Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Dude on a Hill

Yesterday was a busy day. Attended our University Executive Board to present to them a change in the way we in CiCS interact with the Faculties and Departments to provide a much more integrated approach to IT support. It was well received, and so we will be starting a project now to implement it.
Then a mad dash to the station to get a train to a Oxford, and a taxi through the countryside to the venue of the UCISA Support Services Conference. I'm here not just to attend the conference, although I will be at some sessions, but for other UCISA business. Yesterday afternoon I chaired the Conference Organising Committee for the main conference next March. programme starting to come together with some great speakers already planned. Also making some changes to the poster presentations which are going to take the form of video case studies, and we have lots of ideas about how to make them more interactive.

This morning we had a meeting of USL (UCISA Services Limited), the commercial arm of UCISA, and had a breakdown of the outturn against budget of last years conference. Glad to see we made a surplus, and we will now start refining the budget for next years. Then it was the full Executive Meeting. One of the main items on the agenda was a presentation from UCAS about their strategic plan for the next five years. Really interesting, and it's obvious they are committed to a lot of change.

I made some notes which are below:

Their bold strategic vision is to connect learners to multiple destinations through a progression ecosystem with as their starting point
Their aim is to put the leaner at the axis of what they do in this changing landscape where students have more choice about when and where to study.

UCAS will not just be an application form, but will provide advice and guidance to an Increasing pool of people who can benefit from higher education

Better services to learners will provide benefits to HEIs

They aim to support all who have a stake in what is a unique national asset and possibly our oldest scared service

Strategic objectives:
1 Learners
Learners know that UCAS is where you find out about progression In education and make applications

2 Education providers
Be the trusted partner for attraction, recruitment and admissions.
Know that some services aren't working well and there are areas they need to improve to gain trust

3 Advisers
Offer comprehensive resources to support learners who want to progress eg teachers, parents etc

4 Data and analysis
Be the trusted and authoritative source of intelligence about achievement, progression and participation in education

5 Commercial
Be the premier channel for education providers and commercial customers for marketing to potential students.
This provides about a third of their revenue and is potentially a sensitive subject.

6 Business model
Be an exemplar of an efficient and effective shared service

Their strategy includes:

Personalised content and services
Digital platform to manage all services
Innovative approaches to recruitment and connecting learners

Customer service:
Striving for exceptional customer service by applying customer logic and looking through customer lens

Digital acceleration
Want to accelerate delivery of ecosystem. Using agile. Redeveloping software and services. Have moved a lot into cloud

As well as technology changes, they are doing a lot of work round people and culture.
Emphasising innovation and courage. Want people to challenge status quo. Encouraged to be innovative and share ideas to improve customer experience

He finished with a couple of video clips, the first few minutes of this one is the sort of IT person we don't want.....

Clip from office about IT guy encrypting laptop

And this is just a really good one of a guy dancing on his own. And how eventually everyone joins in!

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