Thursday 26-11-2015 - 14:50
Our shared commitment to getting more students and young people improving society through students’ unions
Students find their home in clubs and societies, with their student fundraising team, through a volunteering project or producing content for student media. The breadth of opportunities available through students’ unions is amazing, but we know that there are many students not joining in. I believe there should be something for everyone offered through the SU. If a student hasn’t found it yet then we need to work harder.
This is important because involvement with student opportunities not only changes lives but also develops active, progressive citizens of the world. The more students we get involved, the more effectively we are shaping the world around us.
NUS is proudly a key partner of the #iwill campaign, run by Step up to Serve. The campaign aims to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20 year-olds as possible by the year 2020. They work with hundreds of partners ranging from schools to charities, from multinational corporations to government departments. Being part of the campaign connects us to these organisations, and means that we can put students at the front of a national initiative with real influence.
Step up to Serve asks campaign partners to makes pledges that outline our plans to reach the ambitious target of getting every young person involved in youth social action. We’ve been involved since the campaign’s launch in 2012, and have been working hard since then: we’ve run three successful Student Volunteering Weeks, launched two pieces of research about volunteering, and this year we launched a piece of work with Universities UK about breaking down barriers to participation.
Looking forward, NUS is committed to this work and I’ve made sure we’ve renewed our pledges to the #iwill campaign:
NUS will collaborate with partner organisations to influence the vision, values and policy of the education sector to embed and grow participation in youth social action
- We will work with students’ unions to evaluate and share the impact of student opportunities, highlighting the double benefit of social action for students and society.
- Focusing on overcoming barriers to participation, we will provide training and tools for students’ unions to help them to increase the number of students doing social action activities.
- In Student Volunteering Week, highlight examples of youth social action and the principles underpinning youth social action to the student volunteering teams involved in student volunteering week, reaching over 80 student volunteering teams, who will involve 10,000 student volunteers through the weeks activity alongside our social media reach of over one million people.
- NUS communications channels – We will highlight examples of youth social action activity and opportunities for students to get involved through our social media channels as well as our direct student facing communication channels – NUS Digital which has the potential to directly reach one million students
Call to action – what can you do?
- Read the barriers report + think about how you can work on this in your SU
- Think about impact, and look out for further work from us in early 2016
- Sign up for Student Volunteering Week, send students to the Bootcamps, and nominate them for Student Volunteer of the Year.