Discover and share good practice for smarter working universities

The rise of the new academic advisor

Could the advent of the TEF see the emergence of a new breed of data-empowered academic advisors? Student experience consultant Brian Hipkin says the growth in student-generated ‘teaching excellence’ metrics could herald the introduction of this role.
John Lacey pitching his app at Open Data Mashup Day

John Lacey: ‘my perception of value for money has definitely improved’

Some 20 universities have joined forces to create a more defined path for graduates interested in a career in higher education with the Ambitious Futures programme. John Lacey, who has had placements at two universities in the north west of England, describes how these experiences have offered him new perspectives on the student journey.

Nightline: Students Supporting Students

Do you have a Nightline service on your campus? Are you a student who wants the support of people who understand what you are going through, or perhaps want to get involved and support your peer through their difficulties. No one should be ashamed of struggling and there are plenty of organisations that are there to offer support, such as the Samaritans, Studentminds, CALM and the student run association, Nightline. In this blog Sarah Rodway-Swanson talks about Nightline, the service they provide and explains how you can get involved. We all have mental health, it is important that we look after it just as much as we care of the rest of ourselves.

“The Sticky Campus”; improving our students’ sense of belonging through active learning, coffee and...

2018 promises to be an exciting and challenging year for universities and the Higher Education sector. Among the many less than positive news, there are also successful practices that make our universities stand out in the way in which they support their students’ experience, widen access and participation, and support their mental health and wellbeing. The ‘Sticky Campus’ at Abertay University is one such example. As Robertson explains and describes, the concept is simple and yet complex in its operationalisation.
Jean Mutton

Service design for universities

Sometimes solutions are under our noses - you just need the right approach to unlock them. In this post, consultant Jean Mutton explains service design, which she says is for anyone who often thinks "there must be a better way".

15 October: Westminster Higher Education Forum, London

This event focuses on improving student experience and includes speakers from HEFCE and the Times Good University Guide. Students' rights at universities will be explored, following a shift to greater focus on 'value for money', as well as measures for dealing effectively with complaints.

The Sensory Study Room at the University of Warwick

Supporting our students’ mental health and wellbeing requires both a wider strategic approach and attention to the needs of individual students. Laura Waller shares with us how the Sensory Study Room in the Library at the University of Warwick has managed to create a dedicated and accessible study space.
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How universities can use learning analytics to boost retention

Boosting retention is an area where learning analytics could have a big part to play in supporting fair access. Universities pulling together access agreements for next year should have learning analytics in their sights according to Jisc's Phil Richards and Joel Mullan.
gignerbread men

Using service design techniques to map the student journey

Some universities are attempting to map the student journey in order to better understand the student experience. In this blogpost consultant Jean Mutton explains how service design techniques can help to develop a deeper understanding about what is driving students.

University libraries need to start putting the student first

A good library is an important weapon in keeping student satisfaction levels high, writes Ben Hickman from consultancy Alterline. But in an article for the Guardian Higher Education Network he adds that all too often they don't reflect the needs of the student of 2017 and like other parts of universities, must change their culture.