provide,’ Wayne said.
Managing Director, OMNILINK
Phone: +61 2 9804 8807
Partner Account Manager, PSMA Australia
Phone: +61 2 6260 9012