Student and Academic Services: Service Level Description

Jump to:

  1. Introduction
  2. Main aims
  3. Services provided
  4. Department Management Team
  5. Customers/stakeholders
  6. Specific pledges on customer service

1. Introduction

Student and Academic Services provides a collection of professional services which contribute to the quality of the student experience. While the principal beneficiary of our contribution is the student, much of what we do is on behalf of the institution or is in collaboration with colleagues in order to enhance the service they provide to students. Our collective aims are to ensure that students have an exemplary experience and are able to achieve their full academic potential, that the university complies with external requirements, that our provision is of the highest professional standard, and that this quality is evident, consistent and recognised.

2. Main aims

Collectively, and in collaboration with other parts of the University, we contribute to improving the student experience and success of the University of York by:

  • developing aspects of student life that can enhance students' learning and capability;
  • providing the support students need to deal with aspects of student life that can inhibit learning;
  • building college communities in which students feel cared for and are able to thrive;
  • promoting and facilitating students' personal development, empowerment, self-reliance, resilience, and employability;
  • enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, and students' academic skills;
  • assuring academic standards;
  • providing the administrative underpinning for the student life cycle.

Our goals in this work are to:

  • contribute to the University's efforts to achieve its strategic ambitions in all that we do;
  • support our students and staff so that they can achieve their best performance and can feel fulfilled in their study, work and lives;
  • minimise student support and administration workload on academic departments;
  • optimise efficiency, reliability and effectiveness in our work and in the work of those with whom we collaborate.

3. Services provided

We provide support directly to students. This includes:

  • responding to aspects of student's academic or personal life that can inhibit learning, e.g. disability, emotional, psychological or mental health difficulties, personal finance, visa and immigration matters, 
  • enhancing student employability, e.g. careers advice, information and guidance, access to information about employment and schemes for enhancing transferable skills, including enterprise skills, supporting employer engagement in the curriculum;
  • enhancing students' abilities to engage effectively with their studies through a smooth transition to university education and the ongoing development of academic skills, support for maths and writing skills;
  • administering student admissions, enrolment, bursaries and US loans, record maintenance, examinations, degree ceremonies, quality assurance and enhancement activities and regulations relating to students and to teaching and learning;
  • managing the college communities so that students settle, stay and thrive.

We provide advice and support to academic colleagues to help enhance teaching and learning and assure academic standards. This includes:

  • developing policy and guidance, and advising and supporting academics in their roles as committee chairs and student supervisors, and in connection with student progress, wellbeing and behaviour;
  • supporting the development and implementation of the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy and its framework of policies and guidance;
  • working in partnership with academic colleagues and students to support innovation, curriculum and pedagogy. Embedding academic skills in the learning experience, facilitating professional networks and managing schemes to recognise and reward excellence in teaching;
  • supporting and developing colleagues who teach and who are deeply involved with teaching and learning
  • supporting the enhancement of learning and teaching and assuring standards through quality review, including for programmes delivered in collaboration with partner institutions;
  • preparing and presenting reports and other documents to inform consultation and decision- making, supporting governance arrangements and ensuring university compliance with internal and external regulatory frameworks and accountability;
  • servicing relevant committees and project managing their portfolios of business as appropriate;
  • providing campus-wide support for the integration, operation and development of the University’s Student Record System;
  • handling student appeals, complaints and disciplinary matters. 

4. Department Management Team

  • Academic Registrar - Dr Wayne Campbell: 01904 322134
  • Head of Academic Support Office - Nigel Dandy: 01904 322154
  • Director of Student Life and Wellbeing - Paula Tunbridge: 01904 323007
  • Director of Careers and Placements - Tom Banham: 01904 322686
  • Director of Student Services - Valerie Cotter: 01904 322149

5. Customers / stakeholders

Primary customer groups: students, academic colleagues, support service colleagues, contract research staff, senior management, members of relevant committees and working groups, and partner institutions for collaborative provision.

Secondary customer groups: graduate recruiters, alumni, applicants, community groups, parents, and external bodies such as QAA, HESA, HEFCE, PSRBs, HEA, Home Office, Student Loans Company, etc.

6. Specific pledges on customer service

  • Always deal with customers in a courteous manner;
  • Always seek to operate and communicate in ways that minimise bureaucracy and transaction costs for all users;
  • Provide professional advice, informed by an understanding of the academic context, the requirements of external bodies and relevant agencies and the wider context of national and international developments;
  • Endeavour to anticipate customer needs and expectations in the design and delivery of services;
  • Retain a constant focus on supporting and enhancing the University’s core academic activities;
  • Seek and respond to customer feedback;
  • Prepare papers and data that are designed for ease of use;
  • Issue papers for main committees at least five working days in advance, and three working days in advance of other committees and working groups.