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 quality of academic advice and student support

AskAuckland Central

The University opened its new AskAuckland Central student information centre in Alfred Nathan House in November 2017.  The centre was designed with the input of students and staff through focus groups and the advice of specialist designers.

Alfred Nathan House, located on Princes Street, now integrates a number of our student services and houses AskAuckland Central, International Office, School of Graduate Studies, Communications and Marketing, and School Partnerships Office. 

Students can be helped directly by centre staff, can be assisted to self-serve on the computers in the centre, or can book an appointment if more detailed or specialised support is needed.   

The University continues to monitor the quality of academic advice through on-going reporting on the call centre, email responses, faculty student centre services and through student feedback. 

Better academic advice for conjoint students Work has begun in faculty student centres to create specific and targeted advice resources for conjoint services, as a result of an issue identified in the 2017 Learning and Teaching Survey.
Student voice incorporated into academic reviews 

Six to eight reviews are carried out each year. These reviews are chaired by a senior member of the academic staff of the University and have a tight focus on curriculum, teaching and research. 

In 2017, eight reviews took place and as part of the process, peer review panels met with students and incorporated student feedback into the final review submission to the University. Academic Reviews at the University.

Clearer pathways/programme progression

University Graduate Profile: The University revised its Graduate Profile in late 2015, and in 2018 faculties are implementing programme graduate profiles, which will assist with clarifying learning outcomes and skills students are working towards at each stage of their programme.

Work is also underway on a central repository for all graduate profiles, to make them easily useable and accessible to all members of the University community.

A graduate profile plays an important role in communicating a university’s aspirations for its graduates and the value of an education from that institution. A graduate profile engages academics and students by creating a framework which can assist with a holistic approach to curriculum planning and assessment, and with achieving the best possible outcomes for learners.

Improvements to the assessment of group work and the provision of feedback on assessed work

Student satisfaction with feedback and group work assessment practices remain issues which students mention in their Course and Teaching Evaluations and the annual Learning and Teaching Survey.

In 2017, the University formed an Asssessment Working Group to look at these issues, among others, with the view to updating and improving the University's assessment policy to best enhance the effective support for and measurement of student learning. 

A new Assessment Policy and Procedures have been drafted and are in process of being finalised for 2019.  The new Policy requires feedback to students early on in courses and addresses issues with assessment of group work, by requiring some group work to have individually assessed aspects.   See the Assessment of Student Learning (Coursework and Examinations) Policy.

Online examinations In November 2017, the University piloted online examinations in certain courses.  It is expected that these will be expanded and rolled out, where appropriate, over the next several years.
Improvements to the quality of teaching delivery The University is developing a 'Teaching Capability Model' to support all academic staff with teaching responsibilities to
  • have a broad understanding of effective approaches to learning and teaching 
  • strengthen teaching capability and capacity through ongoing professional development as it relates to high quality student learning
More and better use of technology to complement lecture delivery The University has developed a resource for its teaching staff, called Ed Tech Hub,  to showcase and learn from each other the different ways they are using teaching technologies.  For more information see Ed Tech Hub online.  
Improvements to service delivery for doctoral students

As part of its Doctoral Service Strategic Review, the University has prioritised three areas to focus on during 2017-2019

  • development and implementation of an end-to-end online process for doctoral candidates
  • increased emphasis on the employability of doctoral candidates
  • increasing University-wide collaboration for the benefit of doctoral students

These issues are being explored by the School of Graduate Studies in conjunction with faculties and service divisions.

Increased support for first year students In 2017 a University Retention Policy and Strategy was put in place, which recognises the importance of structured orientation and transition support for commencing students; personalised academic advisement services that assist students to define clear and achievable academic goals; and an inclusive learning environment that engages students socially, intellectually and professionally.  
An accessible learning management system with accurate course-related information

 In the 2017 Learning and Teaching Survey 86% of undergraduate respondents were satisfied with Canvas, but students commented they would like to see more consistency in how information was added to course pages. In 2018 the University is working to enhance the way Canvas is used, and continues to provide resources and support for Canvas staff users.

Course Outline Project

In 2018, each faculty is designing a uniform course outline to be used within their faculty, in order to make Canvas even more useable for students.  This will reduce the variation in approach to how resources are organised on Canvas.

Feedback to students on Learning and Teaching
Survey results
The University has published feedback on the 2017 Learning and Teaching Survey for students.  An annual report to students on survey results will be published on the Student Feedback section of the Learning and Teaching website.  

Student services

Improvement project Details
Streamlined access to student services

The Campus Card Programme went  live as of 27 November 2017,  and aims to deliver a secure, modern campus card solution which will provide access to all campus spaces and services, improving service delivery and increasing security on campus. With the new campus card, students will be able to

  • access spaces such as labs, computer rooms, student lounges, halls of residence
  • check out books from the library
  • pay for services such as printing and copying
  • purchase things with 'UoA Dollars' at on-campus retail outlets
  • and much more, see Campus Card website
Improvements to the University of Auckland
website

The Web Presence Improvement Programme is working to redevelop the University’s website to meet the needs of all members of the University community.

In 2017 and continuing into 2018, the programme of work is focussing on 

  • Scholarships - making it easier for students to find relevant scholarships based on selection criteria
  • Study areas - allowing students to find study and degree options by areas of interest
  • Conjoint programmes - making it easy for students to find conjoint options
  • Faculty website content - moving faculty webpages into the new format

New information architecture supports clearer, current and more consistent information for staff and students, and is optimised for mobile devices.

Improved orientation and transition services for new and returning students

The introduction of a Guidebook app (which replaced the hard-copy programme), provided students with up-to-date information on orientation programmes and provided the functionality for students to build their own schedules and to-do lists.

Improved campus signage, with a focus on welcoming new and returning students to campus. Improvements were also made to directional signage for orientation activity, helping students navigate between sessions. All signage was provided in both English and Māori. 

Improved visibility of UniGuides with new t-shirt designs and clearly identifiable groups signs. There was also a targeted recruitment drive to ensure improved ratios of Faculty representation in the UniGuide cohort.

The introduction of a post-orientation comms campaign, which provides emails with relevant and timely information. The drip-feeding approach aims to not erwhelm students too early on in the semester, but provide useful signposting as we move through the term.

Improvements to Clubs’ Expo included a move to Albert Park, an increase in the number of clubs exhibiting and improved visitor experience – with better signage and themed zones.

Campus Life partnered with AUSA to deliver 2018 Party in the Park. The event, headlined by Chase & Status, was attended by in excess of 2600 students.

Write@Uni
The write@uni online resource was developed by Libraries and Learning Services and aims to promote greater awareness for all students of the basic concepts and principles underpinning academic writing at the tertiary level. Five modules contain interactive elements to promote student understanding and reflection.
Student Services Online (SSO)
Student Services Online was upgraded in August 2017. The upgrade makes SSO more accessible through mobile and touch-screen devices.
Online application for aegrotat and
compassionate consideration
The University has introduced an online application process for aegrotat and compassionate consideration (final exams only).
My eQuals

Students and graduates can now access certified digital copies of their transcripts, certificates and official letters through My eQuals.

My eQuals, a secure online credentials service went live in April 2017, giving students and graduates the ability to view, download and securely share their academic records online, with anyone they choose.

Online orientation and first-year transition Campus Life conducts an annual ‘New Students’ Survey in March, which monitors student experiences in transition, and satisfaction with orientation and transition services. Feedback from this survey helps Campus Life to make continuous improvements to orientation resources for students.
Summative Evaluation Tool (SET)

As of Semester One 2018, students will be invited to fill in a course and teaching evaluation for each course, every time it is taught. 

Course and teaching evaluations are conducted online, through the ‘SET’ (Summative Evaluation of Teaching) system.

In 2018, as a result of student and staff feedback the SET evaluation period has been moved to the final two weeks of semester. Students may complete evaluations online anywhere, at any time during the evaluation period.

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 the University's infrastructure, systems and buildings.

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

Improvement project   Details  
New School of Medicine and Population Health on City Campus

Located on the corner of Park Road and Park Avenue, the new building will have a gross floor area of 19,500m2 and will comprise 6 levels in total, rising four levels above ground with an underground lower floor and basement carpark.

The upper three levels will accommodate office and open plan activities; the middle levels will be dedicated to student-focused activities - including teaching spaces – and the lower ground floor will be dedicated to clinic space.  Construction commenced in November 2017 and completion is scheduled for January 2020.

Science Centre

The new Science Centre, comprising Buildings 301 and 302, was officially opened in July 2017. 

Building 302, opened in 2016, provides state of the art research and teaching facilities for the Faculty of Science and a new entranceway to the University.  It comprises 11 stories and a basement, with a total floor area of 23,500m2.

Much of the adjacent tower building (Building 301) was refurbished, giving a total of almost 38,000 m2 of new or refurbished space.  

UNLEASH Space

Unique internationally, UNLEASH comprises a state-of-the-art maker-space as well as areas for workshops, collaboration and other support. 

The student-led hub is managed by the University’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, based at the Business School, and will support students through all stages of the innovation and entrepreneurship life cycle, from idea generation and prototyping to product commercialisation. The hub is located in the former Engineering School library at the heart of the University’s central Auckland campus and is open to students and staff from any faculty and any discipline.

'Students can design and create anything they can imagine. If they choose to, they can use their prototype to see if they could start a business with their idea,' says Centre Director Wendy Kerr.

New engineering building

The Faculty of Engineering has begun construction on a brand-new, purpose-built engineering building for students. Opening in late 2019, the building will provide students with tailor-made spaces to support learning, accommodate larger student cohorts, and encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration.

The new multi-disciplinary learning spaces (MDLS), which opened in March 2017, provide the Faculty of Engineering with a unique opportunity to utilise a space that is configurable to a variety of different disciplines. The furniture and equipment is all easily movable, so teaching staff are able to customise the labs to best suit student needs. 

Alongside the teaching spaces in the new building, there will be spaces for students to study and relax. Larger areas with comfortable furniture for relaxing and socialising will be complemented by smaller breakout spaces, where students can study solo or with a group.

Redevelopment of the recreation centre The University is in the process of designing and planning a new recreation centre.  Consultation on the new design took place in October 2017 and an advanced concept design will be released in the first quarter of 2018.  The current recreation centre is approximately 5,000 sq metres, and the new centre will be 18,000 square metres and includes additional features such as a swimming pool and a running track.  Click to see plans and more information about sport and recreation at the University.
Sustainability and the environment

The University of Auckland is committed to pursuing sustainability via research, teaching and learning, operating practices, partnerships and capacity building.

The University, through its Sustainability Office, works to facilitate organisational change.  

Students contribute to the University's move towards becoming a sustainable organisation and are engaged through a network called Help Green our Uni, set up in 2011. The network offers sustainability-minded students opportunities to help minimise the University's environmental footprint.

To date, over 2500 members have been signed up and there are currently 200 active volunteers who help with waste audits, energy audits, tree planting days and sustainability events.

Click for more information about sustainability at the University.