Case studies

Transforming the student experience at Northumbria University

Modernising and improving the way Northumbria engages with students, overhauling services across the campuses

Northumbria University is one of the largest higher education providers in the UK with around 30,000 students across campuses in Newcastle and London. Northumbria’s ambition is to be in the top 30 of UK universities.

In an increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving higher education market, Northumbria recognised a need to modernise and improve the way it operates and engages with students. Not only did it want to gain competitive advantage, it needed to ensure front-line services were fit for purpose for the next generation of students.

We have worked with Northumbria University since March 2015, supporting its programme to ‘Transform the Student Experience’ (TSE). We have led a team of cross competency Deloitte staff, University IT staff, and secondees from teaching faculties and the students, to get to the heart of the challenge and design a modern, integrated, range of support services for students.

We have helped the university to maintain a focus on the needs of students and used this to overhaul the way services are delivered across the campuses. Our work has helped ensure the new design is based on giving students what they need, when they need it and via the channels that they wish to use. Central to the design is the centralisation of support services and staff for the students, the integration of multiple online systems and embedding a culture where the needs of the students is put at the heart of the university.

Northumbria University and Deloitte

The university’s transformation is well underway but there’s still work to do. We are ensuring academics, students and services staff are fully engaged with the changes. Our work will play an important role in helping Northumbria University take a huge step forward in the way it delivers front line services to its students.

To date, the following outcomes have been achieved:

  • Successful buy-in from key stakeholders at different levels of the organisation to approve the detailed design work, including the centralisation of a new Student & Library Services Directorate
  • Identified target efficiency savings
  • Implementation of quick-wins to adopt web-chat support services through current systems, and increased self-service through online FAQ services
  • Creation of advanced data analytics and reporting tools to assist the University in achieving ambitious growth targets, which will be utilised from September 2016’s application round
  • Students and staff from the university have been seconded onto the team gaining new skills and capabilities which are enhancing their CVs and improving capacity for future transformation within the university.
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