I’m often asked ‘how exactly does School of Stitched Textile’s enrolment process work?’ A very good question, which is actually more complex than many people imagine! So, I thought it would be a good idea to explain in detail exactly what happens as our quarterly registration process goes live.
As a general rule, our new enrolments are made up of one third overseas students, with the rest from the UK. Because we are strict about taking the first students who enrol online chronologically after enrolment goes live at 10 am (the next date for this is Saturday 4th August) then we clearly need to be fair to everyone not just in the UK, but around the world. This means making sure everyone can enrol at 10am – their 10am – wherever they may be in the world. It also means making sure that only those who have already Expressed an Interest are invited to enrol. We do this by including a small cookie in our enrolment email which reads the date/ time on the recipient’s computer and allows them special access to the enrolment landing page from 10am their local time and date (so do make sure your computer has the right time and date on it!). From this special enrolment landing page they can see all of our courses, the ‘enrol now’ buttons magically appear, the homepage chages and they can then click onto the ones they wish to enrol onto. The access lasts for a few hours and then reverts to our ‘normal’ site which only takes Expressions of Interest, not enrolments.
The whole process takes 24 hours, so for example the first major country to have a 10am on the correct day will be New Zealand, who are ahead of us by around 12 hours (depending on daylight savings time). It then moves on the 3 Australian time zones who are between 8 and 10 hours ahead of the UK. Saudi Arabia are 3 hours ahead, with majority of Europe being 1 hour ahead. Then we arrive at 10am in the UK. Afterwards 10am moves over the Atlantic to Canada and the US with the furthest regions in Canada being 9 hours behind UK time.
After we have everyone’s enrolment application in, we go to work putting them into time order and then confirm collection of funds with our payment provider, Worldpay, when we know we can offer a student their chosen course place. Even this can take a little while to complete. Sometimes people enrol for more than one course, which is fine by us as we only count the number of students, not the number of courses in our available places, but out of courtesy we still have to check with them that they really did want 2 courses and haven’t enrolled on one by mistake!
As we reach the end of the list, things become a little trickier and tend to slow down as we wait to hear back from people who we may have had to contact with this or that query. We only have a few places available on each enrolment – usually 25. We try to conclude this whole process in 2 days or less, as we are very conscious this is a huge concern to those who have enrolled, but are uncertain if they have been able to secure a place. Not my favourite 48 hours, if I’m honest, as I’m very conscious of keeping everyone who has gone through the enrolment process for a course on tenterhooks!
After the enrolment, we then inform everyone who has obtained a place (and, of course, also those who haven’t been lucky enough to do so) and then tell them all about their course start date, which is usually 3-4 weeks after enrolment. This is a much happier period and I love hearing how delighted and enthusiastic our new students are to start their courses. Both myself as head of centre and the other tutors and office admins never forget just what a big deal this is for our students – it’s the start of a completely new chapter in their lives and, in many cases, will lead to rewarding and creative careers. Certainly to a love affair with textiles that will give them joy throughout their lifetime. It is quite a responsibility and a privilege to help them achieve so much and after each new enrolment, our energy and enthusiasm to help and encourage them renews itself ready for the next cohort to start their journey with SST.
We look forward to ‘meeting’ our new students, Gail.