Do 6th Form College staff park for free?

QUESTION:

Are the sixth form staff, currently parking at Leek Road for free, going to have to have permits or will they have to use their own car park, for instance!

ANSWER:

We work closely with the 6th Form College as one of our UniQ partners and have a reciprocal arrangement regarding car parking, in support of both college and university activity and events. For example when either institution has an open day or open evening then we help each other with parking needs. Enrolment is another example but other than with advance agreement, no parking is offered to staff from the 6th Form College.

Why have parking costs increased?

QUESTION:

On the FAQs of parking permits https://staffs.district-enforcement.co.uk/faq.html it says that “The fee charged is non-refundable as it is not a fee for parking; it is an administration fee to cover the cost of producing and dispatching the permit”. So why has the permit increased to £50 (£30 more) for this new academic year? Surely admin costs have not increased this much?

ANSWER:

We are making final preparations for the new academic year and will be inviting car park permit applications very soon. A lot of work has been completed over the summer months to develop the permit system so that the applicant’s experience is as efficient as possible, with a number of improvements to the system. The fee for a car park permit covers the production of the permit and administration costs with any surpluses being invested in car parking, shuttle services and other sustainable transport initiatives.

Work being completed on campus at the moment includes installation of extra car park signage and marking of additional parking bays where opportunities for these have been identified. These are just two examples of costs incurred as a result of managing our car parks to ensure safety and accessibility.

Are parking fees due to increase?

QUESTION:

It is rumoured that the fee for attempting to park is due to raise next year?
Can you confirm if the Car parking fees are due to increase and as customers of the car parking services what additional services we will get if an above inflation rise is planned.
Despite staff only getting < 1% pay raise, and the increased fees for students, this might only decrease the student satisfaction compared to improving the statistics, if no additional services are planned.

ANSWER:

The University is finalising arrangements for this year’s car park permit scheme and will make formal announcements very soon. In the meantime, we are also reviewing our sustainable travel plan while working on modelling car parking demand alongside the Estates Strategy.

May we thank everyone for their feedback and suggestions to date.

What are we doing to promote the University during Clearing?

QUESTION:

Over the weekend I have heard numerous radio advertisements for three or four universities via Signal 1 and nothing for Staffordshire University. Could you tell us what we are doing to ensure that we are getting the message out to attract potential students at this time of intense competition?

ANSWER:

For this year’s clearing, a targeted “digital first” approach has been used to most effectively reach the specific target audience. Key campaign components include:

• Google Search and Display Networks
• Digital Advertisements on student websites – UCAS, The Student Room, What Uni and Hot Courses
• Digital Advertisements on local websites
• Promoted posts on Facebook and Facebook app
• Traditional advertising through national and local newspapers
• Radio Advertisements on Signal 1 and Capital Birmingham
• Direct Mail and email messaging to our enquiry database

The Press Office are working closely with the local media. Staffordshire University has been positively featured several times across the BBC and within The Sentinel. The content division have worked hard to ensure the website has valued content supporting incoming web traffic with a strong call to action, supported by our social media activity.

When will we be updated on the Estates Strategy?

QUESTION:

Following the announcement of the planned closure of the Stafford campus and relocation to Stoke back in January, there seems to have been a long period of silence on the matter since.

Can Executive tell us more in more detail the plans of when, where and how the move of everything from Stafford to Stoke will take shape. I can understand such matters are complex and nothing should be rushed, but surely some plans of how the move would take shape were made to inform the initial decision whether to move everything up to Stoke or not. And in the 6 months since I would expect that these plans have been firmed up, yet we have not heard a great deal more about it.

No communication or poor communication on such a large change will inevitably lead to rumours, concerns over job security, demotivation and uncertainty amongst staff. Worst of all is University staff having to admit “we haven’t been told” when potential students and their parents at open days, or visitors, or existing students ask; when the move will happen, where specific departments will go, how will everything fit onto one campus, if we will have new buildings, how will we manage the parking and many other questions.

ANSWER:

In March of this year, when we announced that we would be working to a September 2016 date for moving to Stoke on Trent, we said that we would provide details of our proposals in the Autumn. Therefore, in September we will be announcing to staff and students, where we are up to with the Estates Strategy.

Much work is being undertaken in order to prepare robust plans for accommodation, learning and teaching facilities and the logistics around the move itself and Deans and Directors are briefed regularly on progress. In terms of future students, we ensure we clearly state in our communications our intention to relocate to Stoke on Trent and, to date, we have not had feedback to concern us.

There will be a chance for staff to comment and provide feedback after the announcement in September.

Should the Business Villages be closed down?

QUESTION:

Should Staffordshire University Business Village be hosting a number of mortgage/financial advisory companies, some trading under several names?

The original rationale behind the project was for postgraduate students launching their own businesses to have low-cost facilities to help them get started, I’m not certain we have a single ex-student company using these facilities.

Surely it’d now make greater financial sense, given the very low rents we charge for the units and the failure of the original project aims, for the university to now remove the business units and use these facilities for teaching/staff office space?

ANSWER:

Thank you for your interest in the Business Villages. We host a variety of businesses based upon an entry and exit policy which creates a diverse community of clients,including business and professional services, and graduate start-up companies should they choose to occupy these premises. This delivers a business service on campus, a client base of Small and Medium Enterprises, and a focus for our knowledge exchange and Working with Business engagement strategies.

Since the opening of the Business Villages, we have supported 71 student companies with their physical space requirements.
We have not failed in this respect and many of the student companies now choose to occupy space in the City and beyond (BIC, Hot House, Lightwood Works, Keele Science Park, Federation House and Media City).

Many local and international,visitors, including specialists in incubation and enterprise, comment on the vibrancy and the diversity of activity in the Business Villages that a mixed economy of mature and established business co-located alongside new start-ups can stimulate, including opportunities for mentoring and inter-trading.

The mix of student enterprises and the availability of funding for subsidised rent has changed over the course of the years and many companies now operate entirely online or are more creative in nature and require studio/work space rather than office space.

Currently there are four ex-students in Stoke Business Village and six in Stafford Business Village. We recently had 16 current and former students working from the Creative Village, prior to its closure in February in order to accommodate teaching facilities and staff relocating from Stafford.

Historically there has been an average of four students per year in Stoke Business Village over the last three years, and seven students in Stafford each year for the last three years.

The use of all space including the Business Villages is currently under review as part of the Estates Strategy.

Enterprise and Commercial Development, the Faculty of Business Education and Law and Campus and Commercial Services already use the Business Village as office space, thus freeing up teaching and office space elsewhere for other staff, for example, B184 in Brindley will shortly be vacated by staff relocating to the Business Village leaving the room ready to be re-purposed for Teaching.

What is the current parking permit procedure for visitors?

QUESTION:

Please could colleagues be advised of the procedures for receiving visitors to the university now that the campus services staff are no longer located in the lodge on Leek Road? When the new parking regulations were introduced visitors were advised to collect a visitors pass from the lodge and to park in the designated area, this will no longer be possible without at presence at the campus entrance. We cannot ask visitors to park then walk to the Science Centre or Brindley reception then return to their cars to show a pass; if this is the only solution then we need to consider alternatives such as a method to log the registration numbers of visitors to ensure they do not receive a fine.

This question is urgent as many departments are receiving visitors throughout August and they are currently no arrangements in place and no communication about the move and alternative procedure has been received.

I am using this channel to ask this question as it will be the easiest way for the most people to see the answer.

ANSWER:

We recognise the importance of visitors to the University and want to make the visitor experience of arrival on campus as smooth as possible. While the Campus Team is making the transition to new ways of working, the need for a car parking permit will be suspended at the Stoke and Stafford campuses from today until 31 August. Visitors are asked to park in accordance with all other conditions as displayed on signposts in the car parks.

The Campus Services Team are in the process of moving their main hub of operations from the Leek Road Lodge to the new Campus Services Control Room in the Cadman building. We are finalising the arrangements for next year’s permit scheme at the moment and will be inviting applications within the next week or so. We are developing a visitor permit template that we will be able to send out in advance of a person’s visit, which we hope will improve the experience for visitors and will be available from the beginning of September. Ad-hoc visitors will still be able to obtain a permit from a variety of locations, including the Leek Road Lodge at busy times.

We are continually reviewing the allocation of visitor parking and hope to be able to identify some spaces that can be designated for visitors on College Road before the beginning of the new year.

Any specific questions or requests for help with visitor arrangements can be directed to parking@staffs.ac.uk