The Students’ Union is a charity, separate to the University.
Students’ unions work with the university senior management, schools and departments to ensure that students’ issues and concerns are raised and dealt with in regard to contact time, assessment feedback, resources, access, support, welfare, accommodation and employability.
Working at a students' union, you will find a mix of students and permanent staff who collectively:
Union members agree a common aim of what they want to achieve. This might be about, for example, welfare support, contact time, assessment feedback or housing. Representatives for the Students’ Union gather evidence about the issues and present it to the University. They discuss the matter with the University management and/or departments to reach an agreement.
If the University refuses to reach an agreement, Union members can broaden their campaign to win wider support from the student body. This may be in the form of referenda, awareness raising campaigns, challenges to departments and boycotts or strikes.
The Students’ Union leads on student representation throughout the university, ensuring the voices of the most vulnerable students are heard and responded to. Each year, six full-time elected representatives, called Officers, are voted for by students to represent students' needs and views to the University.
We provide representation for students going through appeals, complaints or disciplinary procedures (for example, students who want to challenge the circumstances surrounding their grade, or raising a complaint about a member of staff). Many students’ unions also provide other benefits and discounts on services for their members, such as access to students’ union venues and events as well as facilitating student discount cards and schemes, such as Totum (the discount card run in conjunction with the National Union of Students, the overarching representative body for students’ unions).
You can think of students’ unions as your friendly support and voice for your concerns throughout your time at university, a facilitator for social life through student groups, sports and events and somewhere to turn in times of need.