We need a passport photo not a selfie: an admission officer’s plea

Student in lecture theatre
Welcome week at Nottingham Trent University (photo credit: NTU)
Many institutions are responding to the student-funded business model by examining the ‘student journey’ in a systematic way. The Efficiency Exchange team ran a workshop at the Student Record Officers Conference to explore ideas for improving interactions with students at key points on their journey. Rosie Niven shares some insights.

The goal of the session was to look at at key interactions with students on their journey and identify opportunities, resources and processes for improvement. With more than 30 delegates attending our workshop, including representatives of the University of Salford and Cardiff University, along with colleagues from the USA, a range of issues were covered.

One group focusing on pre-arrival identified a grey area between accepting and enrolling at university and the challenge of helping to make the transition as smooth as possible whilst managing expectations.

They suggested hosting pre-arrival sessions to fill the information gap where students could meet representatives from student services, careers, accommodation and academics.

Another group looked at registration and enrolment and the challenges of getting accurate information from admission teams, whilst handling immigration and other compliance issues.

One of their gripes was the time spent sorting out non-compliant photos for student identification and they suggested clearly stating on online registration documents that a passport-style photo is required, rather than a selfie.

Social media and communications with applicants was explored by another group which identified how care should be taken with communications with students and the risk of important messages being ignored if they are too informal. Solutions to this problem included clearly stating how you will communicate to students and what you expect from them.

This session follows a series of articles on Efficiency Exchange in which we have been exploring the student journey, with contributions from colleagues at Lancaster University and consultant Jean Mutton.

I’d like to thank everyone who have contributed their insights so far and would like to open it up to the wider HE community. Have you recently found a solution to a “pain point” when delivering services on the student journey? If so, please leave a comment below or email your thoughts to me.

photo credit: Welcome Week via photopin (license)

Rosie Niven
Rosie is the content editor at Efficiency Exchange