Discover and share good practice for smarter working universities

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Lean: taking the strain out of admissions

Middlesex University has boosted staff confidence, reduced mundane tasks and produced a better student experience, simply by improving their admissions system. Karolin Arvidsson sets out how they did it.
Children's drawings of people

Developing student and staff personas: a practical guide

If you want to be sure you're meeting the demands of your stakeholders as they use your services, creating personas to identify their needs will help sharpen your focus. As consultant Jean Mutton explains, it's a technique that's becoming more widely used and it needn't be a difficult process.
Spanish language books

Simpler processes to support students studying abroad

When the University of Sheffield's Global Opportunities and Engagement team realised that their various admin systems had become too cumbersome, they called for help. Rachel McAssey explains how her team of lean practitioners carried out a process review that has produced many benefits including significant time savings.
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How we are speeding up the PhD admission process at Brunel

Postgraduate admissions at Brunel University London have plunged by 48% since 2013/14 so Brunel took action to change how prospective PhD students apply. Jeung Lee says their new process should cut application times by over 50%.
Smiley face made out of paperclips

Slack: the social media that’s suitable for work?

Academia and social media are slowly making friends. Some institutions are even finding it's making collaboration more efficient - and fun - by improving communication. Mike Ewen from the University of Hull shares the story of how a small group of social media enthusiasts in East Yorkshire has spawned a UK-wide collaboration network.
tea pot and cup

How to convince the process mapping sceptics

Encouraging people to try different ways of working is a big problem for many HE institutions. While taking advantage of a powerful resource, the continuous improvement team at the University of Winchester also learned some valuable lessons about bringing reluctant staff on board.

Smart training will help avoid data protection fines

To help Scotland's universities avoid stiff fines for breaching data protection laws, free online training modules have been updated to meet new rules. Diana Watt from Edinburgh Napier University explains why it's efficient and will help reduce duplication of effort.
Data capture sheet

Five enhancements to help universities evidence the benefits of change

Following publication of their guide to evidencing the benefits of business process improvement in higher education, the business improvement team at the University of Strathclyde have responded to users’ feedback with an updated version. Nicola Cairns shares some new insights gained from collaborating with colleagues across the sector.
CCTV camera

Making campus safety more efficient

A government code regulating CCTV stimulated Aston University to take a fresh look at their surveillance technology. Mark Sutton explains how complying with the surveillance commissioner's code has resulted in efficiencies and savings.

We are lean, with a twist

Lean seeks to "design out" overburden, inconsistency, and waste in operational processes, but in higher education it is not a rigid concept. The University of Strathclyde embraces lean's respect for people and continuous improvement ethos, but with an added emphasis on data and evidence, as Heather Lawrence explains.