Student and staff member in University Park Central Student Service Centre

Getting ready for start of session – updates and new resources in Student Services

September 18th, 2018

Student Services have made a number of changes and updates to resources and processes ready for the start of session. These initiatives seek to improve the experience of students and staff, responding to the continual improvement and customer service work of the Student Services department. Many are also specific responses to the recommendations of the OESS Review.

A new Student Services Department website has been created to provide further information about the structure of the department and a new contact directory for members of the team. The website also provides quick access to the contact details for local Student Services teams which have all recently been updated on workspace.

The Frequently Asked Questions on the Services for Students website have been updated. We’ve also made is easier for students and staff to find relevant FAQs.

A series of FAQs for staff has been developed. These are available on workspace and cover general queries that colleagues may be asked by students over the first few weeks of the year. Student Services will be share these widely over the start of session and will be making a particular effort to ensure that these are available to staff who are most likely to receive enquiries from students e.g. in School and building receptions (where these exist), halls of residence, libraries etc.

Student Services are recruiting additional Student Ambassadors during the first two weeks of term to provide support around some of our busiest teaching buildings, including the new Teaching and Learning Building, at peak times.

The department is working with IS to introduce a new queue management and appointment booking system in Service Centres. The system chosen is used in other UK universities and by a range of major high street brands and banks. The team is working hard to have the system installed in the four busiest Service Centres for the start of session and will roll it out to the other centres later in the year.

Over the summer period there was a student-led audit of the physical space in the Service Centres and we will be repeated at the start of session when the spaces are at their busiest. The findings from this audit will inform work to improve the usability of the spaces.

A specific remit of the audit is to consider the needs of disabled students.

We have introduced a new Access Pass for disabled students. The Pass, which can be used until 30 September at a wide range of welcome and induction events and in our Student Service Centres, is a discreet way for disabled students to indicate they require assistance. For example, it allows them to be fast-tracked through queues or to request the opportunity to talk in a quiet space.

As part of the Transitions Project there have been a number of updates to start of year activities including to the Welcome Programme for new international students. This includes a re-introduction of the airport pick-up scheme. This year the programme runs between Thursday 20 September and Saturday 22 September 2018. Further information is available on the International Welcome Programme website.

Please share these updates across your Schools and Departments – particularly with colleagues who support students through the first weeks of term.

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