Wednesday 03-02-2016 - 15:37
Officers and staff from students’ unions across the nations came together today for the second day of our Project100 Festival, a key part of the development of NUS’ new six-year strategy. Here’s a roundup from the final day of the event in Sheffield.
1. NUS and students’ unions must deliver for each other
Richard Brooks, NUS Vice President (Union Development), told the attendees that students’ unions were “remarkable”, but that moving forward the membership must take control of the direction of NUS.
He said: “NUS is not a distant thing, somebody else’s problem. NUS is a confederation of me, you and 576 students’ unions. Our performance is your problem, and our future is only your gift to give.
2. Clear and sharable data is key
The power of data was one of the main discussion points emerging both days. We have the ability to capture and measure the impact of students’ union output on the student experience, and NUS is in a position to collate and distribute this across the membership.
3. We should be more proud of what NUS does for the membership
Many topics were fed back through the morning of day two, including the nature of NUS democracy, FE representation, the need for a clearer narrative about the journey through Strategic Conversation and National Conference. But one thing that stood out was the need for NUS to be more demonstrably proud of what it does for the membership – and a recognition of the power of a national union to coordinate local action in students’ unions across the country.
4. Working inclusively with the Nations is vital
Students’ unions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are key in developing a strategy for the movement that encapsulates the entire membership. Devolution is ever-evolving, and responding to change collaboratively and remaining ahead of the curve to protect and promote the student voice is essential.
5. Strategy is not a science
Simon Blake emphasised that NUS must work with, through and for students’ unions at every turn, but Project100 has emerged through consultation with the membership, stakeholders and other decision-makers will play a role, and some of the greatest opportunities will appear at unexpected times and drive the momentum for change.
More information about Project100 can be found online here.