King’s College London moves IT help desk to Cornwall

Relocation of call centre creates savings that are reinvested to improve provision, says IT head 

August 11, 2015
Businessman working in office cubicle at beach
Source: Getty
Sea change: students at King’s reporting a problem will speak to staff in Newquay

Computer help desks located in remote corners of university campuses can sometimes seem many miles away from those with IT problems that need fixing.

For King’s College London, IT advisers are now indeed truly distant as the institution has moved its IT help desk out of Waterloo in the capital to Cornwall. 

Students and staff reporting a computer problem will now speak to an operator based in a business park near Newquay. The Cornish centre will log issues and, when necessary, assign them to one of 150 King’s IT staff in central London.

Locating the service centre in Cornwall, where staff costs are lower than in London, has allowed King’s to invest in other elements of its IT provision, said Gareth Wright, director of IT services.

“Having a telephony centre in London does not make sense,” said Mr Wright, who is originally from Cornwall and now splits his working week between Newquay and London.

The move has allowed King’s to hire three more call-centre staff, raising the total to 25, and to take more on as full-time employees rather than temporary contractors, he said.

“It may seem unusual to our sector, but I’ve been involved in several relocations like this in the private sector over the years,” Mr Wright said.

New investment worth £132 million in Cornwall’s superfast broadband system and low-cost daily flights to the capital meant that the distance between the King’s sites, almost 300 miles, did not pose any great difficulties, he added.

Staff would be trained to the same level as before, with further skills development being delivered remotely, Mr Wright said.

“Staff have just finished a virtual learning course where previously they would have travelled to London, but instead they stayed in Cornwall with the instructor based in London.”

With the savings from the relocation, King’s can invest in more IT staff to provide hands-on help at its various campuses, including drop-in centres in its libraries, according to Mr Wright.

“It has also allowed us to free up space in London, and the pharmacology department is now working in the fantastic area we’ve vacated,” he said.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Related universities


Print headline: King’s IT help desk migrated to Cornish coast

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Professor in Music and Performance UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES
Professor of Creative Industries UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES
Postdoctoral Position in Modelling of Farming Systems SWEDISH UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES SLU
PhD Student in the Research Education Subject: Crop Production Science SWEDISH UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES SLU

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest