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Student Communication Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To establish procedures to support the Student Communication Policy.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all official communications with Students by Employees, including both past and future Students.

Exclusions

Procedures for Student communication to the University and with other Students should be undertaken in accordance with the Acceptable Use of ICT Resources Policy and the Student Expectations and Responsibilities Policy.

3 Procedure Overview

The University recognises that communicating effectively is an integral component of the Student experience at the University.

The University communicates via multiple channels. All messages must be consistent and in alignment with this omni-channel approach.

All Student communications must align with the University brand and values. Further information and guidelines can be found in the Brand Toolkit.

All Student communications must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities) or nominee, except in emergent situations as directed by the Vice-Chancellor or University Council.

4 Communication messages

Notices will only be sent in those circumstances deemed important to the Student experience at the University.

4.1 Email

Email is a primary channel of communication for the delivery of Notices.

The University will send Notices to University-issued email addresses as the primary email address once a Student has enrolled and until the completion of their program.

Employees must use their University-issued email account when communicating with Students and are to send or record communications via the Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or the Alumni CRM systems, where applicable.

Employees using their University-issued email account should use the University standard email signature in accordance with the email signature guidelines provided in the Brand Toolkit.

Students who represent the University in an elected capacity must send communications via their Student representative University-issued email account when the message is relevant to their role.

Mass email communication must be sent through the CRM and in order to preserve the channel's value, will be restricted to:

  • important administrative and academic matters including application, Enrolment, results, financial standing, graduation;
  • information to assist with the retention of Students;
  • the engagement of Applicants for Admission to the University and their influencers;
  • information about significant University processes and key events on the University academic calendar;
  • statements on important or strategic matters by senior executives of the University; and
  • outreach and engagement of University Alumni.

Requests to send mass email communications are to be submitted via the Outbound Request form located in the Brand Toolkit.

4.2 USQStudyDesk

The University will use USQStudyDesk for communication related to the learning and teaching of a Course or program in which the Student is enrolled. This is the responsibility of the Examiner and Moderator.

4.3 Student portal

The University will use the Student portal to disseminate broadcast communication of Notices, including general information, opportunities and events. Notices will not be directly related to the learning and teaching of a Course or program.

Announcements may be posted for a specific cohort and/or community of Students.

Requests for UConnect announcements should be submitted using the UConnect Announcement request form located in the Brand Toolkit.

4.4 Mail

The use of hard copy correspondence is normally limited to where:

  • legislation or policy require Students to receive a Notice by hard copy mail;
  • Students do not, or are not required to, have access to online facilities; and/or

4.5 Corporate USQ Website and affiliated websites

The University will remove any webpage developed for the University website if it is considered to be detrimental to the brand and reputation of the University.

All content published on the University website must adhere to the University's Acceptable Use of ICT Resources Policy.

4.6 Print material

All print material must adhere to the guidelines provided in the Brand Toolkit.

Print material must be consistent with, and support, online and digital communication.

4.7 Knowledge database/FAQs

Ask USQ is a knowledgebase which provides concise answers to frequently asked questions.

Notices in the knowledge database must support, reference and reinforce content disseminated through other channels.

Area content editors are responsible for the publication of Notices. Further information can be found in the Brand Toolkit.

4.8 Social media

Social media is used by the University to foster online communities with Students. It aims to develop relationships, as well as engage and support Students.

Requests for social media services should be submitted using the Social Media Request Form located in the Brand Toolkit.

4.9 Chat

Communication via 'chat' must be undertaken using the University's CRM system to ensure that all conversations are recorded in the Students' profile and are in accordance with the University's Record Management Governance Policy and Procedure.

4.10 SMS

The University will use SMS communication with Students in the following circumstances:

  • in crisis situations;
  • cancellations and room changes;
  • Final Grade releases; and
  • where the Student has given express consent.

The University recognises that not all Students have access to receive SMS communications.

Requests for SMS communications to Students must be submitted using the SMS Request Form located in the Brand Toolkit.

4.11 Push notifications

Push notifications are restricted to communicating timely information and are to be used sparingly to reinforce messages communicated through other channels.

The University recognises that not all Students have access to receive push notification communications.

Requests for push notification communications to Students must be submitted using the Push Notification Request Form located in the Brand Toolkit.

4.12 Crisis Communication

In the event of a crisis, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities), or nominee(s), will be responsible for coordinating communication with Students, in conjunction with the Director (Corporate Communications and Public Relations), and in accordance with the University's Crisis Management Plan.

5 Interpersonal Communication

All interpersonal communication is to be reflective of the University's values and brand and in accordance with the University's Code of Conduct Policy.

6 References

Nil.

7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

17/6/2016

Effective Date

17/6/2016

Review Date

23/10/2018

Relevant Legislation

Electronic Transactions Act 1999

Electronic Transactions (Queensland) Act 2001

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011

Information Privacy Act 2009

Public Records Act 2002

Queensland Information Standard 40: Recordkeeping

Right to Information Act 2009

Spam Act 2003

Related Policies

Acceptable use of ICT Resources Policy

Code of Conduct Policy

Financial Management Practices Manual

Handling Personal Student Information Policy and Procedure

ICT Information Management and Security Policy

Privacy Policy

Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure

Student Communication Policy

Student Expectations and Responsibilities Policy

Related Procedures

Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure

Principles of Academic Employee Contactability and Availability Procedure

Use of Electronic Mail Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Crisis Management Plan

Outbound Request form (restricted access)

Push Notification Request Form (restricted access)

SMS Request Form (restricted access)

Social Media Request Form (restricted access)

UConnect Announcement Request (restricted access)

USQ Brand Toolkit website (restricted access)

USQ Email Signature Instructions (restricted access)

USQ Procedures for Email Distribution Lists (restricted access)

USQ Publishing and Writing Style Guidelines (restricted access)

USQ Student SMS Local Procedure (restricted access)

Voice of USQ Local Procedure (restricted access)

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Brand Toolkit

An online repository of guidelines and templates for the marketing and communication of the University by Employees, to Students and the community....moreAn online repository of guidelines and templates for the marketing and communication of the University by Employees, to Students and the community.

Council

Council means the governing body, the University of Southern Queensland Council....moreCouncil means the governing body, the University of Southern Queensland Council.

Course

The basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program....moreThe basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Examiner

A University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification....moreA University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification.

Final Grade

A Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process....moreA Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process.

Moderator

University staff member appointed to ensure that Assessment instruments and their use are appropriate in determining if Students have achieved the stated objectives of a Course. The duties of the Moderator include review and endorsement of the Course Specification, Assessment instruments and grading of Students and, as required, involvement in appeals....moreUniversity staff member appointed to ensure that Assessment instruments and their use are appropriate in determining if Students have achieved the stated objectives of a Course. The duties of the Moderator include review and endorsement of the Course Specification, Assessment instruments and grading of Students and, as required, involvement in appeals.

Notice

A Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to...moreA Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic.A Notice may be:given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; orsent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; orsent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to a Student during the period of Enrolment until the completion of their program; orsent by electronic communication to the email address provided to the University by an addressee not enrolled at the University.A Notice is taken to be received if:given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided to the University by the addressee; orsent by registered or pre-paid mail - three University Business Days after the date of posting; orsent by electronic communication - at the time that would be the time of receipt under the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 or its succeeding legislation.A Notice that would be deemed to have been received out of business hours or on a non-University Business Day will instead be deemed received on the next University Business Day.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Keywords

Student, communication, marketing, writing, email, correspondence, USQ staff, outbound, UMail, Brand Toolkit, Employee, Notice

Record No

14/425PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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