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Internal News - 17 September 2008

New website planned for the University

The University's website plays a crucial role in our communications and marketing. It is the primary communication channel for our stakeholders and acts as a valuable marketing tool providing us with a platform to showcase our research and academic prowess.

It is therefore vital it presents users with easy to find, accurate and clear information, and that the site reflects the essence and aims of the University.

The current website has evolved over many years and provides a reflection of the University structure. Most professional service areas have their own website where information for external audiences sits alongside information for staff and students. This often results in numerous sub-sites with duplicated information and contradictions across the site.

With ever increasing technological advances in the ways to communicate, there is an obvious need to keep developing and updating the site.

In light of this the Vice-Chancellor's Group has accepted a proposal to re-develop the external facing website to ensure it is audience-focused and in line with the web presence of our competitor institutions (both nationally and internationally).

Dr Nicky Kemp, Director of Planning and Policy, said: "Our website plays a vital role in the University's communications and must continue to evolve to keep up with our competitors.

"We feel the proposed redevelopment will make the website more audience-focused and help to raise our profile both nationally and internationally.

"This project will also benefit staff and students as it includes plans to improve the online access to information for all users."

Following the development of the external site (due for release in summer 2009), internal channels will also be enhanced to provide easier access to information for our staff and students.

Head of Web Services Alison Wildish, who will be leading the project, said:

"I will be holding briefing sessions throughout October to provide colleagues with an opportunity to hear the plans in more detail. Stakeholder interviews will also be arranged to ensure interested parties have an opportunity to feedback to us and the Web Services blog will detail progress throughout the project."