March 23, 2016, by Ryan Neal
Student Engagement Sessions
Two Student Engagement Sessions titled ‘Introducing your new Student Service Centres’ took place on Wednesday 2 March and Friday 4 March. These were a chance for all students to find out more about the upcoming changes and to ask any questions that they may have had.
The sessions were led by Chris Hulse, Director of Student Services, and Clare Gough, Director of Service Development, which are the two main branches within the new Student Services department. Student Experience Specialist, Charlotte Owen, was also in attendance to give a demonstration of MyNottingham, the new online self-service portal that will be launched along with the new Student Service Centres.
The programme for these events can be found below, along with the presentation slides:
- MyNottingham demo
- Open floor Q&A
- Informal discussion/meet and greet
The slides from these sessions can be found on the Project Transform Workspace (login required).
The overall feedback has so far been positive, with students who had expressed concerns agreeing that they could see the positive impacts of the project. However, a few concerns remain and these are listed below, along with their corresponding course of action:
Will student support seem ‘faceless’? How will we build a relationship with members of staff?
The new systems underpinning these changes mean that staff in service centres will all have access to a student’s historical data (to an extent that’s relevant to their role). This will provide them with insight into the history of a student’s interaction with the University and any prior problems or issues that a student may have had. It has been recognised that the close relationship between staff and students is one of the core strengths of the current model, and this will need to be addressed as we move into the new organisation. There will be continuous efforts to identify the best way to preserve this relationship.
Student Services staff will be based both in the new Student Service Centres and also in School locations. Service Centres will be the first point of contact for students. Student pastoral support, for example, will still be offered by School/Faculty staff, but you will be able to access this support through the new Student Service Centres.
Will academics be trained on the new system?
The precise training plan for academics has not yet been confirmed but there will certainly be support in place to guide academics on using the new system.
How have students been engaged with the project so far?
A number of recent University of Nottingham graduates work on the project, and current students have been consulted through surveys, workshops and feedback sessions. There is also a group of Student Ambassadors that work with the project, providing vital input from a student perspective at various points of the process, and they will also contribute to the system testing. Finally, the SU have been heavily involved throughout and the officers sit on various project groups.
Will students be able to provide feedback on the new centres/services to allow for future improvements?
There will certainly be the provision for not only students but admin and academic staff to provide detailed feedback on the new services and centres. The new organisation includes a Customer Services workstream, which will be working closely with students, admin and academic staff to collect feedback and enhance the services provided.
How will staff in Service Centres be able to deal with very specific questions about individual courses?
Many of the staff moving into the Student Service Centres will be coming from Schools and will therefore bring existing knowledge with them. There is currently an ongoing knowledge collection exercise to ensure that this knowledge is captured and recorded for reference moving forward. Each Service Centre will maintain close relationships with Schools to ensure that knowledge is shared and maintained in an up-to-date manner.
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