Service Centres to put students at the heart of the University

July 23rd, 2015

A new network of Service Centres designed to put students at the heart of the University has been approved by the Project Transform Programme Board.

From August 2016, the majority of administration tasks and processes linked to the student journey will take place either online or in new Service Centres, located across the University’s UK campuses. This will improve the student experience significantly, ensuring consistent, friendly, informed interactions both online and in person — however the student chooses to access the service, and wherever they are based.

This marks a step change in how the University supports its students. The new Service Centres, combined with a comprehensive, single sign-in student records system, will transform the student experience at Nottingham. It demonstrates our very real commitment to ensure our students are able to access the services they need in the most convenient manner at The University of Nottingham.

The proposal to move to this new organisation model was developed by the Organisation Design Working Group, chaired by PVC Professor Sarah O’Hara. It has the support of the University Executive Board and was approved at the Project Transform Programme Board.

Colleagues currently based in Schools and Professional Services departments in a role connected to student administration are likely to be affected by this change. Leadership of the new Service Centres will be the responsibility of the new Chief Student Management Officer.

These changes mark a transformation in service delivery at the University, moving us to a set of services designed to support students and academic colleagues in the most effective way possible.

The transition requires your help. It will affect hundreds of colleagues across the University directly, and will require the understanding and patience of many more. We will of course be consulting colleagues and Trade Union representatives over the proposed changes. The success of Project Transform requires the support and commitment of all of us. I look forward to working with you on this exciting new challenge — and cementing our position as a global University with students at the heart of everything we do.

Professor Sir David Greenaway

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July 28th, 2015 at 6:39 am

Ian Kerr

What is revealing about this announcement is that there is still an academic staff survey on-going that seeks to ensure the “views of staff are considered during the development of the organisation design”. the words fait accompli spring to mind.

July 28th, 2015 at 8:28 am


Thanks for your comment Ian.

The next phase of work on organisation design will need to work out the detail of the functions that will be performed in service centres and schools, including the number and content of the roles that will need to exist in these locations.

The academic staff survey will be a key input for this phase of work, in particular to ensure that the services and support academic staff require are fully and properly identified and addressed within the design.

There has been an excellent response so far to the survey and we would strongly encourage staff to participate so as to ensure that the right decisions are made as we move into the implementation of the new model. You can access the survey here

July 29th, 2015 at 7:57 am


I’m not sure I’d have announced this without first having some ideas communicated to staff about where there jobs will be heading! Not a great way to enthuse and encourage staff! Good luck holding onto the decent staff over the next nine months.

July 31st, 2015 at 8:06 am


We are conscious that providing information to staff without having finalised every detail means that there will be continuing uncertainty for a period. However, we are committed to being as transparent as possible throughout this process and to engaging with staff as fully as we can. This will entail making announcements of this kind as we go along so that the next stage of dialogue can be properly informed and all those participating in the conversation are aware of what has been decided so far and what remains to be decided. We trust that our colleagues would prefer this approach rather than having a fully worked-out scheme imposed upon them to which they’ve not had a meaningful opportunity to contribute.
Robert Dowling, Director of Engagement and Transition, Project Transform

August 1st, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Ken Starkey

I was wondering which design principles/rules are being applied in terms of size of schools/faculties being served. I think I read that a service centre is already operational at the Derby Medical campus? Does this mean that larger more complex schools may actually need a dedicated service centre to make them most effective and efficient? It does concern me that it is a well researched result that too much centralisation can damage service at the local level where it seems to me at least some aspects of the fundamental quality of the student experience will be determined. The really difficult management task is to determine the balance between centralisation and localisation of knowledge and action.

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