Student Support Advisor - Senior

The Open University
Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes
Closing date
23 Aug 2019

Our client, The Open University is a public distance learning and Research University, and one of the biggest universities in the UK for undergraduate education. Their innovative and inclusive approach to education has seen 1.89 million people, all over the world, realising their educational ambitions by studying with the University since it opened in 1969.

The staff are committed to putting their students first and to supporting them to realise their potential. Study with the OU is more than just education - it is life changing learning, do you want to be part of this team?

The OU is looking to recruit a Senior Student Recruitment & Support Advisor. This role is fulltime working 37hrs, the shift pattern with either be 9am - 5:30pm or 9:30am - 6pm for 4 days a week with 1 day of 12noon - 8pm, and 1 in 6 Saturdays (9am-5pm) with a day off during the week when they work a Saturday. This role is to start immediately until 31st October 2019, paying £11.78ph.

About the role

The role holder will work within the Student Recruitment and Support Centres (SRSCs), and will help students and prospective students make study choices that will lead to successful progression, qualification completion and customer satisfaction. The key duties are:

  • To provide proactive support, working primarily within a particular Student Support Team (SST), through provision of complex advice to students and potential students on a wide range of queries to maximise student success. To also act as a point of contact for reactive queries and requests for advice and support received via a variety of channels.

  • Where necessary to refer on to other staff with specialist expertise, as part of the Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) model; making interactions with The Open University as effortless and seamless as possible.

  • To concentrate on the delivery of expert advice with a focus on a particular SST curriculum area and the associated Faculty, whilst also providing some advice across all curriculum areas when appropriate.

  • Skills and experience


    • A good standard of general education including GCSE Maths and English at Grade C or above, or equivalent.
    • Experience of answering and actioning complex and diverse queries, using a wide range of information sources.
    • Experience of providing information and advice and the ability to transfer this experience to a higher education context.
    • Ability to maintain own knowledge bank in a coherent and systematic way and carry out research as necessary.
    • Ability to identify deficiencies in information sources and take proactive measures to improve and enhance clarity and accuracy for the service as a whole.
    • Good communication skills: both oral and written, with effective telephone techniques and the ability to explain policies and processes in plain English as well as to write clearly, succinctly and correctly in plain English.
    • Good interpersonal skills: including active listening skills and the ability to respond to identified needs through the use of varied questioning techniques.
    • Flexibility: including adaptability to changing circumstances, duties, work practices and systems and a commitment to ongoing development with the ability to demonstrate a rapid understanding of newly presented information.
    • Good planning and organisational skills: including the ability to cope with heavy workloads and to meet deadlines, working productively and accurately in a high pressure environment.
    • Good negotiating skills.
    • An ability to deal with and follow complex information and procedures: using initiative and judgement in problem-solving, whilst recognising boundaries.
    • Strong IT skills: including use of standard Microsoft Office packages, and the ability to learn to use a range of in-house and commercial systems.
    • An understanding of team working and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.
    • An understanding of Equal Opportunities (EO) issues and a commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.
    • Commitment to excellent customer service and continuous improvement.
    • Commitment to and role model for the University's values.

    If this is the ideal role for you please apply online or call Sophie Holmes or Angela Hoxley on 01908 246715.

    Contact Us
    • The Open University
    • United Kingdom

    The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education

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    How would you like to help someone change their life?

    The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education. Our research underpins the teaching we deliver to some 200,000 students as the UK’s largest university. Nearly three quarters (72%) of Open University research was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.
    Uniquely we operate within the four nations of the UK, with nation offices in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as regional offices in England and our head office in Milton Keynes.
    All of our roles play a key part in our students' journey.  The Open University helps anyone in the UK better themselves, whatever their age, background or circumstances. Dip into our series of Open Diaries and discover what it’s like for our students to take that life-changing step that you could be a part of.