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FAQs for students

Please see our FAQs for students below. As the project progresses this will be updated. If you have a question or would like to give us feedback please contact us.

  1. What is the purpose of the Support Services Review?

    The purpose of the project is to undertake a review of administrative and operational processes that support students to achieve academically, and academics in the achievement of their research and teaching goals. Feedback from students indicated that services were fragmented and that often students weren’t aware of information until their 2nd or 3rd year of study that would have been invaluable during their first year. With a focus on students, the SSR aims to provide services that are student-centric, consistent, and equitable. A key aim is to have a seamless and coordinated approach to providing services to students that are easy to access.

  2. Why does the University need to undertake the review?

    It has been more than 25 years since the current way in which the University is organised academically was established, and more than 20 years since the way in which administrative activity is organised to support academic endeavour was last comprehensively reviewed. Since then, the University has grown significantly in size and complexity. Technology has profoundly transformed the options to organise and operate in an innovative, efficient and, above all else, excellent manner. The expectation of our students, funders and other key stakeholders have sharpened. Funding, especially in recent years, has become tighter.

  3. Can students see the business case?

    University of Otago students can view the business case and related documents by using their student username and password to access the links below:

  4. The business case refers to functional activities and shared services. What do these terms mean?

    Functional refers to the activities led by the Directors of discipline specific areas e.g. Director of HR and Chief Financial Officer. Functional activities are typically strategic and/or advisory. Shared Services is a hybrid support model that results in the provision of services by one part of an organisation where previously those services would have been supported by staff in more than one part of the organisation. Whilst there are many ways of approaching shared services, the business case recommends the establishment of a Shared Services unit responsible for providing operational and transactional services across a range of functions (Facilities, IT, Finance, HR, Student Life Cycle and Administration) plus the establishment of a contact centre for staff and student enquiries.

  5. Can students submit comments on the business case?

    Yes, we are keen to hear from our students. Students can make a submission on the business case by using the online form. The closing date for submissions is 5pm, 25 August 2017.

    Make business case submission

  6. What do the proposed changes mean for students?

    One of the main objectives of the Support Services Review has been to improve the student experience. We have looked at ways to improve administrative processes and make them more student friendly, for example having one service point known to students where they access all services. We have also proposed enhanced services that are more engaging, equitable and consistent to all students. We are also proposing new services with a particular focus on student development e.g. getting help early for students who need it and identifying and engaging with students capable of post graduate study and those who may benefit from the student exchange experience.

  7. How will this impact on the support provided to Postgraduate students in departments?

    The University values our postgraduate students and will ensure that the support postgraduate students require to reach their desired goals will be provided. How students’ access services may be a little different however there will be no detrimental impact on the support they receive.