Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find a number of FAQs relating to the new Student Services organisation, your Student Service Centres and MyNottingham. These FAQs will be updated as progress is made and new information becomes available.
What is Project Transform and how does it relate to the new Student Service Centres and MyNottingham?
Project Transform is a University-wide project aimed at improving the student experience across each of our global campuses. This includes capitalising on staff skills and experience across the institution to create a new Student Services department; implementing an improved student records system; and optimising our administrative processes and services.
This improved experience will be delivered in person, at our new Student Service Centres, and online via the MyNottingham platform. Visit the Project Transform website to find out more.
How will the upcoming changes affect me?
The main difference will be that any administrative task that you complete at your School office (enrolling onto modules, submitting extenuating circumstances forms, handing in coursework) will now be done at one of the Student Service Centres. From September 2016 you will go to one of five Student Service Centres rather than a School office.
MyNottingham, our new online system, is currently in development. Once it is launched you will be able to complete many of these administrative processes online in a self-service manner. However, if you would prefer to complete them in-person, this option will still be available at the Student Service Centres. MyNottingham will offer you the ability to enrol on modules, pay fees and bills, and find out about study abroad opportunities, among other things.
How have students been engaged with the project so far?
The Students’ Union (SU) have been involved with the project from the outset and have acted as the official representative for the overall student body. Their officers sit on various working groups, including Organisation Design and Communications and they are also on the Programme Board - so they have been integral to key discussions and decisions made.
In addition there are 13 Student Ambassadors who have worked with the project to date. This group has been chosen because it’s representative of a large portion of the student population, with students from all Faculties and levels of study, including international students. We worked in partnership with the SU to recruit these students, and the SU were involved in the selection process and the assessment day. This group has been providing vital input at various points of the project and has been contributing to student communications. They have provided detailed feedback on the design and functionality of MyNottingham and will be heavily involved in user experience testing. Larger groups of students have also been consulted at various parts of the project via the Student Ambassadors.
Students have also been involved in MyNottingham workshops. We conducted a joint research project with the SU to get views from students about what this new portal (now named MyNottingham) would include. 81 students took part in these workshops. These students came from different courses, and workshops were conducted on all UK campuses. Workshops were also carried out at UNNC and UNMC during the early design phase of MyNottingham. The findings from these workshops were used to determine what MyNottingham would and would not offer students, and what functionalities offered by the current portal could be improved.
The Project Transform team was also established with the deliberate inclusion of recent University of Nottingham graduates, who have been working in fields such as Organisation Design and Student Experience.
Where did the new Student Services model come from? Were other university models considered and were staff and students consulted?
The primary driver behind Project Transform is improving the student experience, and this includes updating our current systems so that they are able to provide us with the level of service that our students expect to receive.
Our current student records system – Saturn – needs to be replaced and we have purchased a new system – Campus Solutions. We went through a very thorough procurement exercise and, as part of this, looked at systems and structures in other UK universities, including some who have already adopted Campus Solutions.
This research has informed the design of the new processes and organisation. Project Transform is comprised of staff from various areas of the University and consultation has been ongoing.
I wasn’t aware of the upcoming changes – how have students been informed?
We’ve been communicating for a long time but we’ve only recently been able to communicate on specifics such as Service Centres and MyNottingham, because these concepts and names did not exist until recently. It’s also worth noting that many of the communications have not been specifically branded as Project Transform. For example, students have been providing feedback on the current portal, which has fed into the design work of MyNottingham.
Non-final year students received an email on 4 February 2016 introducing the new Student Service Centres and MyNottingham. There have been news items and a video on In The Loop, Campus News and the Student Portal, as well as on the University’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. There are also pull-up banners, posters, table vinyls and digital screens which have been distributed throughout halls, Schools, catering outlets, current Service Centres and the new Student Service Centre Locations. Students were invited to introductory Student Service Centre events throughout March and April, and there is also a short video on hopper bus screens.
Over the next year we will continue to be updating students on any changes in administrative processes. First year students will also receive briefing packs informing them of what support is in place and how they can access this.
How will the UK's decision to leave the EU affect me?
Student Service Centres
Where are the Student Service Centres going to be?
There will be five Student Service Centres in the following locations:
- University Park Central (in the old Admissions building between Portland and Trent)
- University Park East (in the Physics building opposite the George Green Library)
- QMC (in the Medical School just over the bridge)
- Jubilee Campus (The Exchange Building)
- Sutton Bonington Campus (The Barn, where the current service centre is)
View these Student Service Centres on a map.
There will also be three smaller Student Service Centres currently referred to as ‘satellite offices’ in the following locations:
- Royal Derby Hospital
- City Hospital
- University Park West (in the Humanities building)
What will the Student Service Centre opening hours be?
Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm. The centres will be open all year round (including out-of-term time) with the exception of University closure days. The opening hours for the three satellite offices (University Park West, Royal Derby Hospital and City Hospital) may vary slightly but this detail is yet to be determined – these FAQs will be updated once a decision is reached.
What support will be located in the Student Service Centres?
As a general rule, any administrative service or transaction that you currently complete at a School office or one of the existing Service Centres will take place in the new Student Service Centres from September 2016. More information about precisely which services will be offered at the Service Centres will be available closer to the time.
All educational matters such as contact with lecturers and personal tutors will continue in Schools. Assistance in setting up appointments with academic staff can be provided by a Student Service Centre if required.
Academic Services and Disability Services will still be available in the Portland building as they always have been, only you will also be able to book appointments for these at any of the Service Centres.
Welfare support will continue to be delivered in Schools and, again, you will also have the option of booking appointments through the Student Service Centres. There will always be at least one member of Welfare staff near a given Student Service Centre, so you will also be able to meet with them there in emergencies.
Who will staff the Student Service Centres?
The Student Service Centres will be staffed by colleagues who currently work in Schools and central departments.
Will the Student Service Centres be able to deal with specific queries relating to my course?
Yes. The Student Service Centres will be comprised of staff from Schools who have detailed knowledge about specific Schools and courses. They will also have links to every School to ensure that knowledge is retained and remains up to date, which means that you can visit any centre for information relevant to you and your course.
Will Service Centres be able to cope with increased volumes of students e.g. during coursework submission?
Yes, we will be looking at ways to cater to this including adding additional staff or pop-up desks during periods of high footfall.
How will I know who the right person is to speak to at the Student Service Centres?
You will be able to speak to anyone at any of the Student Service Centres. The staff in the Service Centres will be well equipped to deal with a variety of queries and have the contacts to seek out further information as required. If they cannot deal with your query immediately then they will be able to direct you to someone who can.
Will I be able to access the support I currently receive from Service Centres up until this date?
Yes, the existing three Service Centres on University Park, Jubilee Campus and Sutton Bonington Campus will remain open to students up until 1 August 2016.
What has changed online?
At the moment nothing has changed online and nothing will be changing before the end of the 2015/2016 academic year. Starting in September 2016 there will be a change to the way that you enrol onto modules and this detail will be communicated nearer to the time. We will also be introducing an online system called MyNottingham at a later date, which will provide you with the ability to complete many of these processes online.
Will MyNottingham replace the current Student Portal?
Yes. Eventually MyNottingham will completely replace the Student Portal.
Is MyNottingham just for undergraduate students?
No, it is for all students and will be personalised to the experience of each individual student, including postgraduate students.
How will we know which services in MyNottingham are available to us and which are not?
If a service is unavailable to you then you will not be able to see it in MyNottingham. MyNottingham is tailored to the individual experience of each student. We’ll be communicating directly with students as functionalities within the system become available. There will also be guidelines on how to use these facilities.
Will module enrolment choices made this year be automatically pulled into MyNottingham or will we need to re-register?
Data will be automatically migrated into the new system. You will not have to re-register for any modules.
Why isn’t Careers integrated with MyNottingham?
The University already has a well-developed careers system so we didn’t feel that this was something that immediately needed to be addressed – although MyNottingham may link to the Careers website. The enhancements you will see in MyNottingham are very much a starting point and we will expand upon it as we move forward so this may be something that we roll in at a later date.
MyNottingham links through to Office 365. Can we use Google Calendars?
Not in the first instance. This is something that we could potentially introduce later on but this is not within the original plan for MyNottingham.
There are some overlaps between MyNottingham and Moodle with functionalities duplicated. Will we have access to these things in two different places?
These functionalities (such as searching for past exam papers) would be surfaced to MyNottingham through Moodle, so you will be able to access these through MyNottingham. However, if you logged into Moodle directly you’d still be able access these functionalities there.
Is MyNottingham an app?
It’s not an application but it is built to function like one and it is device responsive. You will need to open it in your phone’s browser.
Will there be an app in the future?
At the moment MyNottingham is a device-responsive piece of browser software. Developing an app is something that may be explored at a later date.
Will I have the option to have notifications on my phone?
MyNottingham is not an app and therefore will not send notifications to your phone. However, MyNottingham is device compatible, so you will still be able to use it on your phone or tablet.
When will MyNottingham be available?
Various parts of MyNottingham will become available throughout 2016/2017, though at this stage we are unable to confirm precisely what will be available at which point. We will contact you with updates and advise of the launch date as soon as it is agreed.
Does MyNottingham meet accessibility guidelines?
Yes, this has been taken into account through testing.
How will we be able to get help using MyNottingham if there are problems with it?
MyNottingham will be supported by the University’s IS support centre so you will be able to get technical assistance online or via telephone. The route for doing this will be clearly signposted within MyNottingham. Alternatively you will be able to go into a Student Service Centre to ask staff for help.
Will the new organisation result in a downsizing of staff?
When fully working, we do anticipate that the new system will be more efficient. Consequently, over the past year we paused recruitment into administrative roles and ran a voluntary redundancy scheme. We do not anticipate any further reductions beyond those who have opted for voluntary redundancy and indeed we will shortly need to resume recruitment in order to maintain the right number of administrative colleagues going forward.
When will the staff who have opted for voluntary redundancy leave?
The first point at which any reduction in staff could happen is January 2017, and this will all be managed through voluntary redundancies. There is an expectation that there will be smaller reductions happening year on year as the way that we use the new system becomes more efficient.
Have voluntary redundancies been encouraged?
These are all voluntary. With the upcoming changes some staff have decided to leave due to personal circumstances such as approaching retirement. There have been no compulsory redundancies.
How much will the university save? How will this be put back into student experience?
The University is required by law to reinvest any money we have into the University. Any efficiency savings the University can achieve are reinvested into other University priorities– e.g. teaching and learning initiatives, the new sports centre, libraries, the Student Services organisation, Students’ Union spaces, etc. The following document provides more detail around this: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/fabs/finance/documents/uon-finances-explained.pdf
Will School offices remain open?
School offices will no longer be available for general student enquiries. Student Service Centres will become the first port of call for student support but this does not mean that you won’t be able to speak to staff in Schools if you know who it is you need to speak to. Some offices may remain open to cater to other groups (visitors, other members of staff, etc.) but these will not deal with student support.
Is the Year Abroad office in CLAS closing?
No. It will continue to operate in very much the same manner as it does now.
How will Welfare Support work in the new Student Services organisation?
We are doubling the number of Welfare staff from 10 to 20. Welfare staff will provide support for staff and other students, provide training, and triage support requests into other parts of the University. They will be based in Schools/Faculties but there will always be a member of welfare staff in or nearby each Student Service Centre so if you have an urgent problem you can go to the Student Service Centre closest to you and a member of staff will be able to meet with you within a short period of time. Mental Health and Counselling services will not be provided in the Student Service Centres but you will be able to contact the teams through the Student Service Centres, as well as directly.
Will every School have a Welfare Officer that sits physically within the School?
Yes. Some Schools may share welfare officers, but students will be able to go directly to their School for welfare support as opposed to having to go to a service centre. You will, however, be able to book welfare appointments through the Student Service Centres.
Student Records System (Campus Solutions)
Are there risks with regards to data protection?
All data will be kept in one system, which means that it will be more secure. The new system is provided by Oracle Corporation – a global software company – and with it we have purchased data backup solutions, including offsite servers. There are also comprehensive safeguards in place around which members of staff can see which pieces of student data. For example, only the Disability Support Team will be able to see detailed disability data about students. Most members of staff will not be able to see this or will only be able to see a level of data that is relevant to their role. There are also safeguards around who in which country can see what. So, for example, staff in Malaysia will not be able to see data about students in the UK (unless those students are on mobility studying in Malaysia).
Have you invested adequately against hacking?
Yes, this is all part of the package that we have bought from Oracle.
If staff in Student Service Centres only have access to limited data then how will they deal with all student queries?
Senior staff in the Student Service Centres will have a higher level of access to student data (to an extent that is appropriate) and will be able to provide support. If the query is related to a service which is provided outside of the Student Services department, then staff at the Service Centres can put you in contact with the relevant person, either via a Skype meeting or by setting up a personal one-to-one meeting.
How will I know where to go for what?
As a general rule, any administrative service or transaction that you currently complete at a School office or one of the existing Service Centres will take place in the new Student Service Centres from September 2016. However, you will receive clear instructions on where to go for which services closer to the time. Academic and Disability support will remain in the Portland building but you will have the option of booking appointments for these services through the new Student Service Centres. You will receive detailed information about what the Student Service Centres offer before you return to University in September.
Will services not directly related to my course (such as counselling, immigration, funding and welfare) be offered at the Student Service Centres?
Welfare Support staff will be based across Schools and Centres to ensure there is a local point of contact and support within the Service Centre should you require it. The Welfare Support staff are also able to support students in accessing Counselling Services, alongside still being able to self-refer to Counselling Services.
Support for immigration and funding may be accessed in a number of ways; online and email support, regular drop-ins and pre-booked appointments at Service Centres will all ensure that support is available when you need it most.
If you’re unsure where to go and need some support, the Service Centres are always happy to help – staff will be able to point you in the right direction or arrange an appointment on your behalf.
Will services provided by the Students' Union (such as societies and sports, student volunteer centre, house hunting advice) be offered at the Student Service Centres?
No. Anything offered by the Students’ Union will not be accessible through the Student Service Centres. You will continue to be able to access these services through the Students’ Union in the Portland Building.
Students feel like we have a close relationship with administrative staff – it’s easy for us to go to the right person to get support. Are we going to lose this?
We want to continue this relationship in the new Student Service Centres. The Student Services organisation will actively support and encourage our staff to build relationships with students, and these staff will be coming from Schools so you will still see many of the same faces. We will also be increasing welfare support from 10 FTE roles to 20 – for the first time all Schools will have a welfare support role.
How will you ensure that processes (e.g. extenuating circumstances) are standardised across all Schools?
Some of this detail will take time to work through, and some of it will have to be necessarily different for various programmes of study that have very specific requirements. Student Services will be pushing for more standardisation across the University by liaising with Schools and examining processes with them, but Schools will retain responsibility for how their programmes are operated. Student feedback will be an important part of this process of standardisation.
The Learning Community Forums currently include APM staff. Will these staff be present in the future?
Yes, these will be Student Services staff. The new Student Services department will act as a network to ensure that improvements that come as a result of the LCFs are applied across the University and not just to one specific School (if indeed they are applicable to multiple areas of the University).
Will Moodle be replaced?
Moodle will continue to be used in much the same way as it is now but it will integrate with MyNottingham, meaning that it can be accessed either directly or through MyNottingham.
Will coursework hand-in be online or in-person?
We’re currently working on the details of precisely how this will work for each School. You will still be able to hand in a hard copy but we will be encouraging Schools to take online submissions – this will be agreed on a School-by-School basis. Many programmes require you to hand in physical pieces of coursework (models, etc.) and this will happen at the Student Service Centres.
How will students enrol for academic modules, seminars, etc.?
Online module activity will be managed through MyNottingham, although this functionality will not be available until 2017. We are currently looking at an online alternative to this for use until this facility becomes available. Students will also be able to enrol onto modules in person at the Student Service Centres.
Will each course have (for example) an undergraduate administrator or will undergraduate administrators need to be knowledgeable about all courses?
Our plan is that there will be lead administrators for every programme to ensure that this knowledge is preserved. They will be known to staff and students and we will help them build up specific and detailed knowledge about their programmes. However, any member of staff in a Service Centre will be able to answer questions and pass on queries if that specific member of staff is not available.
Will the system of Personal Tutors stay the same?
Yes. Personal Tutors will continue to play an important role in academic support. The University is currently looking at how this provision can be improved, but this is something that sits outside of Student Services. The Personal Tutor system will work in much the same way as it does now.
How will distance learners be affected?
Once MyNottingham is available, distance learners will have much easier access to the various administrative and support services that are available to you at The University of Nottingham. Until that point the change for distance learners will be very minimal and is likely to consist only of a change in your named contact. We will communicate any changes well in advance and your current contact will forward any emails, texts, phone messages on to the right person and let you know.
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