Student Program

Kuali Student: Overview

What is Kuali Student?

Kuali Student (KS) is a next-generation student administrative system being developed over a five year period by a consortium of top tier universities. Using a collaborative development approach with participation limited to a group of committed contributors, the KS team currently includes members and resources from its founder and partner institutions and will be sustained in the future by an international community of institutions and firms.

The Kuali Student vision states that KS intends to deliver a student system that:

  • Focuses on the needs of all users
  • Is learner, learning, and institution agnostic
  • Supports a wide range of academic and business processes

Kuali Student will:

  • Be a modular, open-source, standards-based, next-generation student system delivered through service-oriented architecture and Web services
  • Include eight modules:
    • Learning Unit Management (aka Curriculum Management)
    • Person Identity
    • Enrollment (including Learning Plan)
    • Student Financials
    • Admissions
    • Financial Aid
  • Radically improve educational quality and student experience
  • Be a flexible, scalable, cost-effective system released by module and distributed through an open-source license

Why did the UW become a founding partner of Kuali Student?

Kuali Student provides the UW with the opportunity to partner with leading institutions on developing a next-generation student system from the ground up. Kuali Student provides:

  • Potential to substantially improve educational quality and student experience
  • Self-service functionality
  • Ease of access
  • Fully integrated student services
  • The opportunity to leverage consortium resources
  • Strong governance and project management to ensure the effort drives forward
  • Low risk, high value

Kuali Student will drive the implementation of a flexible, adaptable technology environment and is designed to deliver solutions and functionality that are not available in any packaged software product.

Joining the Kuali Foundation gives the UW a voice in deciding critical design issues so that the final product has a high probability of meeting UW needs. This early involvement also enables the UW community to leverage the resources of partner institutions in redesigning student administrative processes to maximize efficiencies and flexibility. Learn more in the “UW Student System Developmentā€”Kuali Student Project” white paper from the Department of Information Services.

Is Kuali Student using Kuali Rice?

Yes, the UW is an investing partner in Rice as part of our investment in Kuali Student, and the use of Rice is being investigated for use beyond KS. Kuali Rice is the middleware of choice for all Kuali sponsored projects. The Rice Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework provides a level of infrastructure abstraction that allows developers to focus on solving business problems, rather than the technology. Rice ensures a consistent model for development. It allows for the breakdown of very large applications into smaller application modules and services that can easily talk to one another. Learn about Kuali Rice.

Why is the UW looking for a new student administrative system?

The UW's current student administrative system is a 26-year-old homegrown legacy mainframe application that is inflexible and does not collect the information critical to effective operations and decision making. Learn about the University of Washington Strategic Roadmap for Information Management and Administrative Systems, and specifically about the Replace the Base initiative.

A next-generation student administrative system has the potential to substantially improve the educational quality and experience for UW students. The new system will provide better tracking of educational outcomes against expected performance, which will enable the UW to raise the bar on developing new educational programs and instruction methods. The UW's current system does not have those capabilities.

The University of Washington has made a commitment to the Kuali Student project both in financial and human resources. The UW will do a needs assessment in the future and evaluate whether Kuali Student will meet the UW's future needs, prior to making a full commitment to implementation.

How will Kuali Student compare to the current Student Database (SDB) system?

The following is a look at some of the ways that Kuali Student might improve student access to information:

  • Kuali Student will eliminate the current fragmentation of student services at the UW by integrating systems that are now separated. For example, there currently is no single UW office that can verify all academic certificates granted by the University, because the current UW student system cannot store the array of certificates offered by the UW. Kuali would bring all UW learning activity into a single common system, including Educational Outreach, schools and colleges, all three campuses, graduate and professional study, and certificate study.
  • Kuali will provide students with improved tools for finding courses, navigating programs of study, and seeking all varieties of University learning opportunities. The UW's current course search tools are less functional than most basic Web search engines. Kuali will give students advanced search capability. In addition, Kuali will track individual students' plans, history, and needs and present the most relevant learning opportunities to students.
  • Kuali will support distance learning, off-calendar study, certificate study, certificate programs, continuing professional education, and other learning types. The UW's current systems do not support all of these types of learning activities.
  • Kuali will dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of processing students' written requests and petitions. This will be achieved through Kuali's advanced workflow functionality. Students will get decisions sooner, more consistently, and more accurately.
  • Kuali will support innovation by allowing business owners to contribute directly to system feature enhancements. This will allow Kuali to respond to changing student needs and expectations.