The University of Newcastle, Australia

Update on student-focused design

Monday, 18 September 2017

It has been a busy couple of weeks across UON in the design of student-facing professional services. Six concurrent work streams are looking at how we currently interact with students and what happens behind the scenes to support this work.

With the insights gained through very hands-on workshops with key stakeholders, including staff and students, teams are unpacking issues and forming a clearer view of the student journey and what needs to be done to improve the experience for our students and prepare for the future student.

It bodes extremely well that the commitment of UON staff to delivering a positive experience for students stretches high and wide.

However, there are clear challenges and workshops are returning consistent messages and themes:

  • We are supporting an increasingly diverse range of student needs as we expand UON's student base and programs and extend across different locations, placing pressure on our business processes and systems.
  • Conversely, we have created different approaches to addressing common needs across UON, leading to inefficiencies and less than ideal experiences for students and staff alike.
  • We see unintended gaps between the efforts of Faculties and Divisions in how we engage and support students.
  • Students and staff are contending with fragmented systems and services.
  • We need to find ways of moving more quickly and be more responsive to changing student needs and shifts in the sector.

Armed with the wealth of information gathered, all work streams are now focusing on identifying opportunities to improve the student experience and enhance support for the academic effort.  The aim is to identify a number of cross-UON improvement initiatives over the next few weeks.

In October, focus will shift to what these improvement opportunities mean for how we organise and resource our professional staff effort.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this intensive effort so far. There is more work to do but we are making good progress.

Darrell


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