Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, we caught up with our Chief Transformations Officer, David Wilkes, to find out how our student wellbeing management solution, Student Life, has evolved since it first started back in 2018.
But first, what is Student Life?
What is Student Life?
Student Life answers a problem that the sector has wrestled with for years. It is a single source of truth connecting accommodation, academic and central student support teams. It offers a simple and efficient way of recording concerns, issues and incidents and managing cases, securely. Staff from different departments can oversee student wellbeing in one central place.
What did David have to say...
Why are we committed to Student Life?
In 2018 we ran a workshop with twenty customers who identified the need for an incident management solution. This started a journey which evolved into a much broader solution for supporting students.
We engaged with many people to understand the sector's real-life experiences on the challenges that exist in supporting a student community. Most influential in this was Lee Rawlinson who joined Kinetic from the University of Liverpool to help us design Student Life. Lee, like many in the sector, had a life-changing wake-up call when he witnesses first-hand the devastating impact that student suicide has on a university community.
We conceived the heat of Student Life with Lee in 2019, along with two external welfare support professionals and Jess our Product Manager. We walked through the need for better early warning systems and how teams could be better supported from the high volume of time-sapping administrative tasks across the academic year. We then spent 12 months building and validating our design 'in the field' with customers who were willing to try it out and provide us with guidance and feedback.
Jump forward to 2022 and a workshop with our Special Interest Group - six customers who've been actively using Student Life and who share our desire to ensure Student Life helps not only support their students effectively, but save lives too.
They recounted amazing experiences - how their support teams record incidents overnight - how Student Life is the first thing they turn on when they get into the office in the morning - how it provides that immediate oversight of what needs to be on their radar - and how other teams such as Disability Support Services, Welfare, and International Office have also engaged with their projects to build that single place that lets you see the big picture.
Chief Transformation Officer