Completion rates for post-grads at University of Westminster increase substantially after implementing PhD Manager

Westminster streamlines processes and increases transparency

Challenge

Supporting several hundred postgraduate researchers across five campuses in central London, the University of Westminster Graduate School was keen to improve the postgraduate research experience and cut the program’s administrative overhead.

Working with a confusing patchwork of spreadsheets, paper forms, Word documents and PDFs regularly resulted in inefficiencies and unreliable, outdated information. Paper and email trails only exacerbated the situation, making processes difficult to track and share, and the constant stream of examinations, thesis submissions and performance monitoring reviews was overwhelming. There was little transparency and much time was wasted responding to emails and calls enquiring about procedure and progress.

The Graduate School was keen to move to a single, comprehensive information management platform and implement online forms to help them streamline this complex set of processes and improve the student and staff experience.

“What’s most important to me,” said Professor Simon Joss, Graduate School Director at the University of Westminster, “is ensuring that each postgraduate researcher is receiving effective support [and that they have] the best chance of a timely and successful completion.”

University of Westminster

“What’s most important to me, is ensuring that each postgraduate researcher is receiving effective support [and that they have] the best chance of a timely and successful completion.”

Professor Simon Joss
Graduate School Director at the University of Westminster

Solution

Westminster turned to Cayuse PhD Manager. The app which streamlines supervision meetings, monitors progression, and manages the exam process offered everything the Graduate School needed to revolutionize the entire PhD process.

Haplo, a division of Cayuse, worked closely with the Graduate School to understand their processes and reflect their terminology, workflows and forms in PhD Manager.

Results

Thanks to PhD Manager’s comprehensive functionality, configurable architecture and intuitive user experience, within one year, the Graduate School experienced the system’s positive impact.

“Our completion rates have risen significantly over the past year,” said Professor Joss, “and PhD Manager has played a key part in enabling that success.”

Streamlined processes

PhD Manager’s forms and workflows are all generated online. Postgraduate researchers and supervisors no longer have to navigate a complex network of Word forms and processes.

Postgraduate researchers and their supervisors use PhD Manager for recording supervision meetings throughout the year.

The Graduate School benefits from integrated functionality to publicize and administer their extensive training and development program.

Increased transparency

Graduate School administrators are no longer the sole keepers of critical information, eliminating the need to spend time responding to requests for clarification and updates.

As everybody has access to the same information in real-time and on mobile devices, postgraduate researchers, supervisors and faculty coordinators have direct access to the information they need, whenever and wherever they need it.

The reduced administrative burden has enabled postgraduate researchers and their supervisors to spend more time progressing their research, improved the student experience, and provided a more professional service to postgraduate researchers.

“Our completion rates have risen significantly over the past year, and PhD Manager has played a key part in enabling that success.”

Professor Simon Joss
Graduate School Director at the University of Westminster

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