By Beds SU
Tuesday, 3 May 2022
As a registered charity, led by our student members – that’s you! – In line with our governing documents Beds SU each year holds an Annual Members’ Consultation (formally known as the Annual Members’ Meeting). This ensures that you have a regular chance to:
1) Find out what we’ve been up to
2) Put questions to the Union’s leadership (and see what other people have been asking)
3) Have your say on some potential future developments
In recent years, we’ve done this online, rather than a meeting, so that you have more time to look at the information that most interests you, at a time and in a place that suits you.
This year we’re also running it alongside our annual Beds SU Survey so you can also provide live feedback on our performance, as you’ve read about it here. We hope that this will provide us with lots of information that we can use in planning for the next academic year.
So please, have a read of as much or as little as you would like, get in touch if you have any questions, and have your say on our performance so far and our ideas moving forward.
What has Beds SU been up to?
2020/21 Catch up on what you missed last year:
- View our Impact Report for 2020/21 (pdf, 18 pages)
- View our Financial Overview for 2020/21 (pdf, 5 pages)
- Read the full version of our Audited Accounts (pdf, 41 pages)
Any questions? Use this link to ask a question. You can take a look at what other people have asked further down this article.
2021/22 The Year So Far…
2021 saw the launch of our new Strategic Plan: With You On Your Journey (PDF, 16 pages)
By 2025 we want to bring positive change to each student’s journey and to be championed by you, our members. We believe that Beds SU has something to offer everyone during your time at the University of Bedfordshire, and in order to do so we must be as dynamic, versatile and varied as our student members are.
We want to be with you:
- in your course
- in your student life
- to create positive change
- when you need support
So how are we going about this? We’re going to bring students together, empower your voice and advocate for a fair, equitable and rewarding student experience at every campus.
Any questions? Use this link to ask a question or see what other people have been asking about here.
How are we doing? Provide feedback on our services in the Beds SU Survey and get entered into a prize draw for £500 cash!
*53 Societies with a combined 702 members
Post-pandemic, our societies and other communities on campus have started to come back to life.
*Over £2,000 granted to Societies for events and activities
We’ve been delighted to affiliate 8 new societies so far this year, including our first Society for students on a satellite site: the Arthur Mellows Society has allowed these part-time students who only get together every 6 weeks to hold socials on their study days and grow as a community. And we’ve already had interest from students on other campuses keen to ensure they don’t miss out!
*Staff made 67 visits to satellite campuses in the first two terms
We’ve helped you to join together with one another, online and in person.
We’ve observed History Months online, acknowledging the fight and celebrating the wins of our Black, Disabled and LGBT+ members. Our University of Bedfordshire Student Chat group on Facebook has flourished and brings you together to talk about things that matter to you. Over 9,000 members on our UoB Student Chat have viewed the site over 150,000 times.
*68% increase on last year’s Student Chat engagement
We also held our first Student Parents’ Fun Day in October and were overwhelmed by your response as you brought your families to campus to show them around and meet one another. Since then we’ve seen you for a family-friendly Christmas Party in our Metro venue and an Easter-themed Family Fun Day in Bedford, with support from the Faculty of Education, English and Sport.
This year we started consulting with you to set out what your ideal situation would be on a range of student issues to help shape our work, from assessment and feedback to gaining well-paid employment opportunities during your studies. These “ideals” are then voted upon and those that are approved become policy, directing our work for the next two years.
*6 new ideals established *Beds SU’s policy adopted by NUS
NUS Delegates – elected by you in October - collaborated with like-minded students from a number of other institutions to propose policy to the National Union of Students’ (NUS) National Conference. This policy about ensuring UK universities remain accessible to students of all backgrounds - in the face of current challenges from politicians - was successfully approved by delegates from across the country in March and NUS will now work towards this and use this stance in their lobbying and campaigning work.
Course Reps continue to provide Beds SU and UoB with a key link to the student body, working hard alongside their studies to gather feedback from you – the students – and working with Beds SU and UoB to improve the student experience.
*65% of Course Rep positions filled
Feedback from these Reps – alongside our other feedback routes below – feeds into committees across the University, influencing change at all levels. We’ve also introduced additional staff support for these Reps so we’re looking forward to seeing course level representation go from strength to strength in the coming year.
*3 ways to feedback *62 Forums held so far to collect your feedback
We were delighted to be able to re-open our venues in September as pandemic restrictions lifted and see our spaces reclaimed by students. We updated the furniture in these spaces so that you had something new to come back to and we’re so glad to see you all enjoying the new set up.
We’ve acted on your feedback to try some new nights, such as an AfroBeats night, and the all new DesiBeats night that brought Bhangra and Bollywood vibes into the Union venues.
*132 events held in our venues in the first two terms
This year, you’ve also turned out to share your culture with us. We’ve shared dancing at Diwali, covered each other in colours for Holi and broken fast together during Ramadan. We’ve learned so much from our diverse student membership and can’t wait to share more with you next year.
These events also help us to offer paid employment opportunities to the student body. As a proud Living Wage employer, our not-for-profit venues – Metro and The Hub – put more than £76,254 back into student pockets so far this year.
*6,790 hours of student staff employment paid.
2021 saw the launch of our new enquiries service: whatever your question, feedback or concern, you can contact Beds SU through one single email address, and our enquiries service does the hard work for you – tracking down the right person to answer the question!
*2,110 student enquiries received so far
As we came back to campus, we decided to continue offering online Drop-Ins each week, supported by the enquiries team, to help you get quick access to an Advisor from wherever you are.
*130.5 hours of online Drop-Ins offered *298 cases supported by our Advisors *21% of advice sought by students on satellite sites
We have continued to offer support to students from all UoB campuses on topics such as Academic Appeals, University complaints, housing and finance.
Every student who uses the enquiries and advice services are giving the opportunity to feedback on the service that they receive and we’ll be using this feedback to ensure that we continue to improve what’s on offer.
Where do my questions get sent?
It depends what your question is about – we will seek to get it to the person who knows the most about it. For example, if you have an operational question about our Student Networks, we would ask the staff member responsible for supporting Student Networks. However, if you were seeking information about the strategy behind the Union, we might ask one of our Board of Trustees to get back to you.