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How we have made a positive impact to the lives of students at GCU.

Who’s Who? Trustees The Trustee Board is responsible for maintaining the legal, financial and reputational integrity of the organisation and for setting our strategic direction. The Board is made up of the four elected Full Time Officers, three elected Student Trustees and three appointed External Trustees. Our Trustees are Carla Fyfe, Danielle Borrett, Sinead Wylie, Nick Lowden, Alistair McFarland, Nosheen Siddique, Cameron Shaw, Ryan Horan, Lynn Tennent, Kevin Porteous (resigned 16th May 2013) and Sheetal Revis (appointed 27th June 2013).

Full Time Officers The Full Time Officers are the Student President (Carla Fyfe), Vice President Education (Danielle Borrett), Vice President Wellbeing (Sinead Wylie) and Vice President Activities (Nick Lowden). The Full Time Officers are elected annually in a cross campus ballot to represent GCU students and are accountable to our members for their work.

Senior Management Team The Chief Executive (David Carse) is responsible for the strategic direction and operational management of the Students’ Association, reporting to the Trustee Board. The Chief Executive is supported by the Activities Manager (Gordon McTweed) and Finance Manager (Anna Dekar) in meeting our strategic plan.

Staff We have a team of 22 staff who work to meet the needs of our members.


About Us Our Vision is that GCU students will have an outstanding experience that will live with them forever and we have written our Big Plan (our strategic plan) to help us achieve this Vision. This Impact Report will tell you how we are progressing in meeting our strategic plan and how we have made a positive impact to the lives of students at GCU. We are a charity with charitable purposes and are a separate and independent organisation from GCU. We are located in the Students’ Association Building on the Glasgow Campus and have a base at GCU London. All GCU students are automatically members of the Students’ Association. We are a membership-led organisation.

Our Values Diversity, Community, Participation, Fun,

Support and Leadership.

Our Mission is to represent and enable GCU students to enhance all aspects of their student experience. This is what we do on a day to day basis and is our main activity. 3

Effectively Representing our Members 2,493

students voted in our Full Time Officer elections. Our highest turnout ever!


Class Reps participated in Student Rep Gatherings to discuss the GCU student learning experience.


ideas were debated at Student Voice and 57 ideas were discussed at our first ever Ideas Forum.



students supported in university academic representation cases .



registered Class Reps. 75% of students know who their Class Rep is and 60% know what they do. 4


School Officers appointed to liaise between Class Reps, academic schools and the Students’ Association.

trained Class Reps. Overall number of Class Reps trained is now 300.

Nominations submitted for the Teaching Awards that recognise excellence in teaching at GCU.

New GCU London Base

Launch of a staffed Students’ Association office at GCU London.

Campaigns We campaigned for more printers in the library and this was achieved.


We campaigned for SAAS (Student Award Agency for Scotland) to improve its process for dealing with applications and communicating progress with students. This saw a review into SAAS processes implemented. This received press coverage in the Scotsman and Glasgow Journal.

We campaigned against the University moving the exams from December to January. The Students’ Association presented a portfolio of evidence and campaign work including a referendum with over 1,500 votes against the changes, a petition with over 2,000 signatures, around 500 Christmas cards with personal messages from students to the Principal, a Christmas themed protest and rally and a letter from the Student President and VP Education outlining the students’ opinion on the matter. We were unfortunately unsuccessful with this campaign.


We campaigned for a GCU Learn App and this was achieved.


Think they are doing well representing students during the current exam proposal to change exams to after Christmas. Member 2012/13 5

We stopped the University from introducing exam re-sit fees of £40. In August 2012 we saved students £147,000 from not having to pay these fees.



We supported the campaign for Equal Marriage

I am pleased to hear they are actively representing the student body at main decision making debates, like that of the recent moving trimester and exam dates. Member 2012/13

R Representing our culturally diverse student population well and appropriately. They are great at fighting to improve everyones university experience. Member 2012/13

R 6

We stopped the University from increasing the cost of re-sitting a module to £300 and kept it at the same price of £40.


We launched an Equality and Diversity survey called Putting the You in GCU, with 526 students responding.

We participated in the Higher Education Governance Review to increase student representation within university governance structures. The Student President led on a joint letter from 11 Student Presidents across Scotland for evidence to the Education and Cultural Committee in the Scottish Parliament. This received press coverage in the Herald Scotland and Scotsman newspapers.

Teaching Awards 2013 A total of 212 nominations were received for the Teaching Awards.

The winners were...

Excellent Explanation

Stuart McChlery (Glasgow School for Business and Society)

Inspiring Individual

Susan Ogden (Glasgow School for Business and Society)

Super Support Louise Boyle (School for Health and Life Sciences)

Fantastic Feedback

Tremendous Technology Robert Law (School for Engineering and Computing)

Fiona Reid (Glasgow School for Business and Society)


NUS Engagement Delegates were sent to the NUS Scotland and NUS UK annual democratic conferences and our students participated in the NUS National Demo: Educate, Employ, Empower, where thousands of students marched through London in November 2012 to demand a properly funded tertiary education system accessible to all; fair work, fair pay and sustainable jobs.

We participated in the NUS Unlocking Scotland’s Potential campaign which asked universities to invest more in widening access activity and achieve significant improvements in the number of students from deprived backgrounds that they recruit and retain and for the Scottish Parliament to legislate for new legally enforceable widening access agreements for universities, so that we achieve fairer access in Scotland over the coming years.


Communicating Effectively with our Members 6

editions of The Edit magazine produced.


members attend Media Week organised by The Edit and Radio Caley.

The Edit Wins Award 82%

The Edit (student magazine) wins Best Student Media at the NUS Scotland Awards 2013.

of members find out all student emails informative.


of the schedule was filled for Radio Caley.


of members find our website informative and up-to-date.


Social Media and website 179 new followers

4,876 likes Facebook

2.3 million

The Students’ Association has worked with a social media consultancy, Postable Ltd, to develop a Social Media Strategy. Our strategy now involves seeking out our members, listening and responding to our members and developing our reach and influence with our members.

facebook impressions

21% increase

in visits to

379,000 page views on our website



GCU agr ee student e d to give access to mails t emails an o send targeted d unsubscr students can ibe from emails.

Developing a Fun and Supportive Community for all our Members 35

sports clubs with 649 sports club members. 80% of members knew we ran sports clubs, 78% satisfaction and 74% knew could start own.


one off enquiries in the Advice Centre and 393 condoms enquires.


students participated in the Active Lifestyle Programme, with a 79% satisfaction score.

against Strathclyde and Glasgow University in Freshers Intervarsity Sports Day and Glasgow Taxis Cup held in Emirates Arena.



societies, 1581 society members, 79% students satisfied. 85% knew could start own society.

Healthy Competition


Wellbeing Volunteers running health promotion campaigns. Health Promotion: Healthy Eating (356 students engaged), Sexual Health (439 students engaged).

of students surveyed have been in the Students’ Association Building, 92% are satisfied with the 24 hour computer lab, 92% with the Welcome Desk and 74% with the Group Study Rooms.


Satisfaction from members in the National Student Survey (increase of 8%) and 95% satisfaction in International Student Barometer.


Nightline Volunteers offering information and a listening ear to 212 students.


Students’ Association Building The Students’ Association made significant investment into creating the Student Bistro. The Student Bistro provides a place for students to relax, meet friends, play pool or to have some refreshments. The Full Time Officers campaigned for the re-introduction of alcohol and the Student Bistro now offers bottled beer or wine. This work was finished in Summer 2013. The Group Study Rooms were moved into the 24 Hour Computer Lab so that these rooms could be accessed 24/7. The Multi-Purpose Games Court Bid was successful and was installed in the summer of 2013. However, the ARC will operate the Games Court.


Allister Boyd Ball

£10,000 was raised by the Students’ Association Charity Ball held in December 2012 in memory of GCU student Allister Boyd, who passed away in 2009 following a three-year battle with cancer. Now in its fourth year, the Allister Boyd Ball was held in the Refectory with 290 in attendance. The money has been equally split between Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sergent.


Membership Feedback “I have had a brilliant time being part of the Wellbeing volunteers, it is definitely one of the main highlights of my time at university.”

“A particularly positive factor would be the extracurricular options available for likeminded students such as through the Students’ Association.”

“The Students’ Association was where I met a lot of people and do great work, engaging students and offering a wide range of clubs and sports.” “Well run sports clubs and good support for volunteers.” “Being a volunteer has allowed me to grow in confidence and allowed me to feel more involved in the university” 14

“Student Association: Dedication and commitment to making the experience enjoyable.”

“I think the Students’ Association has done a great job in increasing the variety of clubs, societies and services that are available for students since I started an undergrad course in 2006.”

Developing our Members Employability

NUS Impact Project


members registered onto the Student Leaders Programme.


members completing the Student Leaders Programme, 204 at Development Level and 108 at Advanced Level.

We have evaluated the impact of the Student Leaders Programme through participation in the NUS and NEF Impact Project.


nominations submitted for GCU Student of the Year Award.



said they found the Student Leaders Programme ‘Very Useful’ and 30% said they found the programme ‘Quite Useful’.

of members said they would put the Student Leaders Programme on their CV.


I think the Student Leaders Programme is excellent because it gives students a competitive advantage for GCU students, it adds value to their degrees and helps out perform other students in the job market.

Member 2012/13

GCU Student of the Year 2013 Pei Ling Choo

The Student Leaders Programme has benefited my personal development and I was offered lots of support while completing the programme.

Member 2012/13

Lindsay Leadership Award 2013 Jack Fisher


Allister Boyd Award 2013 Gemma Steele


Award Winning

We are an award winning Students’ Association. We have maintained the Investors in People Standard, the Healthy Working Lives Award at Gold Level and 4 Stars in the NUS/SSS Healthy Body Healthy Mind Award. As we have won the NUS Green Impact Award at Gold Level for two successive years, we are eligible to participate in the Green Impact Students’ Unions Excellence programme in session 2013-14. We were delighted to the have won the NUS Green Impact Best Non-Trading Union Award 2013. NUS said: “Having scored a brilliant 331 points over the course of the year, we’re thrilled to announce that Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association have been decorated with the Award for Best Non-Trading Union Award in this year’s Green Impact Students’ Union Awards”.


NUS Awards The Students’ Association won the Equality and Diversity Award at the NUS UK and Scotland Awards 2013. Our magazine, The Edit, also won Best Student Media 2013 at the NUS Scotland Awards.

We are the first modern university in Scotland to achieve the Student Union Evaluation Initiative (SUEI) Accreditation. SUEI is a unique quality assessment model that assists in improving the services and activities delivered to members of Students’ Associations by indicating areas for continuous improvement. We are now the fourth Students’ Association in Scotland to have achieved the Bronze Award. The audit report highlighted that we are a “well-managed organisation, effectively led and well supported by a staff team with a sense of common purpose”.


GCU Students' Association Impact Report 2012 13  
GCU Students' Association Impact Report 2012 13  

GCU Students' Association Impact Report 2012/13