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Our Strategic Plan 2018—2022

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Our Strategic Plan
2018—2022

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We are here to make a positive impact on the lives of every student at UWE Bristol and will facilitate and empower students to: placeholder image Join In, Speak Up and Be More.

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Active

Students choose to come to university to expand their opportunities for the future, by gaining new experiences that will enable them to be more and add value as UWE Bristol graduates.

By 2022 we will:

  • Have a clear pathway for us to develop student leaders from our membership

  • Enable students to participate in activities when they want, where they want, and how they want

  • Transform the way in which activities are offered to ensure that students are included irrespective of their identity

Network

Students create a feeling of belonging at university within our programmes, social groups and campuses. This is where students make friendships that will last a lifetime, enabling them to be respected and valued members of our community.

By 2022 we will:

  • Have worked with UWE Bristol to ensure we have a 24/7 student community

  • Develop networks for students to embed a sense of belonging across the membership

  • Provide opportunities for students to be respected members of the wider community and champion their causes

Support

University is a hugely enriching experience but many can find this a challenging environment at various times. Having access to open, available and welcoming services is critical to our students.

By 2022 we will:

  • Deliver and implement a joint mental health strategy with UWE Bristol

  • Ensure students have access to student support when they need it, where they need it, and how they need it

  • Champion the delivery of a positive campus culture

  • Embed student welfare to respond to the needs of the 2022 student within The Students’ Union structure

Value

University life and the cost to students has transformed in its type, style and impact in recent years. Students are feeling the impact of these pressures more acutely than ever before. Students need to make their money work harder at university and ensure they are getting a sense of value for their money.

By 2022 we will:

  • Have achieved up front transparency of the costs of all university services, availability of access funds and availability of information to enable students to make the best choices

  • Provide clear ways for students to assess the impact of external pressures on their pocket

  • Ensure The Students’ Union is good value for money across all of its opportunities and services

Voice

Each individual at UWE Bristol represents the student voice. It is important to represent that collective voice through understanding what works well for them and what challenges and concerns students are facing, which is critical to their success at university.

By 2022 we will:

  • Transform the ways in which issues of concern are raised to us, and the way we as a students' union can represent them and get the answers we need

  • Match our representative and democratic structures to the needs of students, ensuring their voice is inclusive and diverse

  • Establish strong connections and agendas with our key stakeholders to ensure the student voice is heard

 
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Communication

We have the best tools to help us communicate, get our message across and demonstrate our impact.

By 2022 we will:

  • Have targeted communications based on demographics, interests and needs of students

  • Have clear channels for all stakeholders to understand our impact

  • Have a dynamic two-way internal communication network to enable all of our members to be on board with our strategic objectives

  • Have the skills to develop our evolving communications channels for our members

Environment

In an expanding multi-campus university, we represent a large community of students. The creation of the right learning and social environment is critical.

By 2022 we will:

  • Have created an environment that facilitates and inspires us and our members to meet our sustainability targets and work towards the UN sustainable development goals

  • Have reviewed our space and facility needs at each campus to ensure they are fit for purpose and can respond to our students' changing needs and the opportunities available to them

  • Ensure the student voice is prominent within each development across the UWE Bristol estate

Finance

In uncertain financial times, The Students' Union needs to have a clear, open and transparent financial plan that provides the opportunity for sustainable growth and development. This is the hallmark behind the most successful students’ unions in the UK.

By 2022 we will:

  • Ensure a sound financial plan that ensures The Students’ Union is fit for purpose, has a balance of income sources and is able to deliver its priorities

  • Ensure our commercial operations continually contribute to the charitable activities of the organisation, both financially and through operational practices

  • Develop clear targets for return on investment in our activities, services and campaigns

  • Develop department balanced scorecards to ensure they are clear and accountable

Governance

The space in which students’ unions operate has evolved with increasing scrutiny placed by the government, students and the public on our role. We need to ensure we are acting in the interests of our members, have clarity over competing interests and develop sustainable practice.

By 2022 we will:

  • Have fully reviewed our governance, ensuring our members are central to our decision-making and we are compliant with the Good Governance code for charities and students’ unions

  • Have implemented a new model of accountability that creates transparency of our decision-making

People

Our people are our biggest resource, facilitating the things students get involved in and the services that are provided. Having the right people, passion, skills and experience are vital to our future success.

By 2022 we will:

  • Employ the right people at the right time to fit our priorities and needs as members

  • Establish a new people development strategy focusing on recruitment, retention and progression for all levels of The Students’ Union

  • Ensure our people reflect the diversity of our membership

 
placeholder image What you told us
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DEMOGRAPHICS

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STUDENT EXPERIENCE

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STUDENT CONCERNS

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THE STUDENTS' UNION

DEMOGRAPHICS

2,268

survey responses

49

focus groups

4

presentations

4

meetings

2

workshops

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CAMPUS PARTICIPATION

Extensive research was carried out with students, university employees, The Students' Union employees, Officers and Trustees.

AGE PROFILE

The age profile of students at UWE Bristol ranges from teenage to mature students

GENDER

59% identified as female
39% identified as male
1% identified as other

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

REASONS FOR STUDY

Career focused inspirations, alongside a need to pursue passions, are the key reason for study.

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54%

 

To boost my employment prospects

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52%

 

To pursue a subject I am passionate about

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41%

 

As a requirement to enter a specific profession or career

CAREER AND INTERESTS

Career development and pursuing interests are of paramount importance to respondents.

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40%

 

Challenge myself intellectually

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34%

 

Arrive at a career that I am passionate about

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37%

 

Develop / learn more skills for my career

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88%

of students agree that they are happy with their overall university experience at UWE Bristol.

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TOP GOALS WHILST AT UNIVERSITY

Older and younger respondents place alternative emphasis on what they want to achieve.

UNDER 21S

  1. Gain independence

     

  2. Meet new friends

     

  3. Have fun / enjoy myself

     

  4. Develop or learn new skills for life

     

22+

  1. Develop / learn new skills for my career

     

  2. Challenge myself intellectually

     

  3. Explore a chosen subject in more depth

     

  4. Do something worthwile / make a difference

     

STUDENT CONCERNS

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FINANCES

Students feel particularly unsupported with managing finances.

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BELONGING

Overall, course communities provide the highest sense of belonging.

ACTIVITY BARRIERS

Over a third of respondents would like to get involved in activities outside of study. The top four perceived barriers are:

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43%

 

Timetabling

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32%

 

Part-time job

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32%

 

Don't know anyone else taking part

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28%

 

Nervous about trying new things

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

The top concerns regarding issues with academic performance are:

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55%

 

Keeping up with the workload

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40%

 

Assignments and exams

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39%

 

Having enough money to get by

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38%

 

Understanding how to improve my academic performance

THE STUDENTS' UNION

TOP PRIORITIES

Respondents think the top priorities of The Students' Union should be:

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  • Student welfare (non-academic advice / support) 14%

     

  • Representing students' interests (e.g. in University decisions) 12%

  • Saving students money 10%

  • Student community (bringing students together) 10%

  • Careers and employability support (preparing students for work) 8%

  • Academic advice / support (programme-related) 6%

  • Entertainment and events 6%

  • Extra-curricular activities (clubs and societies, sports) 5%

  • Holding the University to account 4%

  • Personal skills / development opportunities (volunteering, skills workshops) 4%

  • Promoting greener / more sustainable living 4%

  • All others 15%

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There is a lack of knowledge of what The Students' Union at UWE does for students

WHAT OUR STUDENTS WANT

Supporting and enriching student life outside of study is what respondents want from their students' union

41%

Saving students money

35%

Representing students' interests

34%

Student community

33%

Student welfare

28%

Extra-curricular activities

For futher information, please contact:
sumarketing@uwe.ac.uk