Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

We have to put students’ needs first

AU will be replacing a number of central studies administration systems within a the next few years, which provides an opportunity to put students’ needs first and strengthen the digital foundation for teaching activities and exams. These are the top priorities, according to Deputy Director Kristian Thorn, head of AU Student Administration and Services.

2019.11.27 | Camilla Schrøder

As far as possible, we need to think about what will create cohesion and meaning for the students, says Kristian Thorn. Photo: Lars Kruse

Five new systems that will support teaching, scheduling and studies administration will be introduced before 2025. The many replacements are the result of legally required competitive tenders and a need to replace outdated systems.

Across the systems, the vision is to put students’ needs on centre stage and to improve the user journey from application to graduation, as Kristian Thorn, head of the administrative division AU Student Administration and Services, which is responsible for such systems, explains.

“The ambition is to make it easier for students to navigate AU’s systems solutions, get an overview through self-service solutions and simulate the consequences of different choices. In other words, the goal is to match the students’ needs through solutions that are more user-friendly – for example through access on mobile devices,” says Kristian Thorn.

Right now, AU IT and AU Student Administration and Services are collaborating on a new so-called vision architecture that will focus on the students’ user journeys. Kristian Thorn encourages everyone to pay special attention to students’ needs in mind in connection with the upcoming acquisitions and implementations.

“It’s one thing to get a new system. How we use it is something else. As far as possible, we need to think about what will create cohesion and meaning for the students. And we must make sure to include them in the process and listen to them along the way,” says Thorn.

The needs of the teaching staff also in focus

The focus on the students will be central, but the needs of the teaching staff will also be prioritised. Teaching staff are a central user group when it comes to the timetabling system, the learning platform and digital exams.

“Within the individual projects, we place a lot of emphasis on putting together steering committees and external advisory groups that best represent interest groups across the university. Going forward, we will place even greater emphasis on reaching out to our users and engaging them in the different phases of the projects,” he says.

“Basically, the process is about strengthening the digital foundation for teaching activities and exams so that both students and employees have access to the solutions that live up to the expectations of a modern university.”

Read more about the vision and get an overview of the digital changes in the studies administration area at “Den digitale studierejse på AU” (The digital academic journey at AU) 

Administrative, Administration (Academic), All groups, Administration, AU Student Administration and Services