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Graduation ceremonies case study

Customer Service Excellence 2019 – 2020: Graduation Ceremonies

Staff professionalism and attitude

Graduation is a core University event involving cross team delivery. The University of Leeds holds twelve graduation ceremonies each year, attended by around 10,000 students and 20,000 visitors.

All University Faculties, Schools and Services are involved in graduation ceremonies, including Central Services (Graduation and Student Education Team), and CCSS provides support in all areas to this huge range of stakeholders.

These events can attract four generations of families, and as such our Services must be flexible and agile to meet the needs and expectations of each generation.

Emphasis is on cleaning with staff undertaking internal cleaning to support departments and buildings (including polishing the parquet floor and frequent cleans between ceremonies) and external cleaning of the 100-acre site.

The comprehensive catering offer made by Great Food at Leeds covers:

– Retail catering outlets – coffee bars and the Refectory, service the campus throughout the graduation period. A temporary dressed marquee provides a high quality champagne and Pimms bar and afternoon teas

– Hospitality catering – formal receptions for individual Faculties and Schools to celebrate with graduates and guests. According to recent statistics, Summer graduation events were held for 27 Schools with 12,545 guests and Winter events were held for 29 Schools with 8,346 guests

– VIP hospitality – high quality VIP service and delivery for Honorary graduates. Last year for the installation of our new Chancellor, Dame Jane Francis, we held a VIP lunch for 300 invited guests including alumni, business leaders and University, Court, City and industry representatives. This was followed by a more intimate evening dinner for 80 people.

– Facility Support Services (FSS) and MEETinLEEDS service The Great Hall, the grade II listed building used for formal occasions, from early morning to late evening (pre and post ceremonies). Security Services and FSS provide staff to act as fire wardens and ensure ease of access to key buildings.

In 2018, CCSS made several improvements on its offer in response to feedback:

– Great Food at Leeds introduced a Food Street Hut and relocated Hugo, the Camionnette Café, to be part of the campus hospitality offer, which also included a gin bar

– The Print & Copy Bureau designed and printed all graduation literature and assets internally on FSC carbon balanced, fully recyclable paper, including approx. 13,800 programmes as well as banners and leaflets for all Faculties and Schools

– For Winter 2018, due to a change in graduation dates, the Refectory service was revised to offer a full photography studio in the South End for graduates.

These changes, which even extend to adapting the physical estate, demonstrate our agility and commitment to deliver an excellent service for the Graduations Team, graduates and guests.

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