On the 15th of March, the University of Nottingham’s Students’ Union (SU) had the annual general meeting and members meeting to review last year’s financial report and the Union’s achievements.
This correlated with the SU having also released the report onto the SU website.
The report quantifies how successful the Union has been in achieving defined aims set out in a five-year-long strategy which was put into action in 2013. The Union undertook a strategic approach to the fulfilment of a range of goals which went from providing a great academic experience to every student, to enhancing career prospects, as well as the aim to establish the UoN’s SU as one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the nation.
SU President Alan Holey began the meeting by stating that the general meeting had been postponed until further notice due to an insufficient number of member attendees and proxies.
“the SU Bar, Mooch, was ranked 6th in the UK and awarded Best Bar None”
Alan Holey and the SU Sports Officer, Adam Pratchett, then started the annual members meeting with the Review of Annual Accounts 2016/17.
They outlined six strategic SU goals and examples of successful initiatives that helped make progress in achieving them.
- Create a great academic experience. Alan and Adam noted that the University has one of the largest academic representative structures in the country, and also recognised the success of Staff Oscars.
- Enhance career prospects. The University employs 150 student staff, carry out society committee training and support many volunteering opportunities.
- Support Student Wellbeing. They highlighted The Little Pick Me Ups project, which provides students with little care packages, and The Global Buddies scheme pilot, which supported 50 new international students for over 10 weeks (this year the number has increased to over 200 students). The expansion and development of SU Advice Centre is also regarded as a step in the right direction.
- Students having the most incredible time at University. Alan and Adam revealed that more students than ever are engaging in the Union which now boasts over 200 societies. They are also proud of the Welfare in Sports Campaign which continues to expand. Lastly, International Student Satisfaction has become one of the SU’s priorities, and their work is already showing results in international student satisfaction.
- Students at the heart of what we do. The SU’s rebranding last year helped to create a stronger sense of community. Student insight was also helpful in hearing what the students had to say (this led to the introduction of student meal cards at both SPAR and Mooch). Thirdly, the SU empowered students to secure direct funding and sponsorship (13,000 pounds were raised through fundraising alone).
- To become a Top 10 Union. UoN Students’ Union is already one of only 20 students’ unions across the country to be rated “Very Good” by the National Union of Students’ Quality Mark. They hope to achieve an “Excellent” rating, stating that Portland redevelopment is a step in the right direction. Additionally, the SU Bar, Mooch, was ranked 6th in the UK and awarded Best Bar None.
“the commercial income was much higher than in the previous year”
Alan and Adam then moved on to a brief discussion of the financial report. They noted the commercial income was much higher than in the previous year, and the core surplus accredited to commercial income was re-invested in further improvements.
Some areas of university life that students can expect the Union to look to improve in its next five year plan, which is to be drawn up this year, respond to areas such as the percentage of students that participated in student elections (23%), or the percentage of international students that reported a positive sense of belonging (48%), both figures that fared disappointingly in the number crunch. Adam described it as an “okay financial position”, noting a very large pension deficit.
Joe Farnham and Goda Naujokaityte
Featured image courtesy of ‘ Shamraze/Nuhaize’. License here.
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