Design Thinking in Developing (International) Student Services

Design Thinking in Developing (International) Student Services

Design Thinking in Developing (International) Student Services

For Whom: International Office Directors, Student Services Coordinators, Student Affairs Managers, Student Exchange Coordinators

Programme: International Office Management

Course Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Price: 870€  

Date: March 2-3, 2017 (Thu&Fri ) 

Location: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Higher education has been using the same delivery and organisational structures for decades and in some cases for centuries. In an article for Inside HigherED, Steven Bell states that the “mystery is how to deliver higher education in ways that are both affordable and sustainable, and that meet the needs of a new generation of both traditional and nontraditional learners.”

Student services on your campus help you cater to various needs of the domestic and international students. However, your offerings might not be adjusted to the needs of the contemporary Millennial student. Sometimes the services are not advertised properly and students have difficulty finding support in the hour of need. Or your client service procedures are out of date and need updating. All of this may result in problems for both the student and, ultimately, the university. This course uses an innovative method of Design Thinking as a student-centered approach to developing student services. It integrates student needs, technology, and the goal of caring for the student through positive experience. We will discuss: developing, enhancing and promoting student services such as campus visits and orientation days; services for physical well-being and mental health, learning support centres, and career advising; safety, entertainment and fun outside of the campus, and maintaining an informative campus calendar. The participants will leave with a basic toolkit in Design Thinking.

Learning Objectives

During the workshop you are going to learn how to:
  • look from students’ perspective, which will allow you to truly discover their needs and design tools helping you meet such needs,
  • create services at your university that will make your HEI stand out,
  • run innovative, successful projects even on a tight budget,
  • save resources (effort, time and money) when prototyping, testing and implementing new ideas,
  • make the first, confident steps on the path to open and creative culture of your university,
  • gain an innovator’s mindset to outrival other universities in today’s competitive higher education market.

Day One Programme

Introduction Contemporary student services across the globe.
Teambuilding Using improv warm ups we will get to know each other and create great teams with synergy effect.
Empathize Using various tools we will assume the students’ perspective. It will allow us to understand their needs and gain valuable insights.
Define We will analyze these insights and draw conclusions. We will learn how to define inspiring design challenges.
Ideate This is the most creative stage in the entire process. We will use many different techniques which will help us generate plenty of ideas to make great student services.


Day Two Programme

Hi again Impressions from Day One.
Prototype Every idea can be prototyped. We will prove that. As a team you will build a few prototypes of the best ideas for students services.
Test Making an interaction with prototypes your team will test solutions and gain feedback from other participants. This will allow to iterate and enhance the prototypes.
Implement We will reflect on how to implement generated solutions. We will use practical tools which will help us put our solutions to life. The knowledge from the workshop will allow you to build unique student experiences at your university.


Joanna Piotrowska

Entrepreneur and Design Thinking practitioner and trainer. She pioneered the use of Design Thinking in personal development with the project Prototyping of Dreams and implemented this method in her everyday work with her Communications team. Cofounder of a ridesharing platform BlaBlaCar in Poland. Studied sociology, Italian language, MBA and coaching. Her strengths are: empathy, strategic thinking and ideation, adaptability and positivity. Created an innovative recruitment process based on Design Thinking guidelines and mindset.

Irek Piętowski

Consultant and business trainer who fosters innovation and helps companies build trust within teams. Through Design Thinking Irek empowers people to regain their creative confidence and design brilliant new products and solutions. He graduated with a master’s degree in Philosophy at Warsaw University as well as a diploma in drums at a jazz music school. As a drummer Irek reached the semi-final of the Polish edition of Got Talent TV show. He worked as a Business English teacher for 12 years. Inspired by Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk ‘Schools kill creativity’ he set off to teach creative techniques and share tools that help solve problems in innovative ways, mainly Design Thinking and improv theatre.

Justyna Giezynska

Justyna Gieżyńska

Justyna’s work centers around increasing quality of higher education through internationalisation. She focuses on strategic management of internationalization at the institutional level. Currently, Justyna is the Director of International Development at Vistula University, CEO and chief expert at Studybility and President of the Luminar Foundation. Formerly, she was a Marketing & Recruitment Professional Section Board Member at EAIE, European Parliament Expert on internationalisation and an international office director, among other positions held in Europe and the US. Educated in the US at the University of California at Santa Cruz (BA in cultural anthropology) and Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University (MA in Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies), Justyna is fascinated by cultural aspects of global education and much of her work is devoted to people engaged in internationalisation processes.

Price: €870

Inquire about discounts for groups


The workshop will be at the Campus of Economics (San Giobbe).

Università Cà Foscari di Venezia – Campus Economico
Cannaregio 873
Fondamenta San Giobbe
30121 Venezia