The University of Newcastle, Australia

Turning to our students

Monday, 6 November 2017

Under the banner of Turning to our students, since August a large number of colleagues from across UON have participated in an exploration and analysis of our student-facing professional services. At the heart of this work is a desire to design our organisation to deliver a world class educational experience to students to address the shift in student expectations.

Our focus is on transforming the student experience and UON, not on delivering quick fixes to isolated problems. Alongside the NeW Education Framework that is being delivered in parallel, these opportunities will require significant and sustained effort over several years, working across boundaries to build robust foundations and innovative solutions.

Central to this is acknowledging that the world of work is also changing, and we must support and enable the teaching efforts of academic colleagues in this context.

Opportunities are emerging through the discovery process and the Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellors and I will advance these further over the coming weeks in the context of what these opportunities mean for improving processes and organisation.

Through the efforts of many we have learned that we need to focus on:

  • improving the performance of the prospective student pipeline by developing a more deliberate and integrated approach to promoting UON programs and recruiting students.
  • simplifying processes to increase conversion rates through the student pipeline
  • developing a simpler, more integrated student support model
  • streamlining our placements effort and increasing the emphasis on careers and employability throughout the entire student journey.
  • increasing the institutional focus and rigour on managing and enhancing our portfolio of programs and courses.  This will include a structured approach to reviewing the program and course portfolio and taking a more agile approach to developing new programs.
  • rationalising, modernising, and integrating our technology platforms.

We will now broadly split our efforts between process improvement and organisational design. Academic Division and the Faculties will own the process improvement arm, engaging divisions/functions, including Graduate Research, UON Global and Marketing & Communications as appropriate.

Organisational design will initially focus on developing an operating model that defines the unique contributions of Faculties and Academic Division and the allocation of responsibilities and capabilities across units. This operating model will inform the design of organisation structures and staffing.

Some further detail regarding around the discovery insights is available on the webpage and we would be pleased to hear your comments, ideas and questions.


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