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Leeds Beckett Students’ Union is a membership-led organisation with a clear mission – to make students’ lives better across every aspect of their experience here at Leeds Beckett University.

What do we mean by membership-led? Our members are the students of Leeds Beckett University – all 25,000 of them. Across the huge range of services and opportunities that we provide, we strive to put students at the heart of everything we do.

How do we know we have been successful at this?

That’s what we are aiming to do with this document – a demonstration of some of the excellent outcomes that we have achieved for our members.

accreditations/ratings received

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Pride Awards – Best not-for-profit campaign for ‘Give an X’ Stonewall Workplace Equality Index NUS Awards 2016 Diversity Award 6th best Students’ Union in the UK in the Student Barometer 70% satisfaction in our 2016 NSS score – 2% above the national average


OUR MEMBERS 1,461 £300

student society members raised for St. Gemma’s Hospice by the RAG Society in its inaugural year


student-written articles published by the Beckett Online

Case Study

International Society The International Society has provided a central point for International students to socialise, visit local landmarks, make friends and have fun. Building on the great work done by the International Office, the society has swiftly grown to become one of Leeds Beckett Students’ Union’s biggest societies, culminating in their award as Society of the Year at the Union Awards. The growth of the International Society has had a lot of positive effects in the Union with more International students becoming society leaders, standing in the elections, volunteering, becoming student staff and generally finding out more about the different opportunities the Union has to offer. The International Society have also hosted an intersociety night, taken a central part in our inaugural Raise and Give (RAG) week and have helped us work more effectively with other international students and the International Office. The society have been integral in making the Union a more diverse and exciting place.


won back in full rent refunds for students living at Asquith House and Austin Hall, after being forced to live in hotels for 11 weeks due to unfinished accommodation

27 767

number of ‘Bright Ideas’ to improve their University submitted by students

number of policy and resolution motions debated at Student Council, one of which resulted in the creation of a Trans Representative role

Case Study

GIVE AN X ‘Give An X’ is our flagship voter registration campaign, developed alongside Leeds University Union as a strong example of our collaborative work. It was initially rolled out in the run up to the 2015 General Election, with the aim of getting as many students registered on the electoral roll as possible. This resulted in a CIPR PRide Award in recognition of the success of the campaign and it has continued to be a successful tool in registering students. During a week of action in November we saw 1500 hits on and thousands more registered in the run up to the EU Referendum and local elections. Our work on voter registration has resulted in an agreement with the University to embed voter registration within the student enrolment process from the 2016 academic year.

Case Study

Course Reps’ success at Cloth Hall Court At the start of the academic year several small courses from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences were being taught in the Cloth Hall Court Building, located a 15 minute walk away from the main body of City Campus buildings. As Cloth Hall Court was no longer intended for teaching use, the food court and shop was no longer in operation and the heating in the building had been turned off for cost saving purposes. This meant that students were left feeling the chill in the winter months, forced to wear coats and jackets in lectures and seminars. When students wanted food or drink they were forced to go to the nearest available outlet, which was the train station, where they were often charged inflated prices. Working with the student representatives from affected courses and the Faculty’s Senior Management, the Union managed to secure the provision of food and drink for those students studying in Cloth Hall Court as well as for the heating system to be turned back on. This had a direct impact on the affected students with an immediate improvement to their wellbeing and satisfaction with their university experience.

COMMUNICATION 6,914 Facebook likes (^ 28%) 10,130 Twitter followers (^ 12%) 799 Instagram followers (^39%) 17,843 following us on Social Media (^19%) 1.2 Million hits on our websitE (^29%)


OUR SERVICES advice and support

1,527 325 454

students advised on academic issues students given financial advice students given housing advice


received for students from the work we have done for them in relation to fee refunds, compensation, benefits and extra funding


of students who used the Advice Service would recommend us to a friend

Case Study

“WRITE RIGHT” Every year we see hundreds of students who have been called to an investigatory meeting for suspected Unfair Practice. Most students are extremely distressed about being accused, and from anecdotal evidence we have found that the bulk of students commit the offence in error, with the typical statement of ‘I didn’t mean to do it’. So it seems that most students don’t know that they have been referencing incorrectly and leaving themselves open to allegations of Unfair Practice. Our ‘Write Right’ campaign aimed to tackle the causes of this issue head-on, by encouraging students to get their referencing right or know where to seek help and avoid issues. Over the course of a week we engaged with over 784 students face-to-face, ran a social media campaign, launched a web page and handed out 562 copies of ‘Quote Unquote’.

enjoyment & social life In 2015/16 our bars: Poured



62,212 33,055 22,890 pints


3,107 jackets



5,520 burgers




soft drinks


5,656 paninis





student-led events held in our venues


NUS Extra cards sold, saving thousands of pounds in discounts for students and providing income for the Union to invest back into essential services

Case Study

NEW BAR MENUS After noticing a decline in food sales in the three years leading up to 2015/16, the Students’ Union responded to student feedback and undertook research that included extensive consultation with our membership on what they wanted to see in our bars. It became clear that our food offer was lacking in presentation and quality, so we invested £5,000 in developing the menu and investing in better crockery. This resulted in a much more creative and appealing menu, with a wider range of food options, including more healthy and vegetarian and vegan options. After the first full year of this new offer, our food sales rose by over £30,000, which has provided valuable income to invest back into making students’ lives better, and allowed us to provide more jobs for students.

Case Study

SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL Slam Dunk festival has established itself as a popular outdoor music festival, which has outgrown its original home in Millennium Square and now also encompasses O2 Academy, the Rose Bowl underground car park, and your very own Students’ Union, ‘The Stage’. We have been integral to the success of this event, overseeing two of the stages and providing three bar areas. Being a part of this event contributes greatly to our annual income which in turn is allocated back to other areas of the Students’ Union’s services. It is also a great honour to work on a city-wide event with organisations such as Slam Dunk and Leeds City Council in producing such a well-received nationally recognised event. The Union made just under £20k at this event which we then reinvested back in to other services.


People & Partnerships 120

students employed by the Students’ Union, providing them with valuable income to support their time at University.

The Students’ Union employs students in our bars, venues, receptions, and event teams - and last year created a range of new student staff opportunities within the Volunteering, Student Voice, Societies, Marketing and Comms teams. The impact has been immediately tangible, with our student staff driving engagement with voter registration, student media and our Raise and Give (RAG) Society. These opportunities provide not only an income stream for students, but also valuable experience to enhance their skills and future career prospects.


hours committed by student volunteers to helping improve their communities

the economic impact of our volunteering in the community activity


Case Study

Refugees Welcome in Leeds Refugees Welcome in Leeds was born from the widespread anger amongst our students, about the injustices for refugees happening in Europe that were highlighted in the press over the summer of 2015. The campaign was largely delivered and led by students, including volunteers and societies, with staff support. The campaign included an ongoing collection of clothes and essential items through various donation points, weekly English conversational classes, ‘Without Borders’ – an Arabic language newsletter, and micro-volunteering activities such as relevant petitions and writing letters to refugees. Society and volunteer leaders were encouraged to volunteer and fundraise through the RAG society. Over £400 was raised this year through fundraising events such as an Open Mic night and Pay As You Feel café. Through the campaign we have engaged with 10 new partner organisations, and 132 student volunteers have logged 834 hours this academic year for projects and causes related to the campaign.


here’s just a few other things we’ve achieved this year... We fought for and helped to achieve a hugely improved and refurbished faith space at City Campus. We led on the development of a Student Consultation Framework, ensuring that the student voice is always considered at every level of the University’s decision-making. We have worked with the University on the implementation of a system to notify students of timetable changes. You told us you wanted free hot water in the SU bars… we duly obliged! We successfully asked the University to provide funding for us to organise Women-only support groups. 10,000 feedback packs were distributed to students. five student cases were successfully upheld by the Office of Independent Adjudicators with the support of our Advice Service.

Our members are inputting into the Leeds Culture Strategy. We have sourced a free printing service which will operate from the SU from 2017.

We ran a series of Gender Identity Workshops. We organised employability workshops for some of our most involved members. We fought for and won a place for a student representative on the University’s Finance, Staffing and Resources Committee. Through cooperation with the AU, we ensured that the University’s swimming team were sufficiently funded and that the cheerleading team were able to compete in the National Championships. Personal safety has now been included as part of the University’s induction process. We delivered Consent Workshops to our staff, elected representatives and society leaders.

We launched the pilot of our SU accreditation scheme, the Beckett Award.

Leeds Beckett Students' Union: Impact Report 2015/16  

Leeds Beckett Students' Union