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NUS Wales Impact Report 2012



























NUS Wales Impact Report 2012 NUS Wales, 2nd floor, Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FL t. 02920435390 e. @nuswales


Glamorgan Students’ Union

Bangor Students’ Union

Glyndwr Students’ Guild

RWCMD Students’ Union

Swansea Metropolitan Students’ Union

Trinity Saint David Students’ Union

Cardiff Students’ Union

Swansea Students’ Union

Newport Students’ Union

Aberystwyth Students’ Union

Coleg Ceredigion

Coleg Gwent

We are our members.

Coleg Morgannwg

Coleg Powys


Coleg Sir Gar

Deeside College

Gower College Swansea

Grwp Llandrillo Menai

Merthyr Tydfil College

Neath Port Talbot College

Yale College

Ystrad Mynach College

Cardiff & Vale College

Bridgend College

Deputy President Liberation Block of Officers Seven

They set our agenda. Pembrokeshire College

ABOUT NUS WALES The National Union of Students (NUS) Wales is a confederation of students’ unions representing more than half a million students in the nation. We are an integral, but autonomous, part of the National Union of Students UK – meaning we work together to represent students across the entire country, while setting our own policy and direction.

St. David’s Catholic College

VISION NUS Wales is a pioneering, innovative and powerful campaigning organisation: the national voice of students. We will fight barriers to education; empower students to shape both a quality learning experience and the world around them; as well as supporting influential, democratic and well-resourced students' unions.

VALUES AND BELIEFS MISSION NUS Wales exists to promote, defend and extend the rights of students and develop and champion strong students’ unions.


The core values of NUS Wales are democracy, equality and collectivism. We believe that student organisations should be student-led and that education is a benefit to the individual and to society.


FOREWORD We are the National Union of Students Wales. The past year has been about securing the students’ voice as education continues to change. From ensuring students’ unions have essential funding, to making ourselves fit for purpose, NUS Wales is working for students. Universities and colleges are merging and the way they are funded is changing. Throughout this process, NUS Wales is working with the Welsh Government to make sure students are partners in their education. The students’ unions that form our membership and set our agenda work to support their students, as well as hold their universities to account. No one could have foreseen the failure of a piece of Welsh educational heritage: the University of Wales. When it fell into disarray, NUS Wales showed true leadership. We took the focus off the infighting and back onto the students.

member students’ unions. That’s exactly what we’ve done. By regenerating our democratic structures and events, NUS Wales can now better serve students. The collective wins we have made for students in the past year make me immensely proud. But this year we have an opportunity to shape education in Wales for generations to come. There is a need for radical change and innovation. Our vision for education in Wales will be a cornerstone of our work this year. We are a confederation of students’ unions, which are all led by students. We know students. We are students. But you don’t have to be a student to realise our value. Join us again in our 39th year of ensuring that education in Wales is shaped by and works for students. In unity, Stephanie Lloyd NUS Wales President

Last year, NUS Wales decided it was time to change. We needed to look inwards and truly become the organisation that works and wins for all of our



Bridgend College Students’ Union, the NUS Wales Further Education Students’ Union of 2012.

FURTHERING THE LEARNER VOICE NUS Wales isn’t just for university students. In fact, more than half of our member institutions are further education colleges. That’s why we’re working tirelessly to help these students grow their voice. In 2012, our annual conference had more delegates from colleges than from universities. It’s no surprise that the conference passed a policy to prioritise further education. But before this was formalised, NUS Wales was racking up all sorts of wins for learners in further education. Here are just a few highlights: • Bridgend College created a funded full-time sabbatical officer to lead its growing students’ union. This doubles the number of sabbatical officers in Wales’ colleges. • More than 400 class representatives at colleges were trained – double that from the previous year. They have a national handbook to help them carry out their responsibilities, and a certificate to show their competency. • A student governor from every college in Wales has been trained, providing them with the skills and confidence to participate in meetings and represent their fellow students. They, too, have a national handbook to help them in their role, and a certificate to show their competency.

conference. In tandem with our FE events aimed at students, we also ran bespoke and targeted training for the staff that accompanied them to the event. The result: better prepared staff and more college students at conference than ever before. • Every college in Wales will be supported to develop strong student representation structures by the end of 2013. All colleges in Wales would have benefited from specialised support through the FE student representation project. In addition, events such as the constitutional review day where students’ unions and councils can learn how to improve their democratic structures. • NUS Wales welcomed a new member: Yale College. That means we represent 16 out of 17 further education colleges in Wales. • The first FE student leader and union development training course was held in Wales. FE Leadership brought together more than 50 student leaders from colleges throughout Wales. The event focused on developing strong and active students' unions, effective campaigning and provided networking opportunities for officers. Many of these accomplishments are directly linked to a three-year project funded by the Welsh Government. This project is now entering its third year.

• College staff that support student representatives benefitted from NUS Wales training at our annual NUS WALES IMPACT REPORT 2012


FUNDING OUR STUDENTS’ UNIONS A unique national deal for students now ensures that every university in Wales is expected to have a

all students in Wales stand to benefit from the impact of a students’ union. Our members provide

well-funded students’ union.

fundamental academic and welfare support that keep students in education. They also offer a wide range of

NUS Wales worked with the funding council (HEFCW) to outline clear principles and funding guidelines for all universities and their students’ unions. This mean

sports and activities, from volunteering to large-scale tournaments.

EDUCATION FOR EMPLOYABILITY Many students study with the ambition to get a job when their course ends. In the current economic climate, they need every bit of help to reach this goal. That’s why NUS Wales teamed up with the funding council (HEFCW), the voice of business (CBI Wales), and the voice of universities (HEW). Together, we created a framework to help graduates leave higher education with the skills they need to find a job.

Three big steps will help students and graduates in Wales: • Provide more quality work experience and placement opportunities. • Increase the number of employer-approved courses. • Embed employability skills within the curriculum of all higher education courses.

WISE REPRESENTATION The Wales Initiative for Student Engagement wised up this year. Colleges that provide higher education courses joined universities in their commitment to treat students as partners. WISE believes that students are experts in the learning process, and their feedback is valued. As the voice of students in Wales, we’re putting this belief into practice. That’s why we have a new NUS Wales staff member who helps build strong structures for student representation whilst training learners to maximise the effect of their voice.


NUS Wales launched the first WISE course representatives conference at Swansea University in June 2012. More than 30 students, staff and officers from around the nation attended. Similar events are currently in planning for the coming year. Our partners – the funding council (HEFCW), the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), Higher Education Wales (HEW), Higher Education Academy (HEA) and ColegauCymru – relaunched our joint commitment to WISE in 2012.


POLICY BOOT CAMPS With a devolved Welsh Government, our members need unique advice on the policy that impacts them. The Policy Boot Camp series are free and open to our member students’ unions. Each camp focuses on a particular policy topic, presented in a pragmatic

nature and of tangible use to unions. Fee plans and students’ union funding have piloted this new series, which is now a permanent fixture. Watch for announcements on upcoming bootcamps.

HIDDEN MARKS FUNDING Universities and colleges, in partnership with students’ unions, are developing comprehensive policy on tackling violence against women who are students. This Welsh Government funded project continues to work towards protecting students who are victims of

violence whilst studying. The project sets out to put procedure in place to help and support these students but also to work towards ways of preventing violence against them.

STUDENT SEX WORKERS PROJECT The first ever Wales-wide research into students that enter the sex industry is underway. Through a generous grant of more than £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, NUS Wales is working with Swansea University to find out how many students


work in this industry, why they do it, and how they need to be supported. The research also will develop the first website to provide e-health advice and guidance to students in sex work.


REGENERATION Breathing new life into NUS Wales. In 2011, our members sent us a clear message: NUS Wales is broken; let’s fix it. That’s exactly what we’re doing. After NUS Wales Conference 2011, we reviewed our democratic structures and events. The idea was to create more time to effectively work on policy development; become more membership focused; and be more responsive to the opportunities created by Wales’ devolved government. A year later, our 26 students’ unions said yes to change. Here’s what it looks like: • NUS Wales Conference is still the sovereign body of the organisation. Motions passed at the annual conference directly feed into the official work plan for NUS Wales – or Scheme of Work. Four members of NUS Wales National Executive Committee (WNEC) will be elected. The conference also will invite union staff to attend as observers. • A Scheme of Work cohesively brings together NUS Wales’ annual priorities. This live document will spell out the focus of each year, taking into account the policies adopted at conferences, officer manifestos, and organisational resources. • Y Talwrn replaces The Big Welsh One. Y Talwrn is a new addition to the NUS Wales programme of events. Student activists, officers and union staff within NUS Wales are invited to participate. The event incorporates Wales-specific training to compliment the UK-wide officer development programme, as well as networking between unions, partner organisations and the nation’s education sector. The newly elected WNEC will present a draft of the Scheme of Work for members to comment upon, debate and inform.

Student leaders at the Senedd have other opportunities to gain skills and feed into the Scheme of Work. These events will be similar to the FE Leadership event run by NUS UK. • Changing Winter Council to the NUS Wales Zone Conference. This event will enable policy to be developed, the Scheme of Work amended, and three positions on the NUS Wales National Executive Committee elected.

• Regional further education events hosted in the autumn. Because of Y Talwrn's timing in the summer, further education students and staff will



Wales National Executive Committee • takes office on 1 July • develops a draft Scheme of Work with help of staff

Y Talwrn student activists, officers and union staff • train on Wales’ specific higher education issues

NUS Wales Conference • policy is set by voting delegates from member students’ unions • new leadership is elected

NUS Wales Liberation Conferences

• debate and shape the Scheme of Work


• specific policy is set at each independent conference

Further Education Workshops Student activist, representatives, officers and college staff • train on Wales’ specific further education issues • debate and shape the Scheme of Work

• new leadership for each campaign is elected

NUS Wales Zone Conference • more informal conference for training and workshops • develop policy • scrutinise the Scheme of Work



NUS Wales Conference 2012 at Gregynog Hall

NUS Wales Zone Conference 14 November 2012

NUS Wales Conference 13-14 March 2013

NUS Wales Liberation Conferences 29 April – 3 May 2013



OUR STUDENTS’ UNIONS NUS Wales is a confederation of students’ unions. Every union is independent, but together they unite to form a greater collective voice that works for them. Here are the students’ unions we proudly call our members:

Higher Education Aberystwyth University Students’ Union President: Ben Meakin Bangor University Students’ Union President: Antony Butcher Cardiff University Students’ Union President: Harry Newman University of Glamorgan Students’ Union President: Ashley Price Glyndwr University Students’ Guild President: Adam Fuller University of Wales, Newport Students’ Union President: Pablo Riesco

Swansea University Students’ Union President: Tom Upton

Deeside College Gower College Swansea Grwp Llandrillo Menai

Swansea Metropolitan University Students’ Union President: John St. Clare Williams University of Wales, Trinity Saint David Students’ Union President: Mattias Eken

Merthyr Tydfil College Neath Port Talbot College Pembrokeshire College Saint David’s Catholic College Yale College Ystrad Mynach College

Further Education Bridgend College President: Hailey Townsend Cardiff and Vale College Coleg Ceredigion Coleg Gwent President: Adam Smith Coleg Morgannwg

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Students’ Union President: Luke Sweeney

Coleg Powys Coleg Sir Gar





OUR LEADERSHIP The Wales National Executive Committee is the team of student officers elected by our member unions to set the agenda for NUS Wales.


Block of Seven, Women’s place

Stephanie Lloyd Swansea Metropolitan University

Charlotte Britton Swansea University

Deputy President

Block of Seven, Further Education Women’s place

Raechel Mattey Swansea University

Carleigh Connolly Coleg Morgannwg

Women’s Officer Rhiannon Hedge Swansea University

Block of Seven, Women’s place Jessica Leigh Aberystwyth University

Black Students’ Officer Abdul-Azim Ahmed Bangor University

Block of Seven, Open place John McGann Glyndwr University

LGBT Officer Ian Morgan Swansea University

Block of Seven, Open place Zahid Raja Swansea University

Students With Disabilities Officer

Block of Seven, Open place

Stephen Marshall Swansea University

John St Clare Williams Swansea Metropolitan University

Welsh Language Officer

Block of Seven, Further Education place

Adam Jones Aberystwyth University


Hailey Townsend Bridgend College


OUR STAFF NUS Wales staff support the student leadership to turn their policy into action. The staff members are based in Cardiff Bay.

Director Hannah Pudner provides management support to the staff team, supports the Wales National Executive Committee, liaises with a variety of stakeholders, ensures compliance with governance and manages the finances.

Head of Membership Development (maternity cover) Emily Cannon is the first point of contact for all higher education unions in Wales. She delivers training, election support, guidance on governance and democratic issues, and helps unions to plan campaigns.

Further Education Projects Officer Stuart Jones is the first point of contact for all further education unions. He delivers training and develops democratic structures within colleges as part of a three-year Welsh Government funded project.


Campaigns and Communications Officer

Project Officer

Joni Alexander is the first point of contact for media. She coordinates communications, works with the student leadership to plan and implement campaigns for change, and delivers training in these areas.

Rachel Brown is delivering a project highlighting the issues surrounding alcohol among students and promoting the aims of Drinkaware. She also is leading on the Hidden Marks project, developing policy to tackle violence against women who are students.

Administrator Representation and Policy Officer Kieron Rees provides training and support to develop student representation structures and best practice in higher education. He also works to develop NUS Wales tertiary education policy.

Hilary Akerman provides support to all the staff and student leadership. She manages the travel bookings, facilitates expenses and ensures the office resources are in full supply.

Welsh Translator Geoff Jones translates all documents and publications from NUS Wales into the Welsh language. He also provides translation at events.


NUS Wales Impact Report 2012  
NUS Wales Impact Report 2012  

This report details how NUS Wales has promoted, defended and extended the rights of students and developed and championed strong students' u...