Swansea University has been shortlisted for Best Student Experience in the Guardian University Awards 2020.
The University’s entry centred upon the creation of its ‘Finance Drop-In Centre’ – a safe place for students to have one on one sessions with finance staff, following student feedback previously that highlighted the difficulties they faced in understanding the complexities of the role of finance departments within higher education institutions.
Swansea University prides itself on providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for students, and this drop-in centre has created a confidential, helpful environment where students can discuss their tuition fee concerns while also maintaining confidentiality.
This approach has ensured that the University delivers on its strategic vision and establish an inspirational student experience. The team have significantly helped alleviate financial worries and allow students to focus on their studies. This has had a positive impact on student wellbeing with less students leaving because of financial hardship.
Since its launch, the Drop-In Centre has been hugely successful and highly acclaimed by students, the Students’ Union and other support services within the University. The introduction of this initiative has not only benefitted students, but it has had a positive impact on staff and significantly improving both inter-disciplinary communication and working practices. It has permanently changed the role (and perception) of the finance department within the University.
Swansea University will go head-to-head with Sheffield Hallam and The University of Edinburgh when the award winners are announced in the autumn.
Sarah Jones, finance director at Swansea University said:
“I am delighted that the success of the Income Team’s Finance Drop-in-Centre has been recognised by being shortlisted for a Guardian University Award. They identified an opportunity to improve the service they were providing for students and developed a well thought through solution which has had tangible benefits all round.
“It is a great example of how a group of committed individuals with a vision for something better can make change happen at the University. The whole department is justifiably proud of their achievement so far and wish them lots of luck for the final in the autumn.”