12 student focus groups have taken place during Hilary term

Since the start of the University’s digital transformation journey in 2021, the Digital Transformation Programme team has made it a priority to consult with Oxford students. Transforming the student experience starts with fully understanding the student experience. Improving things for staff and students is at the heart of Oxford’s digital evolution.  

For phase one of Oxford’s digital transformation, teams working on 20 investigative assignments have been engaging with staff and students, to produce reports that reflect the richness and complexities of everyday work and life at Oxford. These assignments are analysing less well-understood ideas to recommend how the University could develop and implement new solutions. 

“As we complete a series of investigative assignments, to identify how key areas are moved forward, I’d like to thank the 100 plus students from across the University who have contacted us to share their views, so far.” – James Mundey, a business analyst in the Digital Transformation Programme Team.    

Investigative assignment teams exploring an online Student Hub, Student Lifecycle and Outreach and a few other assignments that have a direct impact on students, have facilitated 12 separate student focus groups during Hilary Term. Each of the focus groups provided excellent insight into the needs of Oxford students.  

The teams have been able to engage with a wide range of the student body, including students across demographics from undergraduates through to DPhil, due to support from the Student Union and the University’s student communications team. 

Each investigative team is  in the process of analysing the feedback from students but have shared some premilitary findings.  

The focus groups relating to the 'Student Lifecycle and Outreach' investigative asked students for their views on communications and engagement from Oxford, as prospective students and whilst on-course.

Students that were part of the focus groups echoed the findings of The HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey on loneliness and would like the ability to build deeper relationships with their peers through communities. There is also an appetite for a greater variety of platforms used for key communication, not just email.

Prospective students also felt that they lacked information on what to expect from life at Oxford and were interested to have more 'day in the life of' information in relation to key residential outreach programmes.  

group having a discussion

The focus groups for the online ‘Student Hub’ investigative were asked for their insight on what University systems they use most frequently and what features they would value the most in a ‘Student Hub.’

It's clear from their comments that students would value ease and accessibility from a single digital solution. A ‘one-stop-shop' where they could access both information and key systems; everything in one place, easily accessible via single-sign-on. Finally, students also suggested features that would improve the usability of a ‘student hub’ such as notifications and integrated academic calendars. 

You can see a list of possible features that the focus groups for the Student hub came up with on the idea sharing platform IdeaScale. Students are welcome to vote on the current ideas or comment and include their own.  

The Digital Transformation team would like to thank all the students who have participated so far in focus groups and by sharing their insights and ideas on IdeaScale. Any student can share their ideas on IdeaScale at any time.  

Take a look at the full list of investigative assignments for more information on the assignments taking place during the foundation phase of Oxford’s digital transformation.