Continuous Improvement and Planning Team
EXSITE! What do our stakeholders want?
What do the "stakeholders" in higher education want? There is a shift in the expectations of today's college student from those of the past. No longer is "learning" simply enough. Aspiring high school graduates are often thought of wanting "an education." However, as education has become more experiential, so have the expectations of those attending college. Today's student wants a positively memorable experience!
Are stakeholders really referring to the experience associated with becoming educated? For students, this includes leaving home, living on their own, assuming personal responsibility, staying up late, socializing, attending parties, and meeting new people as well as traditional learning. Similarly, faculty seek an environment that promotes critical thinking, camaraderie, academic freedom, and tenure. Staff seek a fair and an equitable work place with career advancement opportunity. Parents seek value for their tuition dollars. Alumni want a sense of nostalgia and institutional pride. The community at-large seeks an employer, a revenue source for local businesses, a community partner, and civic pride. All seek recognition and appreciation for their efforts. When properly delivered, they reward it with institutional loyalty.*
"Stakeholders" (students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, visitors) are the new "assets" of colleges and universities. Preserving and developing these assets means not only meeting their needs, but exceeding their expectations. Stewardship of these assets entails not only creating the ideal campus environment but also managing the relational experience.
This relational experience can be formulaically viewed as the sum compilation of both academic and nonacademic activity (Exhibit I). The academic side remains the primary reason for attending college and is central to a student's education as well as institutional program. However, the nonacademic operations, historically thought of as "support", is an equally crucial component in the creation of the learning and living environment. Together, these functions define the relational experience. The challenge for higher education, as for other industries, is to harness these functions and define, create, and manage the experience of its stakeholders.
What do students generally want?
What do students dislike?
Students find the following aspects of university life annoying and obstructive:
While all of the above factors are important, the 'human factor' should not be underestimated. In many cases, people will tolerate a system failure if they are treated with courtesy and empathy.
What do employees generally want?
* Adapted from: Customer Experience Management: Competing Successfully in Higher Education, prepared by ARAMARK Education November 2005
** First, Break All the Rules, Buckingham, Marcus and Coffman, Curt, May 1999, Simon & Schuster
Adapted from 2004 Monash University ABN 12 377 614 012 Last updated: 23 May 2005 – Maintained by firstname.lastname@example.org
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