Print Edition: July 3, 2013
Now that registration is well underway, it is clear that this year’s changes to the process were not flawless.
The changes introduced this semester included implementing instant prerequisite checks, adding Interac Online as a payment option and a new requirement to pay the $200 deposit prior to registration. All of these were designed to reduce UFV’s ever-growing waitlists.
Despite sending student-wide emails several times, these changes arrived with both confusion and frustration when registration finally opened.
The Interac Online payment option, which allowed students to instantly make payments as opposed to having to wait the few business days for their bank transfer to go through, originally only included four banks: Scotiabank, RBC, BMO and TD. Despite warning students about these changes, the initial email did not specifically state that which banks would be included in the option, or that credit unions in particular would not be included. Deputy registrar Darren Francis responded to the lack of communication regarding the new payment option.
“We did our very best to communicate the details of our changes to students. We did list the specific banks on our website as well as within an email sent at the beginning,” he said.
The email, sent in early May and again on June 17 specified that students of “any major Canadian bank” would be able to use the service.
Issues also arose with the execution of the Interac Online option with two of the banks.
In response, on June 28, UFV sent an email announcing the addition of a credit card payment option made available until July 4.
“Resolving these issues would require cooperation from third-party vendors,” Francis explained. “So we provisioned credit card as a one-time payment option for the deposit only as a way of assisting our students for now.”
Finally, during the first day blitz of registration, myUFV responded slowly as students attempted to login and select their courses. OReg and Information Technology Services worked to increase the responsiveness of the system and assist students through the process. Another email was sent to students on June 28 that highlighted the option for an alternate path to registration through farnham.ufv.ca. Francis did not comment on whether this option was consistently available for registration.
Despite the mishaps, OReg maintains that the process is going well, with many students using the Interac Online option.
Going forward, OReg will be reviewing the process with faculty and staff. Francis concluded that it is too early to tell if the changes did, in fact, reduce waitlist sizes.