Swansea University has been shortlisted across the UK for the Outstanding Library Team and the Outstanding Administrative Services Team Awards in the annual THELMA awards which showcase and celebrate the best examples of professional services innovation, teamwork and enterprise underpinning university achievements.
The Outstanding Library Team award shortlisting recognises the steps that Swansea University has taken to deliver a brand new Library at the Bay Campus and transform existing library and customer services to incorporate technological, pedagogical and individual needs, and to deliver a fully dual-campus 24/7 service for today’s and tomorrow’s users.
The Delivering the Bay Library project faces a wide range of challenges and opportunities, from a ground-up design on a brand new campus, to transformational changes in existing library and customer services. The dedicated library teams led, embraced, and adopted these changes in order to meet the ever changing needs of our students and staff. The Bay Library opened in September 2015.
“Best library I’ve ever been to. Love the atmosphere and the motivation it gives me. The modern environment makes me happy’. ‘Well organised and very efficient service from the staff at this friendly library”. Student feedback.
The building of the Bay Library triggered transformational change across the University library services creating the capacity and delivering service quality befitting the institution that Swansea University has become. Circulation, IT support, employability and information desks were incorporated into a single Customer Service Team which provides one stop support via numerous contact channels across both sites. A survey conducted at the end of the first academic year showed that 97% of students who responded were satisfied or very satisfied with the services provided by the new Customer Service Team.
The Outstanding Administrative Services Team award shortlisting recognises the way that the University has transformed the delivery of frontline professional support services to students with the opening of its ‘MyUniHub’ within Academic Services in September 2015.
‘MyUniHub’ provides a complete spectrum of services, from the point of enrolment to graduation and beyond. It successfully deals with the overwhelming majority of student queries at initial point of enquiry; a triage referral system identifies students requiring more complex support via appointments with specialists.
Key to its success was the development of a dedicated and highly trained dynamic, highly motivated and flexible team and extended opening hours across both campuses, suites of student interview rooms and staff hot-desking facilities. The team maintain cross-University service consultant links which help ensure the quality of the service.
Over 16,000 students were welcomed through the ‘MyUniHubs’ during its first year of opening, with over 13,000 queries being dealt with without the need to visit another department.
“By consolidating student facing services into once place students know exactly where to go. ‘MyUniHub has made student life easier and gives students the support they need when they need it.” Lewis Aron, Students’ Union President 2015/16.
Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Senior Pro Vice Chancellor at Swansea University, said of Swansea’s shortlisting in the awards:
“I am delighted the THELMA awards have again shortlisted Swansea University, recognising our exceptional and unparalleled success in leadership and management.
“The instigation of the ‘MyUniHubs’ and the delivery of the Bay Library project across both campuses is consistent with the University’s strategic direction to enhance the student experience working in partnership with our students.
“This is a testament to the vision and leadership of our senior management team’s right across the University and the dedication of staff in delivering these achievements during a busy period of expansion and upgrading of the two campuses.
“ With applications to the University rising dramatically by more than 60% in three years and the intake of undergraduate students up 1,600 over the same period we are addressing the challenge of meeting students’ increasing expectations and giving them the best University experience.
“Offering students first-rate facilities, in a great location, truly demonstrates that Swansea University is a successful international university with top quality teaching and research.”
The THELMA shortlisting’s follow other recent awards success. Swansea University has also:
- Become the top university in Wales in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 league table – and has also won the inaugural Welsh University of the Year title.
- Been placed as the 26thuniversity (up from 52nd) in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014).
- Has had seven subjects ranked in the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject – four more than in 2016.
- Been ranked in the top 350 elite institutions across the globe in the Times Higher Education (THE)World University Rankings 2016/2017 – the definitive list of the very best institutions in the world.
- Achieved runner-up positions in two categories in the 2017 Guardian Higher Education Awards for its impact on Sustainability and Business Partnership,
- Been shortlisted in six categories in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2017 including the Overall Winner category.
- Has retained the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award following a six-year review process.
- Hosted the very successful 2016 British Science Festival, a vibrant celebration of science, engineering and technology, which showcased Swansea’s world-leading research.