Student Voice Improvements

Sharing your voice really does make a difference at the University of Derby. Take a look at how some of your opinions and feedback has helped shape changes and improvements across the institution...

Social and study spaces

Our students have given us some brilliant feedback and because of this, the University has been able to introduce improvements:

  • We have introduced Lean Library, a browser extension that makes it easier to access journals and eBooks, particularly when you are studying off-campus.
  • We have launched an e-Textbook scheme for all first-year undergraduates to provide access to the key texts for your modules.
  • We have purchased more print books for your essential texts and increased our licences for eBooks.
  • We have launched a new discovery platform to help you find the resources you’re looking for more efficiently.
  • We have launched a new reading list system to support students better with reading lists.
  • We have increased the range and number of workshops that are open to our research students to develop skills and knowledge in a variety of aspects related to scholarly communications.
  • Develop@Derby has been introduced to support personal skills development and help with your university studies and beyond.
  • We’ve extended the laptop loan service to offer both 4-hour loan and 2-week loan laptops. The service is available from Kedleston Road, Britannia Mill, Chesterfield, Buxton, and Leek Libraries.
  • We have refreshed our spaces at Kedleston Road Library by introducing more soft seating in the discussion zone to support collaborative working, and by providing new desks with built-in power sockets in the silent zone.   
  • We have introduced more bookable rooms at Kedleston Road Library, where we have opened two new group study rooms on the entrance floor, available for use via the online booking system.  

In response to both student and staff feedback, the University has looked to improve its active travel facilities, focusing primarily this year on the experience and convenience of cycling into campus:

  • A secure cycle storage compound has been created at Kedleston road. The store has been created so that staff and students can store their bicycles feeling reassured of their security; to achieve this the cycle compound features swipe card access, CCTV, and motion sensor lighting.
  • The cycle store has been located near the existing Cycle Hub in Kirtley building to help improve the overall convenience of cycling into campus.
  • The store features a service stand and tools station, so individuals have the correct facilities to make any urgent repairs or adjustments.

We have also looked to improve the changing provisions for those choosing to cycle in:

  • Within the Kirtley building, we have changing facilities that feature a number of showers, hairdryers, and mirrors.
  • We have now installed heated lockers in these changing facilities. These lockers have been designed to allow users to have a full hanging height of trousers and jackets whilst circulating radiant heat to gently dry clothes and equipment throughout the day.

In a response to feedback collated by the Union Of Students, the University has created Heat & Eat stations across all of its campuses:

  • The stations offer a space for students to prepare their food brought in from home, providing microwaves and prep surfaces to do so. At Kedleston Road, we have been fortunate enough to take advantage of free space within the atrium to cater to the larger number of students. On other sites we faced challenges with appropriate space to create this, so we designed bespoke mobile units to offer the same facility estate-wide.

Based on feedback about the barriers of walking to campus, such as the risk of bad weather and wet clothes, the sports centre has made some changes:

  • We have agreed to use the Sports Centre changing rooms and lockers for all students, regardless of membership, to support them to get changed out of wet clothes when opting to take active travel.

On top of this, catering has a number of exciting proposals that they will be working on putting in place during the next 12 months:

  • We have a new pizza offer coming to Kedleston Road that will provide better value for money and a wider variety of products.
  • We will be trialing a pre-order app, initially at Starbucks but with the aim of expanding across the service.
  • We have implemented a Peri chicken-based offer at Markeaton Street only recently.
  • We will review the provision at Britannia Mill, adapting the service style and offer as required.
  • We will review our Deli sandwich offer at Kedleston Road, with the purpose of being able to promote a full Halal offering on-site.
  • We will review our “Concept” food bar to introduce more African-themed and Indian-themed offerings.
  • We will be working to introduce a wider salad offer, including smoothies.
  • We will be introducing a “self-serve” till point at Kedleston Road to help alleviate unnecessary queuing. 
A student chatting to an advisor at the University.
Students attending careers fair and chatting to a careers expert.

Supporting students

In response to student feedback the CES team has implemented the following improvements:

  • At the Derby Talent Fair (Careers Fair) we have introduced a ‘quiet hour’ at the start of the event. This is for students who want to attend the event in a less-busy environment. 
  • We have introduced pre-recorded panels so students can access employer talks on demand. This is a great opportunity for students to hear from employers in their own time.

The following improvements to the On Campus Internships Scheme (OCIS) (which allows students in 1st and 2nd year to apply for a paid internship at the University) have been made as a result of student feedback:

  • Students can now view all internships available and apply for the roles which are most suited to them (rather than having a role allocated to them.)
  • The system has been updated to allow for different application processes for different roles and more clarity has been given around the requirements of each application.

As a result of student insight, the University of Derby will be piloting 10 new Future Talent Graduate Scheme roles in 2023, open only to Graduates of the University:

  • Graduates interested in a career in one of our Professional Functions can apply for one of the pathways (Finance, HR, IT, Careers & Employability, The Registry, or Marketing) and look forward to 3- 4 placements to help them build expertise in the selected function.
  • Students will also receive a structured development programme, an experienced mentor to help them build a leadership career, and a wealth of opportunities during the 2-year long scheme to support them in securing a permanent role with the University.

Some of the improvements we have made this year in response to student feedback include:

  • We made improvements to enrolment and confirmation, such as having a dedicated area for students to enrol at WelcomeFest.
  • The introduction of self-service letters for student status, allows students to have access to these as soon as they need them.
  • Within HPSC, we have streamlined the travel claims process making it simpler and easier for students to make these claims.
  • We introduced the option of a Virtual Appointment for students so they can have a meeting with a Personal College Advisor (PCA) via teams or phone at a time that is convenient to them.
  • There has been a development of FAQs and self-service materials on UDo & QR codes have been introduced to direct students to the information they need.
  • We introduced a text message service to advise students when action is needed, this has included Enrolment and Confirmation.
  • We improved the visibility of College Student Centres with a new Campaign that is then used in all signage and webpages to help direct students when looking for information, advice, and guidance.
  • The Introduction of self-serve 7 Day extension without evidence and 14-day request with evidence for extensions.


Students socialising
Students socialising informally

Digital Learning

As a result of student feedback, UDo (the University of Derby's student portal), is getting a refresh:

  • We've carried out a full consultation with students across the University and the Union of Students, which will result in a review of the design and layout of UDo to make the platform more accessible, easier to navigate, and with a clear and modern feel. 
  • We had an amazing response to our polls, surveys, and focus group sessions which ran in late 2022.  Over 3.5k students took the time to share their opinions and ideas and from those, we're now creating a set of new interface designs to put to the student vote.
  • More updates will be shared in 2023 on the dedicated 'UDo Refresh' tile on your UDo homepage.
Student having a conversation

Student Panel

We work hard to ensure our students are at the heart of what we do. Thank you to all students that have given their feedback to help improvements and developments.

Find out more about our Student PanelFind out more about our Student Panel