Sequel to the formal launching of e-ticketing system on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at the university headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, the VC, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, said the e-ticketing platform is an important learner support system to address queries from NOUN's students on any issue that relates to the essence of their studentship. Upon this launch the NOUN Information and Call Centre (NICC), as a hub, is solely responsible for the e-ticketing operations with dedicated and skilled staff, state-of-the art digital equipment to man the platform hitch-free in tandem with the tenet of Open and Distance Learning (ODL).
The current and vibrant Head of the Centre, Wosilatu Ainodion, who succeeded the former head, Mrs. Margaret Merari, in this must-read brief chat with NOUN News Correspondent, Debbie Nduba, spoke extensively about NICC, its responsibilities, operations, its pivotal role in the university and its landmark e-ticketing, the log in process, among others.
Could you provide us with an overview of the NICC and its primary objectives within NOUN?
NICC is the designated unit responsible for providing relevant information about the institution to all who engage with NOUN. Within the NICC, is a dedicated student support hub that responds to complaints and enquiries, via phone calls, e-ticketing, e-mail and face-to-face interaction.
NICC delivers top-tier support services to students, exceeding their expectations, with services designed to guarantee student success throughout their entire academic journey, from enrolment through graduation and beyond.
Our goal is to ensure accessibility to an open and responsive platform that effectively addresses inquiries and complaints within specified resolution time-lines as well as address the root cause(s) of student dissatisfaction, fostering loyalty and support within our student community.
What are the activities of the NICC?
Admission support: our esteemed members of staff, referred to as “Agents” assist students in making well-informed choices about the school and degree programmes offered. The NICC offers pre-admission support to prospective students, and orientation to admitted students on payment flexibility, course registration, and any additional guidance.
Responding to enquires via phone calls, e-mail, face-to-face interaction and advocates the essence of NOUN globally.
Technical Support: the NICC provides prompt technical response(s) to students who are unable to access their portal, e-mail as well as navigate the NOUN site.
At all our study centres, we have counsellors in place to efficiently handle and resolve a wide range of issues, whether they are academic or personal in nature.
Can you share specific instances where the NICC Unit has played a pivotal role in resolving queries or providing support to students?
The NICC has undertaken various pivotal responsibilities, with the most recent one being the student inquiry survey initiated by the Vice-Chancellor. This survey was aimed to gather information about students who have been offered admission to our prestigious university but were yet to complete registration for the current semester. A Google form was created, offering students a platform for not yet completing their registration.
Based on the responses we have gathered thus far, we have contacted all students who provided feedback, except for those related to financial issues. We are actively working on promptly addressing their complaints, and this process is currently in progress. We also play a vital role in ensuring that complaints are addressed promptly on a daily basis.
What technologies and platforms does the NICC Unit utilize to enhance effective communication and support services for students?
The NICC employs various communication channels such as the E-Ticket platform, phone calls and email. Furthermore, we are in the process of establishing prominent presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, along with the introduction of a chat box on the E-ticket platform. These initiatives aim to facilitate effective communication and assist students in resolving their complaints.
What is the E-ticket all about?
The e-ticket system offers NOUN students an efficient alternative to the time-consuming traditional methods for addressing their concerns. Tailored for NOUN students, this platform enables them to submit complaints or inquiries through firstname.lastname@example.org, ensuring a swift response without the necessity of personally visiting the study centres or the Head Office.
How does the NICC Unit contribute to creating a seamless and accessible experience for distance learners at the National Open University of Nigeria?
The NICC, through the E-ticketing system, has minimized the traditional, physical and time-consuming methods of student complaints and resolutions, thereby, promoting open and distance learning at its core.
What are the benefits of e-ticket?
Students’ complaints/enquires are promptly resolved., flexibility, easy accessibility and user-friendly interface, cost effectiveness, fosters functional communication between students and the institution, enhances, tracks progress and provides real time updates for students, hassle-free complaint resolution, seamless student access to statement of results.
Could you highlight any innovative practices or initiatives that the NOUN Information and Call Centre Unit has implemented to improve its services?
Several improvements have been made, particularly in ensuring an immediate response to e-ticket complaints. Our agents are dedicated to ensuring all other processes are prompt. Additionally, we will regularly update our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) and we are planning to have dedicated bi-monthly days for making and receiving calls from our students regarding their complaints. Detailed information will soon be provided to our students, and we will increase our visibility on social media platforms.
Of what relevance is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) initiative (FAQS)?
NICC FAQ empowers users, addressees common misconceptions, establishes clear expectations, streamlines information dissemination and reduces workload and, enhances student user experience.
How can I access the e-ticketing platform/raise a ticket?
For easy access, visit www.support.edu.ng and follow the steps below.
Log into your browser (e.g. google, chrome, explorer etc.)
- Type in www.nouonline.net
- On the dashboard, click on “click here to contact student based support system”
- To raise a ticket, input your matric number and phone number in the spaces provided.
- Click and select a category that is relevant to your complaints/enquiries.
- Select a ‘sub category’ that is relevant to your complaints/enquiries.
- Click on the message box and narrate your complaints/enquiries.
- Attach relevant document, if necessary. You can upload a PDF document or photo in the next space provided, then click “send”.
- A message with a reference number will appear on your screen, use that number to track your inquiry.
Please Click on the link to watch a tutorial video on how to raise a ticket... https://clipchamp.com/watch/jhPlEfvzKTE
What are the NICC achievements so far?
Some of our achievement so far before I took over from my predecessor includes: providing students with convenient access to timely and vital information through the support platform, empowering students to effortlessly raise inquiries and resolve complaints from the comfort of their homes, addressing student inquiries and promptly resolving issues have contributed to the increase in the number of graduating students, increasing student enrolment, while reducing attrition rates, reducing the workload on study centres via the e-ticket platform, fostering an effective communication between students and the institution, resulting in content and satisfied students. The NICC is a work-in progress and we remain dedicated to working diligently to deliver our utmost.
What message would you like to convey to the NOUN community and prospective students about the invaluable support and services provided by the Information and Call Centre Unit?
We want to convey to the NOUN community, our current and prospective students that the NICC unit is here to provide invaluable support and services. Whether you have inquiries for clarification, complaints, or require assistance, our dedicated team is prepared to assist you promptly and courteously. You can rely on the NICC as a reliable source for information and effective problem-solving.
For our students, we are committed to enhancing your experience and ensuring that you have the support you need to succeed in your academic pursuit.
Our exceptionally dedicated and diligent NICC “Agents” are accessible 24/7, working relentlessly to address your complaints and furnish the necessary information. With the invaluable support of the Registrar, my predecessor, our esteemed Deans, HODS, Directors, Heads of Units, their entire staff, especially our escalation officers, NICC takes pride in delivering exceptional services.
We encourage the entire NOUN community to help us promote awareness of NICC’s responsibilities and to provide valuable feedback on how we can further improve our services. Together, we can assure that our students’ needs and concerns are addressed with efficiency and effectiveness.
Permit me at this juncture, to express sincere appreciation to our indefatigable and esteemed Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, who, driven by his passion and determination to ensure that NOUN fulfils its mission and achieves global recognition, initiated the e-ticket platform. His unwavering support for the NICC and continuous drive for innovation have consistently empowered us to make significant advancement. We, at NICC, extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor for this invaluable innovation.