University improvements

Find out how we are improving for the benefit of all students.

Learning, teaching and research

What students would like to see How the University is improving  
Improvements to the Learning Management System In 2016, we launched a new Learning Management System, Canvas, which has enhanced functionality for students, including more consistent and easily-accessed course related information.
Improvements to the quality of academic service In 2015 a series of system improvements was made to the University's management of queries from students through the call centre, by email and through faculty student centres.
The University will continue to monitor the quality of academic advice through on-going reporting on these services, and through student feedback.
In 2016, the University will seek ways to improve advice to conjoint students through faculty student centres.  
Feedback on academic work Following responses to previous surveys suggesting that students are not always satisfied with the feedback they receive on their work, the 2015 Learning and Teaching Survey asked new questions about feedback on assessed work to allow the University to understand more about this issue.
Student satisfaction with feedback remains an issue. However, the University needs to continue to collect information to understand what the key issues are, e.g. the need for more individualised feedback, greater use of exemplars, or problems with the timeliness of feedback.
Group work

In 2014 the University made changes to the design and assessment of group work in courses.  The key policy changes were:

  • The removal of a 20% assessment limit for group work
  • where group projects are included in the assessments for a course, some form of individually assessed work should also contribute to the total mark
  • group work assignments in individual courses should be consistent with a co-ordinated Faculty assessment strategy
  • projects should be designed to enable students to develop the skills critical to successful group work, be contextualised to the discipline in which they are offered, and provide for progression in assessment requirements.

2015 Learning and Teaching Survey results suggest that students do not always perceive the design of assessment for group projects to be fair. Further investigation on this issue will be undertaken in 2016-7.
Group work guidelines for staff can be found on the CLeaR Group work site. Group work guidelines for students can be found on the Libraries and Learning Services website.

Lecture theatre recording In response to feedback from students the University adopted a policy that specifies that all stage one lectures to classes of more than 100 students will be recorded.
Some faculties have standard requirements in place for recording lectures given to second and third level courses.
The University updated Lecture Theatre Recording equipment in 2015/2016 - this has resolved an issue raised by students about audio and video recording being slightly out of sync.
Improved wireless access and quality A major upgrade of wireless is continuing throughout the University as part of a $1.9 million dollar project approved in 2013.  Wireless coverage across the University has improved from 66% in 2013 to currently around 95%.
Wifi improvements for student accommodation is in progress.Student survey results in 2015 saw a significant improvement overall in student satisfaction with wifi at the University.

Student services

Improvement project Details
Online orientation and first-year transition Online Orientation for first-year students provides a greater number of students with more relevant and timely information to prepare them for university life.
Online modules for pre-orientation are provided to students when they enrol, and on-campus Orientation has been shortened. Students receive additional online modules during the semester about new challenges they may be facing.
In 2015 prior to the first week of first semester 3,600 students had participated in online orientation - more than the total number (2,500) that participated in on-campus orientation in the previous year.  In addition, 5,000 students (double the usual number) attended on-campus orientation this year and, of those, 4,200 signed up for a UniGuide mentor (up from 2,500 in 2014).
Campus Life conducted a 'Transition to University Life' survey in 2016, which monitors student satisfaction with orientation and transition services.  
Summative Evaluation Tool (SET) We implemented a new tool, SET, for course and teaching evaluations in 2016.
Evaluations are now centrally managed, entirely online and conducted during a University evaluation period.
A major advantage of the new tool is the ability for reports to be generated immediately after the evaluation period, providing time for teachers to give feedback to students about the evaluations.In time, aggregated reporting will be available to the University community.
Student portal A new student portal, MyAucklandUni, went live in February 2016. The portal functions as the main, central online place for students to find information and complete tasks through various systems. The content and design has been based on significant input from students on what is important for them in terms of streamlining their daily activities, and provides personalisation to enhance the student experience and offer relevant content.
Learning and Teaching Continuity Plan The University has developed a Learning and Teaching Continuity Plan.
This will facilitate the continued provision of core learning and teaching functions and communication with staff and students in the event of an emergency or major disruption.
Review of the University website We are redeveloping our website to provide a positive online experience with a modern design, streamlined navigation, improved accessibility and responsive web design.
Student feedback through the Learning and Teaching Survey, and other channels, has noted the difficulty of accessing key information on the website.
Mapping your masters research We launched a new programme for postgraduate students starting a thesis or research portfolio to help them make a positive start to their research careers. Find out more about Mapping your masters research.  
Health and Wellbeing A Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Working Group has been established to develop a mental health framework aimed at better coordination of existing activities, and the identification of duplication and omissions in our approach to student mental health.

Building projects

We are committed to providing students with a first-rate, international standard teaching, learning and research environment. We have launched a massive investment programme, totalling nearly $500 million to improve its infrastructure, systems and buildings.

Here is a sample of projects currently underway that will improve the environment for students.

Improvement project   Details  
New student accommodation building A new non-catered, 340-studio student accommodation on the corner of Symonds and Airedale Streets scheduled to open in February 2017. This will be available to returning undergraduates, as well as mature new students and all postgraduate students.
Newmarket Campus Our Newmarket Campus was officially opened in May 2015.  The core themes of research and postgraduate study at Newmarket Campus include built environment, structures, earthquake, fluids and transport.
It joins the City and Grafton Campuses to create an integrated campus cluster.
Science Centre The major Science Centre redevelopment will provide state of the art research and teaching facilities for the Faculty of Science and a new entranceway to the University.
The existing south podium of the Chemistry building (Building 301) on the corner of Symonds and Wellesley Streets, has been demolished and a new tower has been erected and opened in mid-2016.
The new building (Building 302) comprises 11 stories and a basement, with a total floor area of 23,500m2.  Much of the adjacent tower building will also be refurbished, giving a total of almost 38,000m2 of new or refurbished space.
New engineering building In April 2015, the University Council approved the case for the construction of a new building for the Faculty of Engineering on the City Campus.
The 11-storey building will be constructed on the site of the current 403/404 building (the part of the existing Engineering facility that looks out over the Grafton Gully and motorway).
We aim to have the building open for occupation for Semester One 2019.