Staffordshire University

Innovating the student experience with a transformative
self-serve portal.

Staffordshire University | Education

The industry & Customer

Growing student expectations for more and effective services have become a key challenge for universities around the world. In addition, the traditional university experience needs to evolve to keep up with disruptive technologies which are changing the way we work and live, and the careers we fulfil.

Staffordshire University (Staffordshire) understood the need to shift their focus from traditional attraction and enrolment approaches, and to begin focusing on creating lifelong learning experiences for their students.

“risual was integral to the success of the project, their App Dev knowledge and skills drove the project from start to finish.”


The Challenge

When risual first engaged, Staffordshire was using a legacy student management records system to store, administer and manage all aspects of the student lifecycle from application and enrolment, through to the award of a degree. They had also developed a web front end for applicants and students to view course information, as well as other components of their programme lifecycle.

The University acknowledged that their current student portal offered limited self service to the students who were using it, which also impacted on its usage and adoption across the university. The current portal lacked the level of functionality that more modern services offered and failed to meet the growing expectations of students in a digital world.

The Solution

Ultimately, Staffordshire wanted to innovate the student experience and asked risual to support the development of a new student portal. The aim was to provide the students with digital tools to engage with their interests, studies and wider communities that naturally become part of a student’s everyday university life.

This new platform would have a lasting impact on the way students enrol in Staffordshire and manage their learning journey, with a sole focus on giving those applicants and students greater experiences, safe learning environments and a high quality education. risual worked with the team at Staffordshire University to develop and deliver the new student portal, taking a user-driven design approach to ensure the student experience was always the top priority. The new portal was designed to provide more self service options, alongside streamlining some of the existing processes which were already proving beneficial to both enhance and improve the portals usage.

The ResultS

Ability to Self Serve

Streamlining processes

Empowered students

Test functionality enabled

The portal was designed to empower users and provide them with all the information they require for requesting relevant letters at Staffordshire University, uploading recent photos and modifying existing student data, allowing users to view existing data all in-line with the latest GDPR guidelines.

Development, test and production environments were also utilised to ensure that the University could rigorously test functionality before releasing it to students. risual also worked alongside the university to provide factory acceptance testing using DevOps methodology, to verify requirements had been met and any security loopholes were recognised and mitigated early.

Since the platform has gone live, the University has seen significant benefits. Students are now adopting the new processes and taking advantage of the ability to self-serve. Within the first month of roll-out, the university saw more students leveraging the platform than the previous iteration, with 53 bank letters generated, 232 confirmation of enrolment letters generated and 65 requests for changes to students’ data. Staffordshire and risual see this as a great step in the right direction for students at the university. With the momentum this new service will generate, there are significant opportunities to continue development of the new student portal, including additional features that augment student experiences, fostering human connections and supporting the high-quality education Staffordshire offers.

Project delivered by

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