We are a group of people who work at Student Service Offices of Polish universities (both public and private). Most of us are heads of these offices, however in the founding group there are also several administrative employees and two Vice-Deans. We work at different faculties and universities, but we carry out similar tasks and we function in the same area of the University administration.
Student Service Offices’ main task is to focus on keeping academic records, however it is worth looking beyond the universities’ framework or its faculty and that’s why it was so important to us to create a platform where we may exchange good practises and our experiences. This is the reason for establishing our association.
In Polish our name is Stowarzyszenie Forum Dziekanatów, what could be literally translated as Dean’s Offices’ Forum Association. The Polish dziekanat consists of the word dziekan (‘dean’) and suffix -at which implies an office, and so translated into English as ‘dean’s office’. The term ‘dean’s office’ might be confusing for an English reader, as a dean’s office is usually an office of a dean. However, taking into account the scope of dziekanat work it is actually dean’s office + faculty administration unit + student/academic office. Thus, we translated our name into Student Services Employee Association.
Our main objectives are:
- Integration of the administrative staff of the universities in order to exchange our experiences and improve our work. We want to create, collect and finally share interesting solutions and new ideas in order to make the work of all Student Service Offices more efficient. We believe that universities may compete against each other in academic achievements or study programs, but not in student service. That is why our cooperation is not only possible, but also necessary.
- Through integration of the administrative environment, we want to become a real voice in discussions on higher education and on service of the educational process in particular. Being perceived as auxiliary units, because of dealing with didactic processes, many Student Service Offices have little influence on shaping their own working environment. We would like to change that.
Our first meeting was held in December 2017. It was a first Nationwide Student Services Employee Forum organized at SGH Warsaw School of Economics. The event was attended by about 300 employees of the Student Service Offices from 115 faculties of 75 public and non-public universities. The Forum was an opportunity to see how much we have in common and that, despite differences between different universities or faculties, we face the same problems and challenges.
We hope that we will be able to cooperate with authorities and administrative units of Higher Education Institutions. We believe that our activities will contribute to the improvement of the quality and efficiency of the student service, which will benefit all stakeholders: students, academics and administration staff.
We invite you to get involved in the activities we offer. Since we started working together, we have seen how much we have in common, but also that together we can make a difference.
That gives us a lot of positive energy. 🙂