Student support services suffer in budget cut

 
 

Significant university budget cuts will mean that some student support services may be curtailed or cut altogether during the September registration period for the 2010-11 academic year.

The recently published Review of Registration 2009, compiled by the university’s Registration Implementation Oversight Group, has identified significant problems in the provisions being made available for next year’s registration process. It is understood that these originate from the six per cent budget cut across the University.

The report has revealed that UCD Registry have not budgeted for delivery of its Assisted Registration Labs, which were attended by 1,500 students this year, or for the Student Desk Call Centre which runs a helpline assisting students with any registration queries they have at the start of the year. Both the Assisted Labs and the Call Centre reported an increase in usage this year in comparison to the 2008 registration season.

Commenting on the review, UCD’s Director of Registry Kevin Griffin told The University Observer that “the specific issues of the call centre and assisted labs are under review, as we want to protect these vital service elements so discussions are continuing in respect of the finances required.”

The review also noted that despite the success of last year’s registration, there are more “unknown fears” for both the ongoing budgetary constraints and the risk of further staff and resource constraints.

Asked how the ongoing budgetary constraints would affect the overall registration process, Griffin explained that “the ongoing budgetary constraints will doubtless make [registration] a big challenge, but all efforts will be made to ensure the service available to students meets their needs.”

“Registration 2009 was judged to have operated very successfully, with a high satisfaction rating among the students,” Griffin added, saying that “this was achieved in challenging circumstances” due to the need for the large staff in charge of registration having to “operate under constrained resources.”

Griffin revealed that planning for the 2010 registration season has already commenced, “although full-scale activity is still some months away.” He added that “modest, rather than major, functionality improvements are being planned, with our main focus for now being on ensuring the level of service to students using the online registration system will be effective and timely.”

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