How Wrexham University and SU increased their Student Voice scores by 10 points

Discover how the institution transformed its feedback landscape, confronting initial challenges, and successfully integrated real-time insights to champion the student voice, cultivate a more cohesive student community, and drive meaningful change across the campus and its global partnerships.
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University Size: 7,490
Location: Wrexham, North Wales
Impact Summary:
  • Centralises student feedback, making it instantaneous and more accessible
  • Overcomes challenges of fragmented feedback sources and improves timely response
  • Enhances the role of student representatives by providing an efficient feedback trail
  • Promotes transparency and student comfort with options for anonymity
  • Strengthens the sense of community
  • Amplifies the student voice, fostering a proactive environment for change.

Topping the charts for student voice in Wales, Wrexham University and SU achieved a score of 81% in overall student satisfaction, going from 75% to 85% in their Student Voice Scores.

Introduction

Wrexham University and SU, inspired by the Welsh scholar Owain Glyndŵr, has championed bold and inclusive education since its inception in 1887 as the Wrexham School of Science and Art. Undergoing several evolutions, from the Denbighshire Technical Institute to the significant merge forming the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), it has always prioritised expansion and innovation. Recognised for its contributions to higher education and its unique Welsh-infused architectural elements, it achieved university status in 2008, standing today as a beacon of enterprising and open education.

The Challenge

  • Multiple Feedback Channels: Feedback from students arrived in varied forms, from comment cards to verbal comments and even through surveys. The scattered nature and untimeliness of feedback created a challenge for the university to address them efficiently.
  • Previous Platform Limitations: The university initially used an online portal called “tell Glynn.” The platform didn’t offer the desired results, often leading to sporadic and unreliable feedback.


The Solution

Over the last 18 months, we have introduced Unitu, the online student feedback platform, which has enabled us to respond to student feedback in real-time and allowed us to close the feedback loop. Unitu, along with working in close partnership with the University and the hard work of staff has been key to this year’s result.

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Marc Caldecott
Head of Membership Services at Wrexham Glyndwr Students’ Union

Recognising the challenges, the university decided to try Unitu piloted it in specific faculties and gradually expanded its use in other departments and partner institutions.

  •  Overcoming Initial Hurdles: The initial introduction of Unitu experienced issues with student engagement and anonymity concerns. However, Unitu provided robust training, which led to increased participation and confidence in the platform’s anonymity features.
  • Incentives and Promotion: To further boost student engagement, the university implemented various initiatives, such as a prize draw, a major promotion during their Freshers Fair, and even course rep training to make students familiar with the platform.

Unitu is consistent, simple, and user-friendly. It’s useful for the Student Council, allowing both part-time and full-time officers to have a clear oversight of feedback from course reps on each course. Without a platform like Unitu, there might be issues we’d miss.

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Lauren Hole
Communications & Engagement Coordinator at Wrexham Glyndwr Students’ Union

The Impact

In the NSS Student Voice questions, Wrexham has increased by 20-point in Q24 (How clear is it that students’ feedback on the course is acted on?) and by 28-point in Q25 (How well does the students’ union represent students’ academic interests?), which clearly raised their overall score. Specifically, Q25 left Wrexham with an 85% score, placing them at the top of the list in overall student satisfaction among Welsh Student’s Unions.

Wrexham and SU achieved several milestones in amplifying student voices through Unitu:

  • Real-time Feedback: With Unitu, students could give real-time feedback on their experiences, allowing the university to address concerns more promptly.
  • Enhanced Student Representation: Student representatives found it easier to collect and address feedback. They could gather insights without spending too much time chasing students for their views. The traceable feedback trail also made processes transparent and efficient.
  • Higher Engagement: The university saw significant growth in student participation after integrating Unitu incentives. High-level discussions began incorporating Unitu posts, making the platform essential for decision-making processes.
  • Informed Decisions: The platform provided student council members, part-time officers, and full-time officers with a comprehensive view of student feedback. This allowed them to address concerns that might not have been raised directly but were visible on the platform.
  • Global Reach: Due to the success, the university’s worldwide partners have started to implement Unitu to benefit from the same results.

Unitu bridges the gap between students across different campuses and partner institutions, fostering a sense of community. It provides an opportunity to drive improvements, celebrate successes, and amplify the student voice to effect positive change.

Cerys Alfonso
Acting Associate Dean

The Result

Unitu’s platform played a crucial role in the university’s Student Voice scores by allowing real-time feedback and bringing changes to the student experience. 

The platform had a high engagement rate: 

  • 1k+ active students submitted more than 100 feedback posts. 
  • Students engaged with 6.6k in interactions through comments, votes, and views. 
  • The staff was deeply engaged, addressing feedback 96% of the time within an average of less than a month.

Student engagement:
#Total number of students: 2,869
#Active students: 1067
# Total Posts: 111
# Interactions: 6,6k+

  • Comments: 387
  • Votes: 570
  • Views: 5,698
Reps engagement:
%Account activation: 63%
% Posts closed by reps: 11.71%
Staff engagement:
% Posts closed by staff: 96%
Avg time to first view: 5.7 days
Avg time to respond:  11.7 days
Avg time to close the feedback loop: 29.58 days


Conclusion

Unitu emerged as a transformative tool for Wrexham University and SU. Not only did it centralise feedback and make processes more efficient, but it also fostered a sense of community among students across different campuses. The platform enhanced transparency, made the student voice more potent, and ensured that feedback led to tangible change. As technology continues to shape education, platforms like Unitu stand out as a beacon for positive transformation.

I think it’s just going to keep evolving, hopefully, and growing as it has. I think it’s a digital age, and this is the future. I think it’s just going to be a really ongoing, useful tool

Deborah Robert
Student Representative

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