• SU Directory
  • Trading
  • NUS Extra

NUS Awards 2011

2011 Winners

Endsleigh Student of the Year

Tayaba Nicholson

Tayaba Nicholson set up and ran a mental health campaign at the University of Manchester that has put the issue high on the agenda of both the university and the students’ union.

By securing more than £2,000, Tayaba commissioned a memorial bench on campus dedicated to ‘students lost too soon’. The bench displays a plaque with various helpline numbers on the front, and on the back is a ‘postbox’ for students to post their thoughts.

Liam Burns on Tayaba: “Tayaba is a true example of an outstanding student. Her tireless work has raised awareness and changed the lives of many students.”

Endsleigh Technology Award

Liverpool Guild of Students & Liverpool Students’ Union

Liverpool Students’ Union and Liverpool Guild of Students used technology as a key tool in increasing voter turnout. In partnership with Magpie Communications, they devised a joint election campaign across both institutions.

The unions developed a website that received 54,256 hits during the election period, and made explicit use of their student media societies to raise the profile of elections. They also provided an open blog, enabling candidates to upload stories, pictures and videos.

Liam Burns on the collaboration: “They came up with a user-friendly, innovative and successful campaign, and for that they are a deserving winner of this new award.”

Lifetime Contribution Award

Di Boston and John Windle

Together, Diane Boston and John Windle founded the Students’ Union Evaluation Initiative (SUEI) in 2006.

The scheme provides a model and quality framework for participating students’ unions and has helped many to deliver better results for their members. With some 70 unions involved, the scheme has gone from strength to strength under Diane and John’s leadership.

Diane and John’s considerable expertise and commitment have been a real asset to the movement. Both have been general managers; Diane at the University of Exeter Guild of Students for 14 years and John at Sheffield Students’ Union for more than 20 years.

FE Students' Union of the Year

Dudley College Students' Union

The 2010/11 academic year saw more students than ever at Dudley College become actively involved in the students’ union.

The union’s success comes from meticulous strategic planning. In summer 2010, the union set out a plan of action for the year based on clear objectives, and conducted a comprehensive review of its communications policy. The impact of the union’s development is reflected in the vast increase it has seen in student participation levels.

Liam Burns on Dudley: “In a very challenging year for further education, Dudley College Students’ Union stood out as an outstanding union enriching the lives of its members.”

Best Student Media Outlet

The National and London Student Journalism Support Networks

The London and National Student Journalism Support Networks (LSJSN/ NSJSN) pooled skills from across London’s student media outlets to offer excellent comprehensive coverage of the NUS-UCU Fund Our Future demonstration.

This was noticed by national media; Channel 4, BBC and Times Higher Education all followed the coverage, and with LSJSN subsequently being asked to report live on a press conference about the violence at Millbank for The Times.

Liam Burns on LSNSJ/NSJSN: “The National and London Student Journalism Support Networks has not only provided excellent reporting but they have provided support, advice and a forum for collaboration for all student media.”

HE Students' Union of the Year

Northumbria Students' Union

2010/11 was a year of unparalleled success for Northumbria Students’ Union, as it truly lived up to its mission to “have a positive impact on the lives of all our students”.

The union gave greater priority to its core membership services, which, along with other broad strategic changes, saw a 129 per cent increase in student involvement in the local community, and record numbers of students participating in societies.

Liam Burns on Northumbria: “My congratulations go to Northumbria Students’ Union for their remarkable achievements in record breaking participation levels, modernising the students’ union and creating real change for its members.”

Student Unionist of the Year

Kim Hughes

Dudley College Students’ Union’s remarkable year was led by its inspiring president, Kim Hughes. She spearheaded the union’s contribution to the Save EMA campaign, mobilising over 500 students to attend rallies.

In a year marked by successes, Kim also rewrote the union’s constitution to set strong governance foundations in place, debated on local radio with her local MP, and secured a campus visit from Ed Balls MP.

Liam Burns on Kim: “Kim Hughes is a real credit to the student movement; her work this year, particularly around the Save EMA campaign, has been nothing short of outstanding.”

Campaign of the Year

Edinburgh University Students' Association

The University of Edinburgh Students’ Association engaged hundreds of its students in the NUS Fund Our Future campaign through its own highly original Write to Mike campaign.

The campaign harnessed the power of the collective student voice, inspiring over 1,000 students to lobby Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart to vote against the rise in tuition fees. Not only was the campaign successful, it also raised the profile of the education funding debate on campus.

Liam Burns on the campaign: “Write to Mike was an outstanding example to others, and demonstrates just how students can have an influence at the highest level.”

Equality and Diversity Award

Queen's University Belfast Students' Union

In 2010/11, Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union has taken progressive steps to bring equality and diversity to the forefront of its activities.

The union recently created a dedicated sabbatical officer position to deal with equality and diversity, and launched a vast range of new initiatives. This work has had a clear and demonstrable impact, with the participation of under-represented student groups in union initiatives showing a huge increase.

Liam Burns on Queen’s: “By strengthening existing activities and developing new ones, the union has really got to the bottom of and improved the student experience for its members.”

Student Journalist of the Year

Simon Murphy

Simon Murphy, while serving as new editor for student newspaper The Courier, published a bold, sensational and meticulously researched investigative feature detailing excessive expenses claims of the university management, totalling almost £150,000.

By exposing the excesses of university management at a time of huge cuts to higher education, the article armed students with damning evidence to hold the university management to account.

Liam Burns on Simon: “As news editor of The Courier, Simon has not only produced high-quality, compelling content but has used his outstanding journalistic skills to uncover exclusive stories, tackling important student issues.”

Staff Member of the Year

Chris Spencer

Loughborough Students’ Union’s building manager, Chris Spencer, has been integral to the union’s environmental successes. The union won the first NUS Services Environmental Award and The Times Best Green Company award, on top of saving £500,000 and reducing its environmental impact.

Chris saved the union from flooding after a ‘big freeze’. An SIA-qualified supervisor, she also helped out at the union’s evening events while continuing with her day-to-day job.

Liam Burns on Chris: “She has contributed tremendously to the student movement, supported countless student officers and often gone beyond the call of duty to benefit Loughborough Students’ Union and its members.”

Community Relations Award

Chester Students' Union

Chester Students’ Union has run a number of initiatives over the past year, making its students a real asset to their local community.

A community clean up, a local football tournament and fundraising for a community theatre are examples of ways in which the union strengthened relationships with local residents. Its Veg Out campaign, run through the People and Planet society, brought affordable vegetables to students, encouraging healthy eating while working with local producers.

Liam Burns on Chester: “Its very impressive programme of activities has enhanced community relations and the way students are viewed as valuable members of their neighbourhood.”

Course Rep of the Year

Francesca Rust & Emily Short

The establishment of a student rep society at Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union saw a 23 per cent rise in rep meeting attendances and a 21 per cent increase in training in 2010/11.

The society was established by Francesca Rust and Emily Short to promote and recruit new reps, and engage with existing reps. Concerned about the effect that a university comprehensive spending review would have on students and reps, they approached the union with the idea.

Liam Burns on Francesca and Emily: “They have deservedly been dubbed the ‘super reps’ by the students’ union officers at Anglia Ruskin.”

Club or Society of the Year

Exchange 360 - Edinburgh University Students' Association

With around 700 members, Exchange 360 at Edinburgh University has provided opportunities for students to build on their experience while studying. Through providing activities for current exchange students and information for home students considering studying abroad, it has improved the student experience of many.

Partnerships have been an important part of Exchange 360’s year. It built relationships with the university’s international office, the union’s internationalisation initiative and a number of other student societies.

Liam Burns on Exchange 360: “Its dedication to promoting exchange opportunities has transformed the student experience for so many. Building partnerships with key stakeholders has been vital.”

Find out who won in 2010