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Student Services Division - vision/mission, Strategic Direction 2015-2020

Vision Statement

Student Services Division will provide services which enable outstanding student experiences.

Mission Statement

Student Services Division will contribute to the University’s mission by working in partnership with the University community to provide high quality, innovative and accessible services.

The Division will achieve its Mission by fostering a caring, positive, unique student experience and campus environment. Student Services Division staff will strive to provide quality co-ordinated services which are student focussed and are integrated with those of the wider University community. This will be achieved through recognition of diversity, being culturally sensitive and responsive to change and by investing in the specialised skills and knowledge of its people.

Core Values

Excellence, in
• provision of accessible, relevant and responsive services.
• provision of services in a thoughtful and open manner.
• provision of services that enjoy a strong and trusted relationship with the community they serve.


Knowledge, encompassing
• its relevance to the needs of students and staff across the University.
• appropriately trained, recruited, and skilled staff to provide excellent service.
• understanding of the issues facing tertiary students and how best to support them.
• the ability to engage, encourage, listen and respond to student needs.

Leadership, in
• Wellbeing of students to provide and foster:
   o healthy Lifestyles;
   o high quality social spaces;
   o high quality extracurricular activities;
   o sustainable practices;
   o recognition and acceptance of diversity.

Treaty-based Partnership, by
• Ensuring that staff have an understanding of the goals of the University of Otago’s Māori. Strategic Framework and how this Framework can be applied in their work environment.
• Incorporating te reo Māori, using the dialect of mana whenua on divisional stationery and signage.

Partnership, with
• All University staff in provision of services and student success initiatives.
• International and national tertiary institutions where there is a particular affinity, to ensure a high quality of academic support and pastoral care.
• Community and various stakeholders.

Collegiality and Collaboration, with and between
• OUSA and the student body generally.
• Student Service areas.
• Academic and General staff and Alumni across all campuses of the University.
• Community organisations and groups.
• Employers of our graduates.
• The necessary local authorities to ensure a successful ‘gown/town’ relationship.

Ethical Standards, encompassing
• Commitment to continuous improvement in service levels.
• Professional standards and Ethics.
• Institutional and individual conduct of the highest level.
• Respecting and valuing others.
• Respect for and protection of the environment.

Equity and Social Justice, encompassing
• Access to quality services.
• Equity in employment.
• Equity in educational opportunities.
• Support for full and equal participation and outcomes for all groups in society.

Stewardship, of
• health, safety and wellbeing of students.

Strategic Imperatives: An Overview

The University’s Strategic Direction to 2020 provides seven strategic imperatives and each imperative addresses an area regarded as vital to the future of the University.

Student Services has identified five strategic imperatives which align with the imperatives listed in the University’s Strategic Direction to 2020 and provide the framework for the Division’s Strategic Plan:
   Outstanding Student Experiences
   Outstanding Campus Environments
   Commitment as a Local, National and Global Citizen
   Strengthening Engagement
   Sustaining Capability

1 Outstanding Student Experiences
This will be achieved by:
• supporting a safe and stimulating learning environment to
   o develop life skills complementary to academic learning.
   o provide holistic pastoral care for all students.
   o proactively engage with students and provide opportunities for the student voice to be heard.

• developing in partnership with academic staff, an environment that improves student retention and achievement by
   o Collaborating regularly with academic departments and participating in University. initiatives to explore how student services can assist in improving student achievement.
   o Establishing clear and efficient pathways for academic departments to obtain assistance in supporting students at risk.

• recognising and celebrating the diversity of the University community by
   o fostering pathways for Māori, Pacific Islands and disabled students, as well as other under-represented groups.
   o establishing, developing and strengthening links with community and iwi networks, both external and internal in order to enrich the diversity of the University environment.
   o contributing towards a positive culture which enables all students’ ongoing participation in their university experience.

• improving recruitment, retention, achievement and future employment of Māori students through the provision of responsive services that
   o encourage and promote participation by Māori students in the campus environment.
   o provide culturally inclusive services which support Māori students in their chosen path.

• improving recruitment, retention, achievement and future employment of Pacific Islands students through the provision of responsive services that
   o encourage and promote participation by Pacific Islands students in the campus environment.
   o provide culturally inclusive services which support Pacific Islands students in their chosen path.

• supporting a healthy campus environment by
   o providing and assisting in the provision of high quality recreational activities.
   o leading in the provision of a variety of opportunities for students to volunteer and contribute.
   o developing and participating in University wide initiatives that focus on health and wellbeing.

2 Outstanding Campus Environments
This will be achieved by:
   o using expert knowledge to provide advice on campus development and projects to assist with the development of stimulating, accessible and safe campus environments.
   o maintaining safe and healthy student environments and work places.

3 Commitment as a Local, National and Global Citizen
This will be achieved by:
   o strengthening the Division’s commitment to Māori and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the University of Otago Māori Strategic Framework.
   o strengthening the Division’s commitment to Pacific Islands people and the principles of the University of Otago Pacific Island Strategic Framework.
   o collaborating with the Division of External Engagement to enhance the support of international students.
   o engaging with the local community to enhance the relationship with the community and perception of our students.
   o respecting the diversity of our staff and students.

4 Strengthening Engagement
This will be achieved by:
   o ensuring awareness of services by appropriate promotion and advertising.
   o developing and maintaining effective links between providers to facilitate the successful provision of services.
   o developing and enhancing the relationship with Academic Departments to ensure a collaborative approach in the support of students.
   o fostering and maintaining effective links with other tertiary institutions and providers.
   o developing, promoting and sustaining relationships with relevant bodies.
   o strengthening relationships with the key external bodies with whom the Division interacts.

5 Sustaining Capability
This will be achieved by:
   o ensuring that the Division has the resources to recruit, develop and retain its staff.
   o growing and developing a balanced staff profile to meet future service requirements.
   o providing an appropriate physical environment for effective provision of services.
   o ensuring that all staff receive the support required to equip them with the skills needed to effectively meet their responsibilities and to advance their careers.
   o building strong relationships across the University.
   o leveraging the skills of staff and systems to contribute to efficient and sustainable services.