A New Settlement: Update

Monday 09-11-2015 - 15:17

Extract from my report to Union Development Zone Conference

NUS has started the process of developing a strategy which will include taking forward the next steps of A New Settlement. This sits across both the UD Zone and the President's Office.

An independent commission was established to review the current model of working and the report - A New Settlement, published in February 2015 - set out the importance of having the most inclusive democratic representation, the right governance and oversight of the national union, underpinned by a fair and progressive membership contribution.

National Conference 2015 mandated phase two of A New Settlement to proceed and this work is running alongside the development of a six year strategic vision and framework that will be published in 2016 and take us to 2022, our centenary year.

A project team has been appointed and I am working with them to ensure they are creating a process where we will work collaboratively with officers, NEC and staff across the membership to:

  • Co-create a vision for NUS governance to take to National Conference 2016
  • Develop a strategic vision and framework that will be published in July 2016

The work is being completed in two phases;

Phase 1 – scoping, reviewing and analysing - to be completed by December 2015

  • To undertake the relevant Quality Students' Unions quality mark analysis.
  • To review all existing strategies, plans and key performance indicators across NUS UK (including NUS Scotland, NUS-USI and NUS Wales).
  • To understand and clarify the underpinning financial model for the national union.
  • To identify existing evidence, trends, data and knowledge that will inform the strategy and plans.
  • To identify key gaps in evidence, knowledge and understanding that need to inform phase 2.
  • To propose a vision for governance for consultation (to be agreed by NEC and proposed to National Conference 2016).

A short document will be published at the end of phase one which will form the basis of a short consultation and engagement exercise with the movement before proceeding with building the strategic vision and framework in phase two.

Phase 2 - to co-create and publish a six year strategic vision and framework

Based on the work in phase one, phase two will seek to develop a vision for the student movement at national level and the role of NUS and the membership in achieving that vision with measurable goals that can be achieved by 2022.

  • Build a theory of change to inform the strategy - how does the student movement create change locally, regionally, nationally and internationally?
  • Explore key strategic issues that will form part of the vision and framework, for example areas may include - use of digital in increasing representation and improving democracy; equality, diversity and representation; using data to improve student experience; what will Students' Unions look like in 20 years’ time?; the future of commercial services in SU.
  • Use the knowledge to build a vision and six year strategic framework and set out the role of NUS and the membership in achieving that vision.
  • Publish a strategic vision and framework at Students' Unions 2016 which will include any further work on governance.


Your loyal midshipman on the good ship NUS,
Richard Brooks


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