The rehauled Student Services Office includes three zones: a front-office, where they consult the students, a back-office for staff members and a coworking area both for students and employees.
“The front-office is divided into two small zones – a common area for consulting and four separate booths. Most of the work takes place in the common area, but financial and dorm-related questions require some confidentiality, so they’re discussed privately,” says Elena Borisova, head of the Student Services Office.
The coworking area includes several booths where students may receive a consultation, conduct negotiations, deliver presentations, or work on their own projects. The plan is to put a booking screen, so that students and employees could be sure that they will have access to a booth at a particular time. There are sofas and tables in the rest of the coworking area.
In the front-office area there are public computers that students can use.
By the end of the month, an electronic queue terminal will be made available. Students will be able to pick a service, print out a ticket with a number and go to the corresponding booth that will be displayed on the screen. That way the students will be assigned to a particular operator depending on what request they have.
“We didn’t want to look like a typical office”
The idea of creating the Student Services Office at ITMO University belongs to Daria Kozlova, First Vice Rector of the University. The new system is supposed to reduce the amount of bureaucracy that students have to deal with. Whereas previously you had to visit several offices to get a single document, today all the documents you need can be either acquired or requested here.
Elena Borisova, head of the Student Service Office, and Evgeny Raskin, its deputy head, have visited various Russian and European universities in February 2019.
“We had visited several Russian universities first and we were very impressed with their spacious locations, consulting booths and electronic queues. We didn’t have anything of that sort and we loved it, but something was still missing. Later, when we visited European universities, we realised what it was. Not a typical office, but a more informal place, where students can apply for some documents and ask for advice, but also to wait for their next class and spend some time with their peers. We’ve analysed the experience of our Russian and European colleagues and have created a place where the staff are always glad to meet and help students,” – says Elena Borisova.
The head of the Student Services Office says that feedback from students comes every day. They thank the staff for their help and for eliminating the need to visit a hundred offices. Today, most requests can be made in the “Студенческий офис” section of the Russian-language ISU and will be fulfilled within a single workday. The service continues to improve and its feature set is continuously expanded. Even today, most of the documents are being approved digitally in the system developed by the Department of Information Technologies. In the future, the interaction between the student and the university will become even easier, note the staff of the Student Services Office.
Translated by Kseniia Tereshchenko