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Summer of change

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summer-changes

University rolls out a range of new IT services

The University has released a number of new updates over the past week which seek to enhance the online experience of both students and staff alike.

These, technologically focused, improvements have seen a revised email system, complete online registration, and improved internet access for all of the universities halls of residence along with many other changes.

“The changes aim to make it easier for students to register, find out about what’s going on in the University, get credit for their academic and extra-curricular activities, and to communicate with staff and indeed other students” – Professor Oliver Turnbull, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University.

Bangor’s new email service, which uses Microsoft’s Office 365, has been a long awaited update. Staff at the University have been using the system for around two months and the students’ emails have been migrated over to the new system just in time for the start of the new term.

“Office 365…has a range of additional functionality which will be rolled out over the forthcoming year”

read an email sent out to all university staff last week from Professor Turnbull, Professor Carole Tully (Pro-Vice Chancellor for students) and Julie Snelson (Head of IT Services).

Other aspects of Bangor’s refurbished online services hope to fully integrate with the Bangor 360 program which was launched during the last academic year to a mixed response. However, to avoid confusion with Office 365,  Bangor 360 will “…cease to exist as a brand”. 

In its place will be the My Bangor system rolled out ready for welcome week. This will allow students access to news and events and once fully integrated will incorporate everything that Bangor 360 aimed to do.

A new university website is also in progress which will be overseen by a small group of University staff chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Hughes.  It will launch this Autumn.

Furthermore, this year will see the launch of HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report). This is an electronic document that graduates will receive along with their degree.

“The aim is to provide a more sophisticated approach to recording student achievement” read the staff email. The document will not only give  detailed records of students’ academic records, but will also include a report of the extra-curricular activities, similar to the Bangor
Employability Award.

The behind the scenes work for the “summer of change”  has been a joint effort between Professor Turnbull, Professor Carole Tully, Ms Snelson and the University’s IT Department.

“I’m really grateful for their efforts, and I looking forward to seeing our new and returning students using the new places and technologies”

said Professor Turnbull of the hard work that has gone into the changes over the summer.

Despite the widespread improvements across the University, Bangor has also faced a number of problems through the summer.

Due to under-recruitment of students this year the halls of residence will not be completely full. Around 200 rooms will remain empty and Bryn Eithin halls, which largely housed Post Graduate students, will go unused.

Despite the low recruitment Bangor University is one of only two Welsh Universities set to meet recruitment targets.

The university is working hard to make sure that this does not result in further cuts within the institution and that it will not affect the student experience.

 

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LJ Taylor

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