#YestoNUS: the benefits of being part of NUS

Wednesday 11-05-2016 - 14:41

Representing over seven million students, NUS is the single largest organisation dedicated to improving the lives of students in the UK. But what does that look like in everyday terms? From helping with your groceries through to helping with SU governance, we are here for students. Here's how...

We’ve collated some of the core benefits that being part of our national movement bring to students and students’ unions. Here they are in one handy place… 

NUS extra saves your students on average £54 each year

Arguably one of our most popular benefits amongst students, the NUS extra scheme unlocks hundreds if not thousands of savings for students. 

Recent research tells us card users believe the card saves students £54 per year. Extra also generates income for SUs which they wouldn’t receive were they not a member of NUS. This loss of income will likely impact student activities.

Discounts include 40 per cent off at Zizzi & Pizza Express, 15 per cent off at Jack Wills, 10 per cent off at Topshop/Topman, 10 per cent off at the Co-Op, 10 per cent off at ASOS, 10 per cent off a 16-25 Railcard, 5 per cent off with Amazon and money off over 100 other brand partners.

From March this year, we secured a deal meaning students now get the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) free with their NUS extra card, giving them thousands more discounts to use internationally.

NUSSL: our purchasing consortium truly works for students

Our purchasing consortium allows trading unions to buy collectively and receive better deals than if they were in other consortiums. Every year we provide a comparison for each union to TUCO (university consortium) which unions can find on NUS Connect.

Trading support is a consultative service unions can use where NUS provide advice and support to maximise their returns on trading activity.

Legal Advice

NUS works hard to support students’ unions in meeting collective challenges and maximise trends.

In the past year this has included legal advice on the role of students’ unions have in the general election, EU Referendum and advice on their responsibilities under the government’s Prevent agenda.

National Campaigning

Students’ unions are unable to effectively lobby the government on big student issues alone. NUS as a representative group for students through students’ unions, ensures that have a much louder voice and gain access to decision makers at a governmental level which the students’ union simply cannot alone.

In the coming years NUS and students’ unions have planned to work together to;

  1. Create and build support for our vision for post-16 education. We will ensure that across the UK apprenticeships, FE and HE are valued equally. They must be transformative experiences for all learners. And we must ensure that liberation and education for sustainability are embedded within the curriculum content and all pedagogies;
  2. Protect autonomy of SUs;
  3. Eradicate the attainment gaps. We will erase the participation and attainment gaps that currently exist within education, by working with partners and institutions;
  4. Change attitudes to mental health and wellbeing. We will fundamentally shift awareness, attitudes and responses to mental health and wellbeing. Integral to this will be tackling social media harassment;
  5. Secure the vote for 16 and 17-year-olds. We will extend the right to vote for all 16 and 17-year-olds;
  6. Reform our governance using the Quality Students’ Unions framework, learning from good practice;
  7. Attract and retain a talented and diverse workforce;
  8. Facilitate every union so they can become digitally engaged with 100 per cent of their students.


NUS provides invaluable support for the students’ union’s activities, representation and support teams. The affiliation fees help pay for research staff at NUS who provide all members with detailed briefings on NUS Connect that you have to be affiliated to gain access to.

Practical support for officers

Lead & Change is a unique leadership course for SU officers with 85 per cent satisfaction rates. Offers networking opportunity and the cost is subsidised by NUS and offers value for money compared to rates given by other suppliers who charge similar fees for one or two days without the networking.

Practical support for staff

NUS supports students’ union staff by supporting professional networks, webinars, election support service, online training (U-Learn), maintaining JISC mailing lists, and through events such as Trade Show and Membership Services Conference.

We provide development opportunities to Students directly

We do this through our annual programme of conferences and training we provide;

  • Course Rep conferences;
  • The Student Media Summit;
  • Democratic conferences and elected positions

HR Support to SUs

  • NUS offers an employee engagement survey which allows unions to benchmark their results against other unions as well as charities. The survey is conducted by an external company but SU’s receive a discounted price because NUS pays a fee;
  • Good practice materials on our HR hub which only affiliated unions can access.

We are democratic

National Conference is the largest, annual democratic gathering of students in the world and costs NUS £350.72 per delegate to run. As well as National Conference we have other democratic events such as Liberation, Nation and Section Conferences.

In 2016, we also offered free Returning Officer support for 80 students’ unions.

Are you running a 'Yes to NUS' campaign at your campus or college? You can find all of the resources and practical information you'll need in one handy place on NUS Connect here

If you’re looking for a tailored benefit statement for your SU, simply email our Membership team on


Features, Union Development, Yes to NUS

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