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University of South Wales: Attracting and retaining students in a highly competitive market

With a population of 30,000 students, the University of South Wales (USW) is one of the largest universities in the UK. Faced with the recent increase in student fees and a more open UK higher education (HE) market, USW knows it must offer students the best possible HE experience to successfully compete with other universities. The organisation engaged PA to identify how it could provide an outstanding level of service along the entire student journey, from initial enquiry to graduation.

In just six months we improved a number of key processes around exams and assessments, reducing duplication and complexity to increase student satisfaction. We also helped USW pilot a new approach to timetabling, which means students across all 730 courses now receive confirmed timetables well ahead of the academic year – crucial for those who need to find part-time employment. Alongside this, we undertook systematic reviews of USW’s IT systems and helped make the business case for modernisation of several back office systems, which in turn will help to maximise the value from new finance, HR, payroll and customer enquiry management systems.

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As a result of our work, USW is in a much stronger position to attract and retain students in an increasingly competitive HE market. And, to ensure the university can continue build on this success, we have trained more than 100 USW staff as business process champions, giving them the capability to identify and deliver rapid practical improvements in all areas of university operations.

“We wanted to engage support for this work that would be effective and deliver value for money.  We also wanted to be challenged on the ‘art of the possible’.  PA provided this and enabled the university to focus activity, move with pace and provide the desired outcomes.”

Huw Williams, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Strategic Resources)

“PA enabled the university to focus its activities within a broad programme scope.  The provision of advice, support, best practice and sector-wide knowledge enabled the programme to deliver results early and ensure sustainability during the PA team’s time at the university.  The team were inspiring to me and others at USW.”

Paula McIntyre, Programme Manager

. @PA_Consulting helped @UniSouthWales improve the #studentexperience for 30,000 students #PowerOfIngenuity

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