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beds su impact report 2013


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beds su impact report 2013 contents 4 6 8 10 13 19 23 27 31 35 41 46

A word from . . . the President A word from . . . the VP Education A word from . . . the VP Union & Community Development A word from . . . the VP Democracy & Diversity Education & Representation Elections Welfare & Advice Service Student Activities Volunteering Communications & Marketing Commercial Services And finally...

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daniel login president

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THIS WAS THE FIRST YEAR A BEDS SU PRESIDENT SAT ON THE VICE CHANCELLOR’S EXECUTIVE GROUP, GIVING THE SU A GREATER VOICE.

As part of the development of the five year Strategic Plan, the Union designed its own mission, vision and values. The plan clearly identifies the need for the Beds SU team to reflect these values in its behaviour and attitudes. In 2012/2013, my main campaign focused on visibility; it’s vital to recognise the importance of students knowing both who their Sabbatical Officers are and what they do. Initiatives included introducing individual Facebook and Twitter accounts, branded clothing, an increased presence at student activities and events, and Dan’s Diary, a weekly blog. I also oversaw the Freshers’ Angels team, our visible presence during Freshers’ Week. In 2012, 75 Angels helped new students in Freshers’ Week. This year, a massive 120 Angels volunteered to help. Feedback from students on the Freshers’ Angels has been extremely positive and the

Angels played a prominent role in the recent three-part ITV2 documentary ‘Freshers’. Last year, 41.9% of students rated events, activities and entertainment as one of the top priorities for Beds SU. We recognised that the official Wednesday night needed a permanent and suitable home in Luton. After working with the University we secured a new venue, sub2 which launched in October 2013, the first dedicated, student-only bar for students in Luton for three years! In response to a high demand from students, in January 2013, the Bedford student venue The Pub in the Hub opened for business at the Polhill Campus. By 2017, the Union has committed to having five Sabbatical Officer positions. In October 2013 I took a paper to the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group requesting resource for a proposed fifth position, which was agreed in principle.

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katie ross & paige walker vice president of education

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PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE GRADING SYSTEM WERE DISCUSSED IN TOP MEETINGS ACROSS THE UNIVERSITY AND RESULTED IN THE LAUNCH OF A STUDENT AWARD PREDICTOR, HELPING THE FINAL YEAR STUDENTS KEEP TRACK OF THEIR PROGRESS.

My other projects included campaigning for a new timetable policy so that students are able to manage their time better. I built stronger relationships between Beds SU and the univeristy. We collaborated on a number of projects including monitoring behaviour in examinations and the Vice Chancellor’s Student Experience Awards, where Beds SU sponsored the ‘Most Inspiring Lecturer award’ for each of the faculties, and designed the awards and certificates. I then handed the baton to your new VP Education for 2013/14, Paige Walker. In the Beds SU strategic plan students stated that they are worried about the job market and gaining skills and experience is thier number one priority. I want to help students understand the expectations that employers have with regards to professionalism and for students to recognise how integral work

experience is during their studies. I plan to host workshops with students, staff, employers and Alumni that will include practical and scenario based tasks. They will focus on developing and sustaining essential employment skills. I now sit on the Employability Action Group, which will be focusing on sandwich year work placements The annual survey highlighted that there were not enough resources invested to support Course and Faculty Reps and that the learner rep system needed to be refreshed. So we revamped the course rep system. think BIG’ aims to change how all students think about their course. Training has also been planned for Course and Faculty Reps alongside the PAD department to develop their skills further.

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kristian browne vice president of union & community development

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LAST YEAR THE BEDS SU ANNUAL SURVEY HAD OVER 1000 RESPONSES FROM STUDENTS. THIS HAS HELPED US INFORM THE DIRECTION OF THE UNION FOR THE COMING YEAR AND DEMONSTRATES THAT THE STUDENT VOICE IS ALWAYS AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING WE DO.

Over 150 students participated in 7 different sports in our Bulls IMS league. This helped launch the tennis and badminton teams in the 2013/14 season. We achieved ‘working towards bronze’ accreditation from the NUS Green Impact Scheme and I have represented the student voice on several building projects including the already completed Pub in the Hub, The Postgraduate and CPD Centre in Luton and the Bedford Sports Hall. By 2017, Beds SU wants an 80% satisfied or highly satisfied feedback rate on the sports we offer. This year the Bulls IMS league will focus on football with additional sports trialled later in the year. This should also help us to achieve our long-term strategic aim to be within the top 40 universities in the country for sports. A successful bid to the ‘NUS Students’ Green Fund’ has allowed us to launch new initiatives and we are therefore aiming to achieve both Bronze and Silver accreditation this year.

The Beds SU Annual Survey is crucial to a range of strategic aims within the plan. I aim to increase participation in this survey by making it a key part of the Beds SU calendar. This survey produces figures that help inform our direction for the year ahead and it is therefore important that as many students as possible have their say. One key area I am keen to develop for the coming year is a system so students can access safe and affordable private sector housing. This project will be in line with issues the current registrar has raised and will work in partnership with Campus Living, who provide student accommodation at Bedford and Luton campuses. Student safety is a key priority on the current university agenda so my other campaign named CHOICES which focuses on student safety will hopefully develop alongside the housing project.

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rabiaa rahman - quereshi vice president of democracy & diversity

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REPRESENTATION AT BEDFORD CAMPUS HAS INCREASED. IN THE 2012 BYE-ELECTIONS 5 OUT OF 10 STUDENT OFFICER POSITIONS WERE FILLED. IN THE MAIN ELECTIONS IN MARCH THIS INCREASED TO 8 STUDENT OFFICERS FOR THE 2013-14 ACADEMIC YEAR. THERE WAS ALSO AN INCREASE IN STUDENTS RUNNING FOR FACULTY REP POSITIONS.

Online voting was launched at the 2013 bye-elections. This means people can now vote 24/7 and in the comfort of their own home. We hope that this will help us increase the number of voters as we will be able to engage with students at outreach campuses more effectively and reach our target of a 25% increase by 2017. We want to improve student representation as well. A proposal has been taken to the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group (VCEG) for a fifth sabbatical position. Talking of representation we have been represented at all NUS zone conferences. We are also reviewing the student officer positions to ensure that all the roles are relevant for students and that we are representing as many students as possible. Both these proposals will be put through as motions at the AGM. A new initiative ‘Change It’ was launched this

year, giving students the opportunity to let us know what they would like to change in the union. We’ll even give them support on how to campaign and move these ideas forward. We’re currently making a video to celebrate Disability History Month 2013 – in 2011 a motion was passed at AGM that ensured Beds SU would engage in Disability History Month every year! The LGBT flag was raised at Bedford and Luton campuses for the entire month, making the Univeristy of Bedfordshire one of the only univeristies to fly the flag. Gender neutral toilets were also implemented in all new university buildings. Diversity Week 2013 saw many events such as LGBT awareness, featuring external speakers; sit-down volleyball; mental health awareness raising; sweets from around the world and a visit from Olympic Gold Medalist Etienne Stott, all helping to provide an inclusive environment for our student body.

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education & representation

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(90 more than last year) 2011 2012 2013 15


14 of 18 faculty reps achieved

their bursary requirements

We are looking at ways to change the faculty rep bursary system in a bid to motivate students and to make the system more flexible to cover reps carrying out equal or similar duties.

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oh no :( There were no postgraduate faculty reps in the Health & Social Science or Education & Sport faculties

but wait! We are currently creating online forums and toolkits, which will be available to all students to voice opinions on their subjects.

Staff Nominations

Student Nominations

The Research Student Support Group (RSSG) has now got student representation in 8/10 research schools. We sponsored the awards for Best Teaching Staff and Most Supportive Staff. The categories were chosen by the Course Reps!

Course Reps have worked alongside the Centre of Learning Excellence on the RAISE (Researching, Advancing, Inspiring Student Engagement) conference. They even helped to create a student experience video!

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elections

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of students felt Beds SU campaigns effectively on the issues that are important to students.

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10 sabbatical officer candidates

50/50 male/female split

15 student officer candidates

more applications in bedford than ever before

vote turnout was lower than in previous years but our new 24/7 online voting facility means students can vote from anywhere at anytime. 21


welfare & advice service

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2013

2012 2011

was accessed this year

by students with our help

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breakdown of casework after was

after was

before was

before was

confidence

knowledge

information

satisfaction

recommendation

very helpful fairly helpful neither helpful/unhelpful

very satisfied satisfied

would recommend would not recommend

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student activities

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bruno has been at every single sports game and graduation this year, and has become the icon of sport at the university of bedfordshire.

7 league winners, 5 cup finalists

+ 2 cup winners

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jailbreakers escapeD to scotland, france and spain

rag raised over ÂŁ8,000 for charity + bedford GOt a rag officer 29


volunteering

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marketing & communications

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of students know who we are and what we do.

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facebook

57%

breo

53%

posters

87%

56%

58%

Recognised the Beds SU logo when they were shown it.

Felt we informed them about what the Union is doing.

Felt we informed them about how to get involved.

38%

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so we did you wanted us to tweet more...

+ we’re getting even more social 2558 (2013)

1697

1687

(2013)

(2012)

1176 (2012)

likes 38

followers


based on your suggestion we now advertise all major union events on the university screens.

“In two years of studying at university I didn’t find out anything about the SU. I think you should make more effort to contact and speak to students.”

We now have a dedicated team of students whose soul job is to walk the campus and keep students up to date with Union events. 39


commercial services

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of students said they would think of going to the Beds SU bar when meeting friends.

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2012

2013

45% of students thought that Beds SU offers a great range of activities, events and live entertainment – a 19% increase on last year.

felt Beds SU provides social and recreational spaces that meet students’ needs.

150 nursing students attended our welcome parties 43


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we launched... ...in response to your much demanded request to have a bar at the Bedford Campus.

...an all new fit for purpose student bar with greater capacity and the new home of ‘For Bucs Sake’

we rebranded...

A dedicated coffee shop providing a range of hot and cold beverages and a wide range of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and confectionary. 45


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we’re charitable... We registered as a Charity this year - achieving our goal set out in the Strategic Plan.

more reserves... The Board has approved the Reserves Policy and we have increased our available reserves by 27.41% in the past year.

investing in people... We maintained our Investors in People award making progress towards our goal of achieving Investors in People Silver by 2015.

competent staff... We have progressed the Staff Competency Framework including team involvement in the development of performance and appraisal systems making significant progress towards the identified strategic goal.

getting bigger... In line with a key objective to increase the capacity of the team, we have increased our staffing team with 9 new positions. Bringing our total to 19 full time and 5 part time paid staff, as well as increasing our student staff from 16 to 40.

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Beds SU Impact Report 2013