It’s the time of year when A level papers have all been sat and the thoughts of the students turn firmly towards results day and the all important grades.
For Universities however the hard work in respect of new students started a long time ago. From outreach and recruitment work, through to open days, applications processing, places offered, the student journey into Higher Education starts months and even years before the student even considers where they may continue their studies.
Once enrolled and they appear on campus with tearful parents in tow and boxes and bags filled to the brim of essential supplies, the student enters a period of change and the hard work begins. For the University there is so much more behind the scenes that supports them as they embark on their journey.
ICE Creates have worked with Universities to promote and transform the student experience through enhancing recruitment, improving admissions and finance processes, providing vital support with pastoral services such as accommodation, wellbeing and counseling, extenuating circumstances processing, timeouts, transfers & withdrawals, ICT support services, award board and exam board administration through to employability and alumni services, we understand the importance of ensuring a seamless programme between academic and professional services to provide not only the best possible outcomes for the University but most importantly for the student.
Using our tried and tested 7Es transformation model with its roots grounded in the principles of LEAN Systems Thinking, we have supported organisations to take a holistic view of the Higher Education journey and significantly improve outcomes for all stakeholders.
We believe that change and continuous improvement comes from within, “those who create own…those who own use and grow”.
One of our recent partners commissioned ICE to support them in transferring skills to their own staff to enable them to continue to review and improve services across the organisation. Delivering a bespoke programme of training, facilitation and support we have helped them to deliver such efficiencies as:
- More timely service to the students
- Reduced chasing time for missing information / evidence
- Less time spent at EC panels.
- Significant cashable savings to reinvest in student services
- Allowing the university to successfully plan, manage and maintain ICT assets
- Fully able and trained facilitators of change an improvement
Staff now feel that they are able to offer a more student focussed and holistic service and as such have increased satisfaction rates and retention across the organisation. Across the organisation the feedback is exceptional with staff stating that they have a renew sense of “working together”
“I have been working with a team of nine people from teams within Academic Services and Student Partnership Services who are directly involved in the current process and those who are from unrelated areas.
It’s a team effort and it’s always process first and foremost before any kind of experimentation with solutions”.
It has proved to be a truly refreshing experience for those involved:
“Personally I’ve found it a really refreshing experience (even if it’s just to look at someone else’s problem for a change)!
I have found that the method of taking a good, hard, realistic look at a particular issue, examining it from a purely process focused point of view and identifying its core value points is really effective.
That is followed up with an open minded approach to testing what might work as a possible solution and to then permanently put those improvements into standard working practice. It’s a lot of concentrated work but it’s also a chance to work with new faces in different areas and really affect change for the better”.
And using our tested methodology has truly embedded anew way of working for the university:
“The methodology has been adopted by the Strategic Programmes Office initially but will hopefully spread across the organisation and particularly in our customer engagements.
Do expect to hear the LEAN buzz word more as the year progresses as this will be forming the cornerstone of the new way of working. I would encourage anyone who is able to get involved with a lean review as and when the opportunity is presented or put themselves forward to take part”.