As part of the response to ‘The Big Review’ in 2010, a comprehensive evaluation of what students think about their university experience, the Students’ Union is set to receive an increase to its grant this year.
This puts the Union’s grant at just over £2.7 million compared to £1.994 million last year. The core aims of this increase focus on the Students’ Union’s ability to better “represent, support and advise students at the University and better tailor its services to students’ needs”.
Ellie McWilliam, President of the Students’ Union, cited the “huge level of trust” shown in the Students’ Union by this increase.
She also went on to emphasise the importance of the increase on students, saying: “This support is ultimately an investment in our students, demonstrating the commitment of the University to ensuring every student has the opportunity to pursue their interests, access support and advice and get the absolute most out of their time at Nottingham.”
Dr Paul Greatrix, Registrar at The University of Nottingham stressed the significance of the Students’ Union, “Not only does it represent the views of students to the university and ensure that the student voice is heard but it provides a huge range of sporting, cultural and social activities for Nottingham students as well as the social and welfare facilities expected by its members,” he said.
There have been several increases to various sections of the Students’ Union. The Education Budget for example will see a rise of £95,800; up to £160,800 from £65,000. An increase of around 246%.
Dasha Karzunina, the Union’s Education Officer believes this is long overdue, “Our Education Network has supported all the course reps across the University for a number of years. Helping students influence their modules and courses and get the best from their school is critical so the University are funding us to invest £65,000 more in staff.”
Campaigns and Democracy, a department that has recently driven through the ‘Change It’ campaign will also enjoy a hefty increase; from £131,000 to £253,000. The £122,000 increase in funding will see the Union able to support all student elections, not just the annual Officer and NUS delegate.
Ellie McWilliam stressed that “Helping students to campaign on the things that matter to them, to make change, is one of the core roles of the Union.”
The ‘Advice’ division of the Union will also receive an increase of £64,000 to its budget. This is an area where the Union is responding to a 59% increase in casework.
In order to meet the additional support needs of students regarding everything from housing advice, to wellbeing or help with their course, “the Union is adding the equivalent of two new full time staff to the team,” says Mike Dore, the Union’s Welfare Officer.
Of further note is the creation of the new Student Living Manager position which will provide support to those First Year students not living on University grounds as well as lead a review of the appropriateness of current housing and accommodation provision for all students.
The budget will begin at £26,000 though as Dave Cordell, the Union’s Community Officer, points out this too will increase in following years in accordance with the Union’s Five Year Plan.
Societies will only see increases in line with inflation but there will be some additional opportunities to apply for funding.
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