York Student Think Tank research reveals communication issues in Halifax College

York Student Think Tank research reveals Halifax students views on college communication

Image: Petroc Taylor

Image: Petroc Taylor

The York Student Think Tank’s first commisioned research reveals that students in Halifax college are unhappy with the college’s communication system.

The society conducted an in-depth investigation over 20 weeks, the objective of which was to develop recommendations and suggestions for the college to implement.
The study, commissioned by the Halifax Research Team, involved a series of focus groups, student interviews and surveys alongside contributions from college staff.  From this pool of resources it seems the findings overwhelmingly endorse the enduring reputation of the college as an outsider.

The published report details numerous issues with the current communication system. Among these is the fact that information was fundamentally not reaching students due to a “convoluted method of distribution”.
Indeed, the report highlights a key area of concern – college emails. While the results of the surveys demonstrate a clear preference for email interaction this reality appears unsuccessful.

Several of the focus groups reported not reading emails because they received too many or because the emails were considered personally irrelevant. In response to these concerns the report recommends creating a centralised system for communicating with its students.
To build upon this suggestion the Think Tank has called for a “definitive protocol” for college social media outlets designed to oversee where, when and how information is distributed.

The proposal follows concerns over the appropriate use of official social media accounts. Common complaints focused upon the amount of spam and the relevance of the information. With 40 per cent of students who filled in the online survey preferring to receive news about events via Facebook the Think Tank places a large emphasis on improving this area.

The report goes on to raise concerns about Halifax College’s inclusion of Second and Third year Faxers. Within its featured recommendations the report states “there is not much reason for second and third years to go to Halifax”. It references the high demand among its students for a bar at JJ’s but quashes these demands “due to viability reasons”. Instead the Think Tank approves the setting up of study spaces to attract non-residents to the oft forgotten college.

York Student Think Tank Society has heralded this report as “one of the largest student run investigations ever completed at the University of York”. Project Lead, Johannes Huber, underlines the projects’ principled and innovative quality stating that the team “hope both our findings and suggestions will live up to the high standard we set out to achieve”. The full report can be found on the York Student Think Tank website.

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