NUS is currently looking to find out more about the welfare service provision in students’ unions across the UK. We know that student support services can change students’ lives and hugely improve the student experience. They can be the reason a student remains on a course, can improve attainment, and early interventions can prevent crises occurring.
Welfare services developed in students unions help huge numbers of students each year – according to the NUS/AMSU Resources Survey 2008-09, there were over 240,000 visits to a ‘welfare’ type service in students’ unions.
Anecdotally, we know that welfare services can struggle to get the funding they need for new projects or to extend their service provision. Furthermore the cuts the education sector, potential changes to student income and general recessionary pressures may mean that some support services may face even tougher scrutiny, and perhaps reduction or even closure.
Therefore we are undertaking a small project to benchmark what services are being run in students’ unions, how these may change in the coming years and then to use this evidence for policy formation and guidance on this area.
The purpose of this survey is to get a rough outline of the types of support services currently available. This questionnaire covers what services are available and who operates them – be that the students’ union, the university or college, another local agency, or a partnership between these. You can find guidance notes for completion here.
This will help to provide a picture of how support services are delivered, and will be useful baseline information for future data gathering on support services.
The next stage will be to conduct telephone interviews with a sample of respondents to explore in more detail the services provided, how these have changed in recent years, and how they are likely to change in coming years.
This work will then be used as a basis for future work around support services and in providing information, advice and policy recommendations around services and their contribution to the student experience.
Please take five minutes to complete our brief survey
- your input is hugely appreciated.