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Huddersfield Students’ Union Impact Report 2011/12

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Huddersfield Students’ Union Impact Report 2011/12

Welcome to our Impact Report which reviews our performance over the last academic year and presents some of the highlights of what has overall been a very successful year for Huddersfield Students’ Union. We are an organisation that is committed to making student life better in every way possible. Over the last academic year we’ve worked even harder and smarter to improve the experience of all students at the University of Huddersfield - and to put them at the heart of our decision-making process.

“I am proud of what our student and staff team have achieved over my 2 years in office. This year, graduating students were asked about their Students’ Union as part of the National Student Survey for the first time ever - I’m pleased to say that our score was well above the average for similar institutions, which is testament to our hard work.” Matt Christie Students’ Union President 2011/12

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About the Students’ Union

Our Vision To have a positive impact on the lives of all our students.

Our Mission Working together to make student life better. What is the Impact Report? This Impact Report is our way of illustrating exactly how we have achieved our mission of making student life better for all of our students. The Report highlights a selection of key statistics which are by no means the whole story but we’ve chosen these carefully to provide you with an overview of our work. We’ve included some case studies and testimonials that further demonstrate the real impact we can and do have on our student members’ lives.

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Our Values

Our leadership is democratic and accountable

We work in partnership with the University and other organisations

We operate ethically and sustainably

We strive to improve and innovate in all that we offer

We are accessible and inclusive for all our members

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Our Impact A Powerful Student Voice We are student-led : Huddersfield Students’ Union is a democratic organisation whose leaders are elected from our membership – University of Huddersfield students. This year saw our biggest ever election turnout, with just under 5,000 members voting – this was one of the highest turnouts in our mission group. A high election turnout. Case Study Becky Hirst, ‘Oustanding Contribution to the Students’ Union’ winner 2011/2012

The turnout at elections is one of the best ways if demonstrating the legitimacy of our work, and proving that we genuinely represent the student voice. The turnout provides an indication of how much our members care about the Students’ Union and who is elected to run it in the year ahead. Since 2007 we have progressively increased the number of candidates and the number of students voting in our elections.

“I arrived at University with very little idea about what a Students’ Union was, with no plans to get involved. However, a presentation delivered by a Students’ Union officer at my induction inspired me to become a Course Representative, a decision which opened up my eyes to everything the Students’ Union can offer. For example, I found out how easy it was to set up a club or society, and decided I wanted to make sure as many students as possible knew this too. As my involvement with the Union increased, I was able to speak to a greater range of students about what they wanted from their Union and the issues they were facing at University. One of my proudest moments was delivering a speech at the NUS National Conference on behalf of students with dependents, as I knew I was supporting a cause that really mattered to the students I was representing”

We also strive to provide opportunities for our members to be involved in our decisionmaking throughout the year. This year we introduced Student Groups that convened on a monthly basis, open to all members, to allow students to put forward ideas in the following four areas: Education, Activities, Media, Welfare. The Education group was integral to the ‘Shape Your Education’ survey which will form the backbone of our Education Policy. The Welfare group successfully lobbied for the installation of extra lighting on a particular dark area of the campus.

Associated values

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Our Impact Advice and Support How we inform and educate our membership: The Students’ Union plays a vital role in ensuring that members are well informed about issues that may affect them during their time at University. We do this by equipping them with the knowledge and tools to guarantee they can achieve their personal best. Our Advice Centre deals with a range of enquiries including accommodation, finance, and academic, and educates our membership through face-to-face appointments and awareness campaigns.

Case Study Mark Smith* *A pseudonym has been used to protect our member’s privacy

Students’ Union Advice this year changed its way of working to make it more accessible to students, whether they need straightforward advice, have a more complex issue, or just need a friendly ear. Having an advisor on hand at all times to make initial contact with students has allowed us to increase the amount of students we are able to help.

Mark approached us in the summer of 2011 asking for help as he had failed to achieve the required amount of credits to progress to his final year of study. Mark had suffered throughout his second year with various health issues as well as a long term illness which had affected his studies. The Advice Centre helped Mark to put together an academic appeal which was considered by the course assessment board and as a result Mark was able to progress to his final year but with additional work to do. During the discussions with the Advice Centre the advisor identified some help for Mark with his illness, signposting him to various agencies and this enabled him to get extra tuition, teaching aids and extra time to complete work. In July 2012 we received a call from Mark’s father to thank us for helping Mark to complete his degree, who despite his illnesses and a particularly difficult 2nd year of study had achieved a 2:1.

Associated values

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Our Impact Activities and Opportunities We provide opportunities for our members to develop: The University of Huddersfield experience is about so much more than academic study. A key area of our work is the provision of opportunities that enable students to get involved with their community, both on and off campus. We do this through a range of activities such as sport, fundraising and volunteering. This is crucial for both the selfdevelopment and the future employability of our members.

Case Study Amy Fox, ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ 2011/2012 “I joined the Netball team four years ago as a social member, where I met some of the people who have now become my best friends. I soon adopted the passion that others showed for the sport and began to play competitively, as well as joining the committee for the last 2 years. I have seen the club go from strength to strength and over these years the support provided from the iZone and the Students’ Union has improved so much. Playing and being a part of something so big and special at University has given me the courage to apply for jobs in the sport sector and inspired me to take my coaching badges. I couldn’t have done this without the passion and dedication shown from my team-mates and from the Students’ Union”

Associated values

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Our Impact Services to Members We provide a range of affordable and ethical services: For many students, their day-to-day involvement with the Students’ Union consists of them using our facilities to eat, drink, shop, or just to socialise. Adding Value: A new menu was introduced to the Students’ Union Bar and Cafe for September 2011, which has resulted in a 20% increase in food sales, including a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offer on pizzas at the weekend which provides excellent value for our members. The introduction of ink cartridge sales has turned over £4,358 and has saved students approximately 20% on high street prices.

Our partnership with NUS also gives our members access to a wide range of money saving offers via their NUS Extra discount scheme. We support the scheme and promote the benefits to our students so that they can access great deals both on line and in the high street.

Being Responsive: After listening to some of our members who use our building outside traditional trading hours, we have installed vending machines in our social spaces, allowing our active members to stay refreshed during their activities.

Case Study Student Event Funding £2,000 was allocated this year to help our students run their own events. This funding was made available up-front to assist members with initial overheads, or to provide refreshments for free events. Five events were successfully delivered this year, including fashion shows and band nights.

We work in partnership to achieve more for our members: Our close working relationship with the National Union of Students (NUS) means we ensure a national student voice is heard. It also means we are able to access a full range of training and support services and help to save the SU money via their bulk purchasing scheme through their commercial arm, NUS Services Limited.

Associated values

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Our Impact The Union and the Environment

Associated values

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Our Impact Employability and Self-Development We offer employment opportunities to our students: As well as the dedicated team of permanent staff employed by the Students’ Union, we are proud to offer a wealth of opportunities for students to earn money during their time at University, in a fun, vibrant and supportive environment. STARS: The Student Training and Recognition Scheme (STARS) `encourages students to get involved outside their studies, through taking part in activities, attending training, and allowing them to record and reflect on their achievements, leading to an accreditation at the end of each academic year. This provides our members with a ready-made addition to their CVs, and makes us aware of some of the fantastic things they are achieving. Key stats: 500 – number of students who participated in a STARS workshop 72 – total number of workshops delivered 120 – number of hours devoted to developing our members through STARS workshops 51 – number of portfolios submitted for accreditation (double previous year) 21 – number of Bronze Awards 11 – number of Silver Awards 3 – number of Gold Awards

Associated values

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Our Impact Communicating with our members How do we get our messages out to our members? The Executive Team work closely with the Marketing Department to ensure that our students are kept up-to-date with the full range of diverse support services we provide. Social Media is changing how our members choose to receive information and interact with us, creating a much more dynamic, powerful form of communication and taking personalisation to a new level. This year the SU have worked with our University partners and their Social Media Team to ensure maximum reach and ‘joined-up’ communication. Of course our digital presence is focused around our website and an increasing use of Customer Relationship Management software in helping us to keep everyone informed. Key website stats: 638,823 pages of our website were viewed 137,547 visits to our website 53.48% (73,565) were new visitors 46.52% (63,982) were returning visitors *Source Google analytics

Associated values

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Huddersfield Students’ Union Impact Report 2011/12

Thank you for your interest in our Impact Report. If you’d like to get in touch or give us some feedback we’d love to hear from you: info@huddersfield.su Online huddersfield.su Facebook facebook/huddersfieldSU Twitter @huddersfieldSU 18


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Huddersfield Students' Union — Impact Report 2011/12  

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