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Overhaul of student administration system

Rebecca Wong reports on the university’s administrative priorities for 2014.

In an attempt to streamline and standardise Sydney University’s administrative policies, the Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence announced the imminent overhaul of the university’s administration system last week.

In a staff forum, Spence presented the rollout of ‘Sydney Student’, a new administration system as a priority for 2014, along with the reorganisation of student administration services. Spence stated that these processes would be guided by the key principles of maximising online functionality and providing students with a “one-counter experience”, improving efficiency for both staff and students.

Through the self-service platform students will be able to complete tasks such as enrolment, payment of fees and departmental requests online, making the harrowing five-hour ordeal of enrolment familiar to most Sydney University students a thing of the past.

A spokesperson for the university stated that the aim of Sydney Student is to enhance students’ experiences from the “first enquiry through to graduation”. Increasing online accessibility will reduce the need for face-to-face interaction for standard requests and queries, particularly benefiting students who live far from the university.

Additionally, the self-service interface of the platform will lighten the administrative workload of university staff. This remains consistent with Spence’s assertion that “academics should only do as much student administration as genuinely requires academic input”.

These changes will occur amongst the other priorities announced by Spence, grouped under seven key initiatives, as agreed upon by the university’s Senate and Senior Executive Group (SEG) which include: education, research, health partnerships, leadership and staff development, and supporting faculty excellence.

Sydney Student is expected to come into operation in the second half of 2014.