Directorate for the Student Experience


Key potential process improvements announced

28 March 2018

We’re pleased to announce some of the key improvements proposed for the Initial Release of the Student Lifecycle Project in September 2019.

The solutions have been designed by colleagues from the across the University and will make things better for students and simpler for staff. More efficient and effective processes and ways of working will be supported by upgraded IT systems to deliver these improvements.

Find out more about them below:

Student Recruitment and Marketing

Colleagues across the University will benefit from the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365, a sophisticated piece of customer relationship management (CRM) software, bringing many benefits including automated, targeted and segmented marketing communications, a consistent tone of voice and improved metric measurement.

Applications and Admissions

Today there are over 60 ways to apply to the University. The SLP will distil these down through a dynamic application form for direct entry and improve the applicant experience by rolling the new My Manchester out to offer holders. Colleagues involved with admissions will benefit from simpler processes and a digitised confirmation and clearing experience which delivers significantly improved reporting capabilities.

Student Finance

For the first time students will be able to see their individual finance account - including payments due to and from the University - in the new My Manchester. Staff will benefit from a number of process improvements, making it easier to administer US Loan and Hardship Fund applications and manage the University's relationship with tuition fee sponsors and the Student Loans Company.

Start of Year

We'll improve the Start of Year experience for our students by reducing the number of steps in academic registration and only requiring students to complete it once during their time with us. Students will also benefit from the new My Manchester, which they'll be able to use to book and track police registration appointments and print off or 'click and collect' important documentation, like confirmation of attendance and bank letters, rather than queuing at Student Services.

Learning, Researching and Progressing

The SLP will deliver hundreds of improvements to this core aspect of the student journey, including changing the way we timetable courses and exams to minimise the number of timetable changes and ensure that we are using our teaching space as efficiently as possible; having students undertake course unit selection through an improved interface in the new My Manchester; replacing paper attendance registers with a digital solution which updates student records automatically; digitising the exam paper approval process and integrating Campus Solutions 9.2 and Blackboard so marks only need to be entered once.

Campus Life

The roll out of Microsoft Dynamics 365 to student support staff across the University in Schools, Faculties, and central teams like Residential Life will allow us to log student support queries in a single location, introduce 'concern' flags and ultimately offer a much more joined up service, making interventions earlier if required. This will be underpinned by improvements in the new My Manchester which will increase the visibility of student support services and allow students to interact with them more easily.

Student Mobility

Existing University systems and processes relating to Student Mobility are diverse and varied. We have identified opportunities to unify and standardise these systems and processes relating to placements for students at all levels, including work, study, fieldtrips and fieldwork. We aim to make placements more visible and accessible for students who wish to undertake one as part of their academic experience, and make things simpler for staff in Schools through process changes and the creation of a Student Mobility business owner.

Change in Circumstances

Sometimes students experience unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances that could have a significant adverse effect on their academic performance. We'll digitise processes, like mitigating circumstances and change of programme requests, complaints and appeals, with students submitting standardised forms and uploading documents through the new My Manchester, to ensure fairness, consistency and more effective compliance with University policy.

Graduation

We'll improve the graduation experience for our students by making a number of system and process improvements that will enable the graduation team to announce the date and time of ceremonies and receptions months earlier than at present. Students will be asked to register for their graduation ceremony and reception through a new area of My Manchester. We'll make things better for PSS and academic colleagues who take part in graduation ceremonies by introducing a dedicated area of the new My Manchester for them to manage their participation.

Distance and Blended Learning and Collaborative Provision

Today, the administration of distance, blended and collaborative programmes requires multiple workarounds and the experience of students is often inconsistent with the experience of students who study on campus at the University full time. The SLP will introduce standardised administration processes supported by Campus Solutions 9.2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365, improvements to governance and policy and will ensure that all areas of the student lifecycle meet the particular needs of students on these types of programmes.

Further details

More detailed information about the proposals can be found below:

Have a question or comment on the SLP's proposed outputs?

You can provide feedback or comments here.

We'll respond to as many comments as possible in April's SLP newsletter.

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