Process and technology improvement programme

A team is supporting the ongoing development of the Student Education Service through a process and technology improvement programme.

The programme will transform educational support services through process improvement and the implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) system.


The programme will achieve:

  • a rapid, responsive and professional applicant experience, enabling us to attract high quality students in the numbers we need to secure the University's future success
  • timely and efficient administrative processes, consistent with any modern service industry
  • reduced time spent on processing, enabling staff to focus on value-adding, student-facing activity
  • agility and flexibility to adapt rapidly to the changing needs of the market. 

Programme stages

The programme is broken down into four stages:

  • taught postgraduate admissions management, by September 2015
  • enhancements to the enquiries and marketing functionality
  • research postgraduate and undergraduate admissions, by September 2016
  • on-course services. 


The programme is structured into projects. The work within these projects cuts across the programme stages.

Digital user experience

Defining the staff/student experience, the visual look and feel, and the user interface principles that will underpin the system solution.

Digital communications are now the primary communication channel for the majority of the University’s audiences and, as market research shows, they are critical for potential students, underpin the delivery of the current student experience and support relationships with Leeds’ alumni.

At this stage we are focusing on the digital "journey" from enquiry to registration. The journey begins with the early engagement stage and the activity conducted by the Educational Outreach team. It continues through the student recruitment process to the point an applicant has an unconditional acceptance at the University.

The ways in which interactions with the customer relationship management (CRM) system take place during the digital student journey are being further defined with our technology delivery partner, Pythagoras. The University and Pythagoras are working together to determine what content and communications can be made available via an applicant "portal" and what resources will be needed from the University to ensure these elements are integrated with the University of Leeds website.

The application portal fields are being defined for the CRM. Consultation is taking place on early definitions of course and application fields. During October, further work will focus on defining data sources and types before an application design phase at the end of October.

The University and Pythagoras have agreed a planned delivery schedule. Post application features will be delivered first (September 2015 for taught postgraduate admissions management) and pre application elements will be available from early 2016.

Technical projects - the CRM

Process analysis and design

developing business requirements and defining "to be" processes which will be approved by stakeholders before they are built in the CRM system.

Technical infrastructure

designing and building core infrastructure; testing and ensureing business continuity; handing over to support team:

System design and build

producing detailed design of new systems; build and system integration testing; user acceptance testing; stabilising platform; handing over to support team.

Business readiness

ensuring staff roles and responsibilities align with new processes and systems; training and supporting staff so they are able to use new processes and systems effectively and efficiently.

Management information

ensuring a consistent approach to providing operational, strategic and statutory reporting information and business analytics, enabling rigorous programme evaluation and process effectiveness.


Corporate website refresh

Improving functionality, content and responsiveness, focusing on how we present information to prospective students.

We have consulted with key stakeholders on revised content maps for the new site and have documented requirements. Content maps and requirements have been given to the IT web team. 

Student Education Service website

Two new Student Education Service websites went live in February.

To reflect the single Student Education Service, we brought together content which was located across 16 separate websites into a consolidated web presence. We built two sites, one aimed at a student audience and one for staff. The two sites have a consistent design, will share some content and will be clearly linked to one another.

Content from the existing sites was rewritten in a simple, consistent style by a team of writers. The style of the site is consistent with the refreshed corporate website.

Our University web designers have ensured that the site will be responsive, meaning that it will be compatible with the wide range of devices our students and staff use to access the internet.

Online course information

We are developing a replacement for coursefinder.

The working group met and reviewed and agreed the objectives and principles of the project and reviewed the revised common course headings and content types. These were ratified by faculties in October.

We have finished documenting requirements. An initial technical review of surfacing options was discussed with faculty marketing managers in October.

Work is now taking place to audit and edit course content information.

Training and development

Designing a consistent training and development capability for staff at all levels across the Student Education Service. More information on training can be found in the training section of this staff site.