Student First Program

What is Student First?

Student First is a multi-year program of work that will uplift and improve the student experience. Central to this work is the active participation and involvement of the ANU community in co-designing solutions, with an emphasis on creating the space for a strong and meaningful student voice. 

The Student First Program sits within the Digital Master Plan, which is part of the ANU 2025 Strategic PlanIt is also connected to and will be informed by the ANU Learning and Teaching Strategy, which will clearly define the University’s Learning and Teaching approach and identify what is needed to secure our position as a leading University. 

These plans recognise that we must invest in our systems, services, and digital capabilities so we can offer the best possible student experience now and into the future. 

Student First aims to:

  • improve how we interact with and deliver services to students,
  • enhance the digital experience for students, academics, and professional staff,
  • make our digital environments welcoming and accessible to all,
  • enable the Learning and Teaching Strategy,
  • strengthen the University’s position as Australia’s #1 University,
  • build platforms and internal capability so we can continue to grow with our students’ expectations, and
  • ensure the University remains a leader in an evolving sector.

Our community’s voice will be at the centre of this transformation journey, bringing students and staff closer together to think ‘Student First’ as we improve our university experience.  

What is human-centred design?

Human-centred design puts people at the heart of making decisions and solving problems. By engaging people in the design process, we increase our chances of designing useful, useable, used and sustainable solutions. This solution could be a technology, product, program, service, policy, or anything else you can think of!

What does human-centred design mean for the Student First Program?

For the Student First Program, taking a human-centred approach involves exploring meaningful ways to engage and co-design with our ANU community. Rather than making assumptions or trying to understand our community needs primarily through business stakeholders or intermediaries, we seek to engage and involve the broader community where possible and hear things directly from people.

It is a methodology that prioritises understanding and engaging people affected by a solution meaningfully in the design process. By involving people from diverse groups, we contribute to an inclusive ANU experience and reduce the risk of inaccurate generalisations and unintentionally harmful assumptions.   

What it is not

For Student First, human-centred design is not about collecting a shopping list of desires from our students and working through this list. It is a process that involves exploring strategic possibilities based on our community needs, technical opportunities, and the University’s objectives. 

What does this mean for me?

In practice, this human-centred design approach means that you may be approached to participate in interviews, workshops, co-design sessions, concept-testing sessions, and a range of other exciting and creative activities as part of the Student First Program.

We look forward to co-designing a new and improved ANU experience with you.