Operations

How long does the implementation of Aspire take?
Once the detailed scope of each scheme has been confirmed, there are obviously a number of important components to achieve an effective implementation, including particularly IT, vendor partnerships, the registration process and marketing. We have previously delivered one Aspire operation within less than 6 weeks, although a period of at least 3 months is certainly preferable. Perhaps the biggest variables are the level of resource that the University is able to commit to the project at the relevant time and the scope of the scheme.

What are the operational implications for the University in adopting Aspire?
Whilst the Aspire team will take responsibility for managing all aspects of the scheme, adopting Aspire does require an appropriate level of commitment and support from relevant university personnel around the planning and implementation processes and thereafter at key times such as the start of the academic year and those periods when the awards are actually passed over to students. An important ongoing requirement is for a single point of contact for us to liaise with as and when any queries or issues arise. Key relationships will also be developed with specific areas of the University (eg. Student Services, IT, Finance, Registry, etc.) in order to ensure the smooth ongoing operation of the scheme.

How robust is the Aspire system?
Aspire is a tried and tested system that has been operational for over 10 years and currently operates over 100,000 student accounts in the UK and more than 25,000 overseas.

Can there be a phased introduction of the Aspire scheme?
Yes. In most cases, there is 3 year cycle as the scheme is introduced for each new 1st year cohort. Given the relevance of OFFA submissions, we are also happy to consider a "Year Zero" option whereby Aspire and the relevant supporting services are introduced without any allocated funding on the basis that the Aspire scheme will be introduced the following year.

How are individual student Aspire accounts activated?
This varies depending on the specific circumstances in each location but in all cases a direct contact with each student is required in order to set up their PIN and explain the operation of their particular scheme. The ideal solution is that signing up for Aspire effectively becomes the final part of the University registration process, after the student has completed the University procedures and collected their unique University ID card.

What level of customer service and technical support is provided to students and vendors?
Aspire provides onsite support in the form of a dedicated Account Manager, and this is backed up with 24/7 access to our specialist in-house IT team & customer support operation.

Would there be a regular review and reporting mechanism?
Very much so - Aspire is all about developing an ongoing partnership with the University (and other parties) and we would look to establish a regular forum for discussion and development at an appropriately senior level.