Impact and Value of membership

As a member of NUS you are part of one of the largest, oldest, and most connected student movements in the world. NUS is the only organisation with the reputation, scope and history to be able to offer collective representation and services to students’ unions across the UK. We are proud that currently over 500 or 95% of students’ unions in the UK are members of NUS. 

As a member you gain exclusive access to expertise, campaigning knowledge and tailor made services you won’t find anywhere else. Your membership of NUS is something you should share with your members – students – because ultimately it is students who feel the impact of NUS.

NUS is a membership organisation led and controlled by you and only you. NUS members have sole access to democratic and governance mechanisms to direct our work as well as influencing routes such as events and consultations.  

If you want to find out more about how to get the best from your membership or for more details on any of the services listed below please contact 


Being part of a National student voice – NUS membership 


With 95% of all students’ unions in membership of NUS, and almost 100 years of experience representing students, NUS is the best and only route to guarantee that you and your students will be represented on the national stage.  

As a member you directly control what we work on through our Participatory Democracy. You identify issues, solutions, and you set our priorities. Being part of NUS’ democracy also offers your students opportunities for personal growth – people who take part often find the experience educational and sometimes even life-changing.  

The main impact we bring is making change for students. You can choose to be actively involved in change-making or to simply feel the effect of the change-making. Either way, you can be assured that your students are safer, happier, better off, and receiving a better education because of your membership of NUS.  

Specifically we ensure: 

  • high-impact priority campaigns shaped by you and running across the UK including specifically targeted work in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland 

  • Collective national representation in the media, governments of all four nations, and education sector on key matters 

  • Have election clout through nationally coordinated election activity and access to exclusive resources for voter registration and GOTV 



No student or students’ union could individually influence the national stage alone. But by working together as a collective, the value of being a member of NUS is so vast that it is almost immeasurable. Every year NUS wins on issues that puts £millions back into education and directly into students’ pockets. For an individual student the personal value could be anything from being £000s better off each month to having access to courses, support and services that wouldn’t have been possible without NUS’ work. We have a press & media reach averaging over 50m people per month and in peak moments NUS will reach upwards of 160m a week. This visibility is highly valuable and can only be achieved by working as a collective. 

Each year we publish an impact and value report so you can see exactly the value we brought to your students’ union and impact on your students in the previous year.  

Our 2020-21 plan of work is available here. 

Our 2019-20 impact and value report is available here.

And a breakdown of our historic impacts can be found here. 


Supporting Strong Students’ Unions - NUS Charity Membership  

As a member of NUS Charity, you are part of a membership that includes 95% of students’ unions across the country. Together, we use our collective power to create, build and grow strong Students’ Unions. Through your membership, you not only have access to the range of resources and services we offer but also a network of peers to help you effectively represent your students, generate revenue and grow as an organisation. 

Specifically, our offer includes:

  • Core support – Creating and Growing Strong Students’ Unions. We provide expertise, resources, programmes and collective buying to give your Students’ Union exactly what you need to thrive. 

  • Championing the Value of Students’ Unions. We work to ensure students’ unions are represented and valued. We demonstrate the standalone value of you as Students’ Unions and the collective value of our sector to funders, stakeholders and regulators. 

  • Connection and Curation. We actively promote the value of mutual support for students’ Unions. We work to connect Students’ Unions to one another to share expertise and network. We curate a marketplace of high-quality providers to put members in touch with specific services and expertise. 

  • Crisis Support.  Unfortunately, we still see unions in crisis. Our crisis support works as a distilled version of our offer.  We provide members in crisis the core support and diagnostic tools they need. We champion our members’ value. We harness the power of collectivism to connect with other members for mutual support, and signpost to relevant interim or consultant support. 

For a detailed list of all the services the charity offers click here. 

Under these four areas there are a huge range of services that add value to your Students' Union, which all of our members can tap into. From trading support to, Quality Students’ Unions to the consultants directory, the Learning Academy to governance peer review: NUS Charity is your first port of call to help your Students’ Union thrive. 



The value of your membership to NUS Charity goes far beyond the financial return you get from membership, though this should not be understated. 

As a collective, our purchasing power alone delivers significant savings for our members. For members who trade, our trading support service saves on licensed trade and retail purchases.  

Our central billing platform saves suppliers £860k in administration costs - this enables us to negotiate very competitive pricing for our members. It also saves SU’s £430k in administrative costs and we deal with any disputes which also saves you a big headache too!! We make sure unions are giving students what they want, at a great price, whilst generating income to fund our movement. Last year we paid members £2.1m in payment linked to trading programmes and raised £1.4m to support the work of NUS. 

But even if you don’t trade there’s still lots of added value from our collective buying power. As a member you are automatically enrolled as an associate member of NCVO. We collectively commission resources from respected partners such as DAC Beachcroft, Bates Wells, NCVO and SOS-UK. These briefings and resources are an invaluable source of information for our members 

 NUS Charity is currently working to Overturn unexpected VAT bills for unions. As a result of recent HMRC investigators changing their interpretation of policy relating to catering outlets, many of our members were going to be significantly out of pocket. NUS Charity is working to overturn these decisions and has already saved our members significant legal fees via procuring advice for all affected members. Long term we aim to save members on these VAT bills. 

As well as the significant financial value of your NUS Charity membership, there’s also the value you receive from being part of the student and student union movement. Together we champion strong students unions. Both staff and officers in your Students’ Union become part of a peer network with unparalleled expertise in our sector. And you get the peace of mind of knowing that if a crisis does happen, you will be backed up and supported. 

Each year we publish an impact and value report so you can see exactly the value we brought to your students’ union and impact on your students in the previous year.  

Our 2020-21 plan of work is available here. 

Our 2019-20 impact and value report is available here.

And a breakdown of our historic impacts can be found here.