Double triumph for Student Hub and Plaza

Flinders’ Plaza and Student Hub has been recognised as an ABA100 Winner in two categories in the Australian Business Awards 2017.

Taking out first place in both the Customer Experience Management category and the Communications Excellence category, the Plaza and Student Hub has now progressed to the World Business Awards 2017, which are due to be announced on 30 August 2017.

The Australian Business Awards provides high-performing organisations who are delivering exceptional products and services with the opportunity to be acknowledged for their achievements both nationally and internationally.

The recognition has been welcomed by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and the Flinders community.

“Our $63 million Plaza and Student Hub has redeveloped the heart of campus life at Flinders and helped us deliver one of the best student experiences in the nation,” says Professor Stirling.

“In 12 months we transformed the busiest node of our central campus into a state-of-the-art nexus for learning, teaching, creating and celebrating.

“Our greatest challenge throughout construction was to maintain staff and student engagement in university life while heavily disruptive building works took place for an entire academic year.

“As part of an innovative campaign to consult, educate and excite the Flinders community about the changes to campus, we turned the demolition environment into an immersive experience for staff and students and fostered a forward-looking culture.”

The campaign was informed by over 3,000 pieces of individual feedback that were solicited through first-hand channels such as student ambassadors.

This feedback was critical in implementing successful supports that helped the Flinders community tolerate short-term inconvenience for long-term gain.

“Despite the very centre of campus being an active demolition zone at one of our key student retention periods, there was no demonstrable loss of enrolments or increased attrition at this time,” says Professor Stirling.

Flinders has since experienced steady growth in student attraction, with an increase in preferences by 5.6% for 2017 students, well exceeding local competitors.

“I am extremely proud of this achievement and the fact that uptake of the new facilities at the completed Plaza and Student Hub was strong and immediate,” says Professor Stirling.

Market research conducted by Flinders University has further revealed that students view the new Hub and Plaza as the dedicated ‘soul’ of the University and an outstanding interaction space.

“The Australian Business Awards 2017 have recognised Flinders’ commitment to transforming student learning into a legacy experience and bringing our community with us every step of the way of our evolution,” says Professor Stirling.

“The new Plaza and Student Hub is an emblem of Flinders’ vision to be enterprising and vibrant and to engage students as partners in the co-creation of life-defining experiences.”

The Flinders Plaza and Student Hub has previously won an Australian Financial Review Higher Education Award for Facilities Innovation. Read more.

Contractor Lendlease was also the winner of the Australian Institute of Building National Professional Excellence in Building Award for Commercial Construction ($10m- $50m) in 2016. Read more.

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