Impersonate Students

Officers with LoginAsStudent permission do see a ‘Login as student’ button on student display pages which redirects to a page, where a temporary student password can be set by clicking a ‘Set password now’ form button. The temporary password is valid for 10 minutes. During this period the student can’t login. The officer is being redirected to a login page which allows to directly login as student with pre-filled temporary credentials. The second page is to avoid that officers must remember the student credentials, have to logout from their own account and manually login as student via the regular login page. After 10 minutes (default value) the officer is automatically thrown out and the student is able to login again (if the officer hasn’t changed the password). Attention: When logging in as student, the officer really impersonates the student. All actions are logged with the student id and not with the officer’s user id. However, start of student impersonation is also logged, so that officers can be identified and fraudulent use can be discovered.

Parents Access

Parents may gain access to monitor study progress and view all payments made by their children. They won’t be able to edit data, register courses or make payments. Prerequisite for getting access is that they have a valid email address and that this address has been entered by the student into the parents’ email address field. If so, parents can request a password on the RequestParentsPasswordPage. The student record will be looked up and temporary login credentials will be sent to the parents’ email address. If they click on the confirmation (mandate) link in this email, the temporary password will be activated so that they can login. Access will be granted for 10 minutes (default value). Parents don’t have their own account in Kofa. They are logging into the student’s account instead. The student’s password is inactive during this period. After 10 minutes parents are automatically thrown out and the student is able to login again with the original password.

Starting Clearance

When students start the clearance process, Kofa checks if the passport picture has been uploaded and the email address field as well as the phone number field filled. If not, students can’t proceed with clearance.

Rejecting Clearance

When a clearance officer clicks the ‘Save comment and reject clearance now’ button, the reject action method of the StudentRejectClearancePage is called. This method first checks, in which workflow state the student is, and fires a transition accordingly. Then the comment, which should explain why the request was requested, is saved twice in the officer_comment attribute of the student and in students.log. As soon as the clear transition (d) is effected, an event handler clears the attribute again. The logfile message is permanent and ensures that the original cause of rejection can always be reconstructed.

Finally, the method redirects to the ContactStudentFormPage and prefills the HTML form with the comment previously saved. The clearance officer can leave the comment as it is, or can modify the text to give more information about the reason of rejection. This comment will then be sent to the student by email. This comment is not saved, neither in the student object nor in the logfile.


All messages sent via Kofa contact forms are private. They are neither stored in the database nor in any logfile. The emails are also not forwarded to any other email address. Thus senders and recipients can be sure that nobody else is eavesdropping and the correspondence is kept secret.

Student Transfer

Transferring a student means enabling the student to study another programme.

The simple but dirty way is to select another certificate and adjust study course attributes accordingly. Existing study levels can be either removed or, in case registered courses can be credited, left as they are. This simple way is tedious and also dangerous, because changes are not tracable. Only the logfile can tell us, that an officer has edited the student’s data. The data of the previous study course are not backed up. They are lost.

Kofa provides a more adequate, cleaner and tracable way of transferring students. It can make a backup of the entire study course container and create a new and empty container for the new study programme with only one click or even by batch processing.

After clicking the ‘Transfer student’ button the StudentTransferFormPage opens and asks for the new certificate, current session, current level and current verdict. After submitting this form, the student transfer method checks if the old study course is complete and ready for transfer. It also checks if the number of possible transfers is not exceeded. Kofa allows two (2) transfers! Finally the copying process is started and history and logfile messages are added.

The old study course container(s) can still be accessed via links on the current study course display form page. But, they can neither be edited, removed, exported or reimported.

Batch Transferring Students

Sometimes students of an entire study programme have to be transferred to another programme. This can be done with the Student Study Course Processor. The import file must contain the following columns: student_id (or any other locator), certificate, current_session, current_level and entry_mode. Do not import entry_session. A transfer is automatically initialized if the entry_mode value is transfer.

Reverting Previous Transfers

Previous transfers can be reverted by opening the previous study course and clicking the ‘Reactivate this study course (revert previous transfer)’ button. This is a complete rollback of the last transfer. The current study mode will be irrevocably deleted and replaced by the previous study course. The second last study course will become the previous study course.


The PaymentsManageFormPage is used by both students and students officers. The page tabulates existing payment tickets and allows to add or remove tickets. Officers can remove all payment tickets, students only those without a response code (r_code). Attention: Students can remove tickets without response code even if they have been marked paid.

There are three different add form pages to add StudentOnlinePayment instances (= payment tickets). They all create objects of the same type, only their attributes are set differently.

Current Session Payment Tickets

Current session payments are the regular payments which have to be made in each session to proceed to the next registration step. The add form provides a select box of available payment categories (p_category). After submitting the form, Kofa determines the total amount and sets attributes like payment item (p_item), payment session (p_session) and payment level (p_level) automatically. The Boolean p_current attribute is set True. The creation datetime is stored in the creation_date attribute and is also used to construct the unique payment id (p_id).


Kofa always determines the total amount, including any fees charged by the school and its service providers. This is the amount which is authorized by students and finally submitted to one of the payment gateways. No fees can be added once the payment ticket is created. Payment tickets do not store any information about charged fees.

Payment Ticket Redemption

Directly after a student payment ticket has been paid - either by approval by an officer or by receiving a positive response from a payment gateway - the redeemTicket method is called. Depending on the category of the payment, an appropriate access or activation code is beeing created for the owner of the ticket. This code must be entered on certain form pages to activate the paid service or to access the next stage of the registration process. In other words, making a payment and redeeming a payment are two different steps. Successful payments do not automatically trigger any action in the portal but create a specifc access code which can be used to trigger access-code-related actions (see Access Codes in progress).

Until May 2015 also school fee payments had produced access codes, which enabled students to start the next session. Since software revision 12889, Kofa bypasses SFE access code creation and starts the next session automatically.

Previous Session Payment Tickets

Previous session payments are additional payments which do not induce further actions in Kofa. Their sole purpose is to enable students to pay for services in previous sessions which they missed to pay. The add form for previous session payments allows the student to select the payment category, session and level by him/herself.

Balance Payment Tickets

Balance payments have been introduced to correct previously made payments. In some cases, students select the wrong payment category, or other things may have happened which led students pay less than expected. This can be balanced by paying a differential amount. Therefore, the add form for balance payments allows to freely choose the total amount to be paid. It also asks for the category, the session and the level the payment is meant for. Like previous session payments, balance payments do not induce further actions in Kofa. Both can be omitted in customized versions of Kofa if these features are not needed.

Course Registration

Study levels are pre-filled with course tickets. When adding a study level, StudentStudyCourse.addStudentStudyLevel automatically adds course tickets in two steps:

  1. StudentStudyLevel.addCertCourseTickets is called which iterates over the certificate courses of the certificate container object in the academic section and creates course tickets if the level attribute matches. title, fcode, dcode, credits, passmark and semester are copied from the course object which is attached to the certificate course; mandatory and course_category are taken from the certificate course itself. Finally, automatic is set to True and carry_over to False.
  2. The portal can be configured (IConfigurationContainer.carry_over) such that failed courses are automatically carried over from one session to the next. Failed course tickets from the previous level, i.e. tickets with a score below the passmark, are collected and ‘copied’ into the current study level container. The attributes automatic and carry_over are set to True.

In most cases such an automatically created course list is not perfect or even ready for submission to the course adviser. The list must be edited according to the student’s needs. Students can select further courses, which they desire to attend, and can create additional course tickets, as long as the total number of credits of non-outstanding courses (outstanding attribute is True) do not exceed 50 (value customizable). That means outstanding courses are not considered as registered courses. Usually they are being added by officers.

Course tickets can also be removed. Whereas officers can remove any ticket from the list, students can remove only optional (non-mandatory) course tickets (condition customizable).

The edit form page provides two additional buttons. ‘Update all tickets’ ignores the select boxes and checks all course ticket at that level. It looks up the associated course object for each ticket and updates the ticket’s course parameters (including course title) if needed. Attention: If a course was removed, the associated course ticket will be invalidated by adding ‘(course cancelled)’ to the title and setting the credits to zero. The ‘Register course list’ button submits the course list to the course adviser for validation. If the course registration deadline (ISessionConfiguration.coursereg_deadline) is set and the registration period has expired, a late registration fee (ISessionConfiguration.late_registration_fee) is charged. This payment has to be made first, otherwise a warning message appears in the browser.

Course advisers can’t edit the registered/submitted course list, but they can validate or reject it by pressing the same-named link buttons. After pressing the ‘Reject courses’ button, Kofa redirects to the ContactStudentFormPage which can be used to inform the student about the reason of rejection. In contrast to clearance rejection, the message, which is being sent to the student by email, is neither stored in the database nor in the logfiles.

Batch Editing Scores by Lecturers

Lecturers cannot access student records directly. They don’t have access to the students section. Instead, lecturers go to their course in the academic section and click the ‘Update scores’ button which opens the EditScoresPage if score editing is enabled for that department (IDepartment.score_editing_disabled) and IConfigurationContainer.current_academic_session has been set on the portal’s configuration page. The EditScoresPage lists all students, who are attending the course in the current academic session. Score editing is allowed if the student’s current session corresponds with the current academic session and the student is in state ‘courses validated’, see method CourseTicket.editable_by_lecturer.

There are two options to edit course results. (1) Scores in course tickets can be changed by editing its values in the table and pressing the ‘Update scores from table’ button below. Scores can be cleared by removing the respective values. Lecturers have to be online during this process. (2) Alternatively, lecturers can download a csv file, edit scores in this csv file offline and upload the same file when they are online again. This procedure is explained in step-by-step instructions which show up when pressing the yellow ‘Help’ button:


Step-by-step instructions

  1. Download csv file.
  2. Open csv file in a text editor or in a spreadsheet programme (Excel or Calc).
  3. Edit course results only. Do not modify other entries. Do not remove or add columns. Do not add rows.
  4. Save file in same format (csv). Do not switch to any other format (xls, xlsx or ods).
  5. Select same file for upload and press the blue ‘Update ...’ button.
  6. The values in the table will be updated. Spot-check if the values in the table correspond with the values in your file.

Note: Only course results of students which are in state ‘courses validated’ and in current academic session can be modified. Additional data will just be ignored.

Bed Tickets

Bed Allocation

Students can obtain a bed ticket if a series of conditions is met:

  • The current date must be inside the booking period (between IHostelsContainer.startdate and IHostelsContainer.enddate).
  • The student’s current session must match the accommodation session (IHostelsContainer.accommodation_session).
  • A bed ticket for the same accommodation session does not exist.
  • The student must be in the correct workflow state (IHostelsContainer.accommodation_states).
  • A bed type, which fits to the student, can be determined.
  • A bed of that type is available.
  • The HOS activation code is not yet used.
  • The student is the owner of the activation code.

The customizable utility method getAccommodationDetails composes a bed type string. Three criteria are checked: Is the student a new, a returning or a final year student? Is the student female or male? Has the student to be accommodated in a special hostel (IHostel.special_handling)? The resulting bed type string contains these information. Example: regular_female_fr means that a bed for a new female student in a regular hostel is wanted. If the student record allows to determine such a bed string, Kofa starts searching a proper bed space.

Before Kofa searches for a free bed space, which meets the bed type criteria above, it checks if a bed space has already been allocated manually to the student. If so, then this bed is used, no matter whether the bed meets the criteria or not. (Theoretically, a male student can be accommodated in a hostel which is reserved for female students.) If no manually allocated bed space is found, Kofa searches for the right space. If bed booking is subject to a charge, Kofa also checks, if the student has entered a valid activation code, before delivering the bed coordinates to the student.

Student Relocation

Officers with ManageHostels permission do see a ‘Relocate student’ link button which calls the BedTicketRelocationView. This view relocates the student if student parameters or the bed type of the bed have changed. The update method of this view calls the BedTicket.relocateStudent method which checks first, if the student has a ‘reserved’ bed space. Students in reserved beds are never subject to relocation. It checks secondly, if booking has been cancelled in the accommodation section but other bed space has been manually allocated after cancellation. Then this bed is used, no matter whether the bed meets the bed type criteria or not. If both checks are negative, Kofa searches for a free bed space, which meets the student’s bed type criteria. Only if it finds a new and free bed space, it starts the relocation process by releasing the old bed, booking the new bed and designating the new bed in the bed ticket.