Student Services Strategy

Whakamana tangata l Student Services Strategy 2019-2022

The Whakamana tangata l Student Services Strategy was endorsed by the University of Auckland Senior Leadership Team (SLT) on 21 November 2019.

The services we provide to you – our students – are an important part of your experience at the University of Auckland (the University). Whether it’s administration, personal and wellbeing support, transition, recruitment or academic advice, face-to-face, online or off-campus, they contribute to your success as a graduate.

A Student Services Strategy has been developed to give direction across the University to meet your needs. This page summarises that strategy and the changes we propose to make to our service delivery under the heading of Whakamana tangata.

Whakamana tangata

Whakamana tangata signifies protection and enhancement of the dignity and mana of the student. This means being conscious of the dignity of others and therefore uplifting your own mana or dignity.

Our aspiration is to provide a transformative and inspirational student services experience which encourages a lifelong connection with the University of Auckland.


The University of Auckland student services support outreach, recruitment, retention and the success of our diverse student community.

These are fundamental contributors to a student’s overall university experience – excellent student services experiences enable students to develop the capabilities set out in the University’s Graduate profile to become lifelong learners and successful in their careers and lives.

This strategy – Whakamana tangata – is a whole of University strategy that:

  • seeks to align with and complement the Retention Strategy, Academic Leadership Framework, Digital Strategy and Disability Programme and others.
  • encompasses all students across all campuses and their interactions with the University in person, online and delivered on/off campus.

The development of the Student Services Strategy was a University-wide undertaking encompassing Students, Faculties, Academic Services, Campus Life, Libraries and Learning Services and other significant stakeholders.

It involved discussions with a range of student service providers across faculties and service divisions about the need for a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by student services, a clearer definition of the student experience the University wishes to offer, and how we can best align our services to deliver that experience.

Extensive engagement activities were undertaken across the University to raise awareness and obtain key input and feedback. This included information sessions, focus group workshops, surveys, market research and student journey mapping activity.

Draft strategy documentation was developed and reviewed by a range of key stakeholder groups to ensure it correctly captured the needs of both students and staff. The draft strategy was consulted on and feedback was collated, summarised and themed. A final draft strategy was proposed to the University SLT reflecting significant themes from the feedback.

On 21 November 2019, the SLT:

  • Endorsed the revised Whakamana tangata | Student Services Strategy
  • Acknowledged the receipt of the themed consultation feedback
  • Endorsed the proposed implementation approach and priorities
  • Agreed to nominate staff for engagement in reference groups for the prioritized 2020 programme.

Key outcomes

This strategy reflects the University’s commitment to a special relationship with Māori that acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The Outcomes | Ngā hua of a strategy are crucial in determining its success. We developed our intended outcomes using te reo Māori so we can measure success using a Māori worldview | Te Ao Māori. At its peak, Te Ao Māori seeks manaakitanga - the wellbeing of all.

Six outcomes have been identified. Full details can be found in the Student Services Strategy document at the bottom of the page under related resources.

Our strengths

The University’s strengths provide a solid foundation to build upon in the development of enhanced student services.

  • We’re committed to your learning and success – We prepare you for study at all levels. There’s targeted support for Māori and Pacific learners, digital information resources, online exam pilots and new spaces to better support blended learning.
  • Your recreation and wellbeing needs are important – Our extensive recreation programmes and facilities help oer 10,000 students to make friends and be “study fit”. Our health and counselling services are best-in-class and support your personal wellbeing.
  • We’ll enable you to engage, connect and create – We support over 250 student clubs. We take a proactive role in supporting student organisations. Our 360 Auckland Abroad programmes enable you to study overseas.
  • We’re adding more accommodation services – providing accommodation is a critical part of the student experience for a growing number of students. Those of you who live on campus tell us how this has helped your sense of belonging and your academic progress.
  • We’re vibrant and culturally diverse – Our rich and evolving cultural diversity is to be celebrated, including our special relationship with Māori and acknowledgement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.


Feedback from students and staff gathered through focus group workshops, surveys, market research and student journey mapping activity has identified eight key challenges that must be addressed if we are to deliver on our vision of a “transformative and inspirational student services experience”.

Full details on the key challenges can be found in the Student Services Strategy Summary document at the bottom of the page under related resources.

Next steps

Now that the Student Services Strategy has been endorsed, key stakeholders across faculties/Large Scale Research Institutes (LSRI)s and service divisions have been identified as representatives for the next phase – the formation of an Student Services Implementation Programme (SSIP).

The SSIP will develop the plan for key initiatives to improve our service to you, and we look forward to engaging with students and staff on these initiatives as they take shape.

Related resources