Student Education programme 2018: new beginnings

Ahead of a new programme launching in 2018, the Student Education programme which has been running since May 2013 is drawing to a close at the end of 2017.

This significant, cross-organisation programme has delivered process enhancements and realignment for student education services and improvements to marketing materials and the SES website. It’s also delivered Minerva (portal and VLE) and has enhanced and systemised the applicant journey for taught postgraduate admissions. 

As preparations to launch the new programme gather apace, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, Professor Tom Ward, reflects:

“The programme has involved colleagues from right across the University and I want to extend my thanks to everyone who has contributed. We kick off 2018 with a refreshed vision for student education; one where our end-to-end processes, systems and ways of working that support the student education lifecycle, from prospect to graduation, are fit for purpose and work efficiently and effectively to deliver an outstanding experience. The new Student Education Programme is being established now and will have a clear and early focus on understanding all of our stakeholders and giving them a voice in programme decision-making.”

The programme board has been established, with representation from across the organisation, including a student representative.

What can you expect in 2018?

Sarah Lund has joined the University to establish and lead the new programme and explains more:

“During 2018, we’ll hold lots of different focus groups to understand the touch points that matter within the student lifecycle and where we need to focus our effort. We’ll be taking lessons learned from the previous programme around governance, with particular focus on defining and realising benefits, communication and risk management.

“We’ve started to articulate the criteria we’ll use to decide which projects will form part of the programme, but until we have finished consulting with all the necessary staff and student stakeholders, it’s too early to say for sure what projects will be in scope.

“That said, one project which we know will be an enabler for many others, is upgrading the core systems that hold student and curriculum information. That project will also look at the processes and ways of working that interact with the core systems.” 

You can read more in Sarah Lund’s FAQs.

Benefits from the 2013 programme

As the 2013 programme draws to a close, colleagues share some of the benefits and improvements they’ve observed:

Marketing and admissions

“Through the programme, we have fundamentally changed the nature of how we communicate with our prospective masters students. We are now systematically capturing details of thousands of prospective students who have expressed an interest in the University in one place, something that we were previously unable to do. We can also now deliver real-time communications based on the actions of our audience, rather than delivering an inconsistent experience by mass communications which might be more relevant for one person than another. We know from student feedback that this type of regular communication is valued so being able to deliver that to every student in the same way is a major step forward for us as an institution, and should make for a better experience for students.

“Being able to track activity in one place means that we can start to better understand the success, or otherwise, of particular types of events or activities, which in turn allows us to target efforts into those things which deliver the best results.

“Marketing teams already worked closely with Admissions colleagues, but the fact that we are now using the same system for masters students also means we can better coordinate communications activity and have a fuller picture of what we are sending to our students, and when, and make sure that we present a consistent set of messages and meet the needs of our students at the right moment.

“We know from the work we’ve done already that we have a large number of student facing systems across the University so I’m looking forward to see how we can consolidate these and improve the experience for staff and students.” Robert Picton, CRM Senior Marketing Manager

Student Portal and Single Sign On

“The Student Portal project has replaced The Portal with Minerva, a new combined Portal and VLE service. This new service delivers personalised content and tools including announcements, news, modules, access to timetables and other services in a modern and accessible interface. In a student survey in November 2017, with over 2500 respondents, Minerva demonstrated a 9% increase in student satisfaction compared to the previous Portal in 2016.

“The Single Sign On project has delivered a new suite of infrastructure to enable a secure, quick, highly available single login experience across multiple online services including Office365, Minerva, Faculty and Student Services, SPARC, StarRez and Timetables. We have also developed a new login page and a new password reset service that will be rolling out over the coming months.” Adam Watson, Project Manager

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