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Case study: Student Opportunity 'Hub & Spoke' Model

Space to see students for appointments and small groups within departments is often a challenge; there is often no formally designated space available. As a result, careers presence in a number of departments has had a low profile. Frequent room changes, sometimes in-year, have exacerbated this.

The opportunity to repurpose space in the old Porters' Lodges in the Science concourse and ground floor of the Social Sciences building has created local space for students which is both more visible as well as easier to access and find.

Department(s) / colleagues involved

Student Opportunity: Senior Careers Consultants providing careers support to students within the Faculties of Science (Engineering, WMG, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Statistics) and Social Sciences (Economics, Sociology, Politics and Philosophy).

Our aim was to …

Our aim was to provide space where students can readily access our services. Students prefer to receive support ‘in situ’ where this is possible, so the ability to secure designated space has helped to create a local presence as well as a more convenient base, with room to undertake both small group work and one-to-one appointments.

What we did …

The Director of Student Opportunity and Departmental Administrator worked with the Space Management team to find suitable locations on campus to operate Faculty spokes. Once suitable locations were found and approved by the relevant committee the Departmental Administrator worked with the Estates Project Manager to agree room specifications. Staff who would work in the room were consulted to provide ideas and give feedback on the proposals.

Each spoke cost approx. £30k to convert from Porter’s lodges to office space due to the changing nature of the spaces and the need to comply with regulations to improve ventilation for multi-occupancy spaces.

The outcome has been …

Since the introduction of the Faculty Hub in Sciences we have seen an increase in the number of students engaging with careers support.
Engagement over three years since the introduction of the Science Hub in 2016 has increased from 1,280 in 2015/16 to 2,187 in 2017/18, although we have seen an increase in uptake of all our services each year in recent years. (Science students have also accessed services at other locations in addition to the Hub.)

Greatest Hub use to date has been by students from Engineering, Chemistry, Statistics, Physics and Warwick Manufacturing Group.
It is too early to capture data comparisons for the Social Sciences Hub which opened at the start of the 2018 autumn term.


The benefit/impact has been …

Scalability and flexibility: the ability to offer both small group work as well as individual appointments and drop-ins. A successful example is peer workshops where students work in pairs to improve their CVs, undertake mock interviews and learn from each other.

Students can ‘drop in’ if a member of staff is free so it offers more flexibility and convenience to students between lectures and seminars. For those who are heavily timetabled it is easier to access our services ‘on the go.’

This supports the Education Strategy by …

Providing support for employability and skills which is readily accessible and personalised for students, responsive to student need and sector trends, visible on campus, and technologically assisted.

Continuing to embed Student Opportunity staff within academic departments and creating delivery spaces in disciplinary clusters.

The response of students / staff has been …

The Social Sciences space has only been available for 5 weeks but is already being well-used by students who are booking appointments and using the drop-in facility.

The Science concourse space is now well-established and well-used.
Staff feel that the service they provide, which is highly regarded by students, has been acknowledged and validated by the provision of formally allocated space.

Our next steps will be …

We are working with senior staff in the Medical School and the Faculty of Arts to identify space for spokes in their buildings.

To find out more, you can contact …

Anne Wilson (Head of Careers): A dot E dot Wilson at warwick dot ac dot uk