The INTRA portal system was last updated 12 years ago, information released to The College View has revealed.
According to a Freedom of Information request, the INTRA portal used to allocate students placements was updated on ‘several occasions up to 2007’.
The portal was initially set up in 2001 and is utilised each academic year by students across DCU across the humanities, business, engineering and computing and science and health faculties.
Speaking to The College View, the DCUSU VP for Education and Placement Craig McHugh explained that the the portal was not updated due to a shortage of funding.
“Due to a shortfall in funding, the portal was not updated – although there has been will from most corners of the university to do so. It was originally designed by students some 15 years ago and it is now expected to be updated by late 2020. I was informed of these plans back in October by a senior member of the INTRA office,” he said.
“A number of students have had their issues with the portal, its speed and in general with the process. However, it would be unfair to not mention that these are also frustrations shared by the office itself and that we have maintained a close relationship to try source solutions to these,” McHugh added.
He explained that funding will update the portal and seek to provide a better experience for both students and staff.
“Essentially, the funding that is now expected to be allocated to update the portal should certainly pave the way for a much smoother experience for staff, students and the incredible partner companies that work with DCU to provide students with such opportunities,” he said.
“This grievance really can be linked to the critical underfunding of our higher education system which has faced serious cutbacks in the last decade and has not recovered since,” McHugh concluded.
The INTRA portal is a tool provided by the INTRA office at DCU. It is a piece of software which is used by students to submit their CVs, apply for placements and arrange interviews.
The portal has received criticism by students for its functionality. Students have complained that the portal automatically logs them out every 20 minutes after the initial log in, where unsaved work is lost.
Third-year physics and astronomy student Sean Goodwin is currently on placement and used the INTRA portal extensively in semester one for submitting his CV and arranging interviews. In his opinion, the portal is ‘completely outdated’.
“It makes the whole process of INTRA way more difficult,” he said.
“Something as simple as notifications or an email if you have an interview aren’t available, you’re forced to constantly check the portal daily or risk getting locked out of your account for missing an interview,” he added.
“I think one of the worst things about it would be the impression it leaves on employers. They use the portal just like we do, what impression does that give them of DCU? Surely not a good one,” he concluded.
The INTRA office was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
Image credit: Alison Clair