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University of Cumbria

Case Study
Student Support Services Review

The University has five geographically dispersed campuses and has seen significant changes in their student population in recent years. With around 50% of their students either studying online or within the workplace and a significant increase in demand for mental health and wellbeing support, they were concerned that their student support services operating model was no longer appropriate.

The University asked Halpin to carry out a review of their current student support services function and to identify a more appropriate operating model which would better support every student, no matter where they were based.

Our work included:

  • Stakeholder interviews and engagement, including with senior managers and Students’ Union representatives.
  • Comprehensive desk review of student behaviours, demographic data and capability of technology platforms.
  • Online focus groups with students from each of the five campuses.
  • Online survey to students from each campus, to assess their support needs, behaviours and expectations.
  • Development of a new operating model which would deliver a ‘first stop shop’ of student support to each campus that could be scaled up or down as needed.
  • A proposed new structure of the support services function, with increased number of generic frontline staff and outsourcing of some specific expertise to deliver efficiencies.