Students have expressed frustration over the questions and comments of a parliamentary committee toured Oxford over the Easter vacation.The Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills (IUSS) select committee visited Said Business School and Oxford Brookes on 30th March. While there they grilled a number of students, senior tutors and staff from the two Oxford Universities, including the head of admissions at Oxford, Mike Nicholson.Much of the questioning focused on Oxford’s admissions policy, and there were questions about Oxford employing targets for state school or ethnic minority admissions.Students later criticised the committee, with some saying they seemed to have ‘out-dated’ ideas about Oxford.Jim O’Connell commented: “The MPs seemed quite irritated as, although access schemes were talked about, there isn’t any form of targets or quotas built into the admissions system itself. It definitely sounded as though the MPs were pushing an agenda in this respect, and trying to make out that Oxford isn’t doing enough in terms of access.”Oxford’s official line on quotas is that the University will not use positive discrimination; all candidates who apply are assessed on their academic merit.One student said, “It seemed that they had they had come with an intent of writing a story about an Oxford they experienced 20-30 years ago.”University sources denied that there had been any misunderstanding or controversy at the question sessions. A press Officer said “the government is clear that no University is expected to apply quotas, and Oxford is very clear (in the way that we publish our statistics) about our record”.Laurence Mills, Magdalen JCR President, said the committee did seem to “take on board” what the students said. Yet while the committee accepted their evidence, the students were frustrated that they had arrived at Oxford with such biased views: “It is an example of a wider perception problem at Oxford.”The IUSS committee was formed in 2007 to examine the administration, expenditure and policy of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. They have been conducting an inquiry into higher education since October. The inquiry covers admissions, the balance between teaching and research, degree completion and classification, and mechanisms of student support and engagement.Amongst the MPs on the committee was Dr Evan Harris MP, Liberal Democrat, of Oxford West and Abingdon.Controversy also broke out when the committee toured Oxford Brookes. The relationship between Oxford’s two universities was discussed, and one student expressed anger over a rumour that Oxford students refer to Brookes as the ELC – Early Learning Centre.None of the committee were available for comment and the result of their inquiry is yet to be published.
In an enterprise environment, information technology never stands still. It is always evolving. As next-generation systems and applications, such as SAP HANA in-memory database and appropriate business application SAP S/4HANA, become available, your enterprise will at some point need to transition to the new platforms to achieve higher-levels of IT efficiency and performance. This is really about capitalizing on new technology to keep the business competitive.But what happens to your business-critical data when you migrate your SAP and non-SAP applications and data to new systems? How do you retire these legacy applications while maintaining access to the historical data in those systems and complying with your corporate data retention standards? And how do you avoid the substantial costs involved in maintaining legacy applications — including the cost of maintenance, support personnel and licenses — once you have moved the master data and open transactions to newer applications?These questions are explored and answered in a new “Legacy Application Retirement Guide” put together by subject matter experts from Dell EMC and Auritas, a firm that has developed a very successful approach to retiring legacy systems.This paper explains how you can free up resources being used to maintain a legacy application by retaining historical data in a lower-cost alternate system or storage repository. The big picture: Data from the legacy application is extracted, transformed as required and then loaded into a low-cost system or repository, which includes capabilities for reporting on the data extracted from the source system.Regardless of the specific technologies you choose, your legacy system retirement solution should include these must-have features:Scalable architectureCost-effective architectureThe ability to extract and store data from a variety of systemsEnterprise-level securityEase of use and flexible reportingData governance and retention complianceSo how do you get started? The paper offers an overview of a customizable, step-by-step process for accelerating legacy application retirement, along with a look at infrastructure deployment options using Dell EMC Ready Solutions for SAP, and the Dell EMC Isilon platform for dedicated network attached storage for large datasets. Following this structured approach, you can rapidly decommission your legacy applications and save on the costs of licenses and maintenance.Ready for a deeper dive? To get the full story, read the Legacy Application Retirement Guide from Dell EMC and Auritas. It provides a comprehensive overview for retiring SAP and non-SAP environments.And, you are invited to meet experts from SAP, Dell EMC and SAP customers at the next SAP TECH DAY in Munich (Germany) on January 24, 2018. Focus is on how to accelerate customer’s journey to new business platforms and applications, such as SAP HANA, S/4HANA and SAP Leonardo.Note: In addition to JP Gotter, this blog post and linked guide was authored by Divyesh Vaidya – SAP Enterprise Solution Consultant – both with the Dell EMC Global SAP Center of Excellence.