"Our printed prospectuses could potentially be out of date not long after production. We wanted to avoid this problem and enable website users to build PDF documents on the fly. An in-house project was explored, but it was a very complex process. The ReportLab solution made life easier and enabled us to use information straight from our website. We simply had to export our content into XML and then the ReportLab developers did the rest."
-- Dan Watson, Web Development Manager, Goldsmiths, University of London
Goldsmiths, part of the University of London, is a leading institution for creative arts, social science and technology. Offering a rich range of under and post graduate courses across many different disciplines, Goldsmiths' website is a key driver for student recruitment and a clear way they can communicate their creative and technological excellence.
Many students who study at Goldsmiths have interests that span disciplines; a musician may also be a skilled programmer for example; and may find a number of options that interest them when chosing a study course. With this in mind, Goldsmiths asked ReportLab to take the prospectuses developed for other Universities to the next level - not only to harness their web content to dynamically create prospectuses, but to allow students to compile a shortlist of programmes that interest them.
The Goldsmiths "My Prospectus" feature is a clean, straightforward addition to their website that allows users to bookmark courses as they browse them. Once complete, one click dynamically compiles them into a single PDF document featuring a full table of contents. Title pages neatly break up the courses, and faculty information is included after appropriate course families. The document can be taken away from any course page or generated in a print-ready form by in-house staff.
Content for the documents is drawn directly from Goldsmiths' content management system, with any changes automatically picked up by the ReportLab system. Less maintainence, an enhanced use of website content and a better service for students.
The system can be used on Goldsmiths website right now. Browse to a course and use the buttons on the left to begin building your bespoke prospectus.