10.30 - 12.00pm: Workshops

What the tech is going on with Area Reviews?

Location: Concourse Suite 27​

Now that the area review process has finished its becoming clear that its consequences are not just FE's problem. Colleges are merging with Universities and the Government* are pursuing a skills agenda that will force the HE sector to reevaluate their relationship with technical education.

In this session we will look at what the impact of area reviews and mergers has been so far, what high level technical education might mean for you and ways for FE and HE Students' Unions to collaborate on local campaigns.

 

(For professionals)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptors:

  • Relationships and Partnerships
  • Context

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Natalie Honeybun - Policy Officer, NUS
  • Holly Staynor - Policy Officer, NUS

 

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Equal Access: creating University scholarships for asylum seekers

Location: Gallery Suite 1

This session will equip staff and officers at to successfully lobby their institutions to introduce scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers. The session will explain the barriers to higher education that students from a refugee background face, including access to home fee status and student finance.  Delegates will learn about the Equal Access Campaign and how to successfully run it at their institution. They will receive STAR’s Equal Access Toolkit and have the chance to hear from students who have successfully campaigned at their universities. The session will also include ideas to further support refugees and asylum seekers in the local community as part of the wider University of Sanctuary movement.

 

(For student officers and those new to the movement)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptors:

  • Participation
  • Context

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Tamara Smith - Access to University Campaign and Advocacy Coordinator, Student Action for Refugees (STAR)
  • Emma Williams - Chief Executive, Student Action for Refugees (STAR)
  • Alaa Elaydi - Policy Officer, NUS

 

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Gimme Gimme Gimme a student perspective – won’t somebody help me help the OIA?

Location: Concourse Suite 23

The OIA is reviewing its strategic plan as education undergoes significant change and is keen to ensure its independence and purpose is clearly defined and communicated.  As a newly appointed Independent Director to the Board with a student perspective, I want to gain your feedback, experiences, and thoughts - to influence the planning process - on:

- How the OIA can be more student-focussed in its approach generally;

- How student engagement in the OIA’s strategic development can be maximised;

- Possible reasons behind a decrease in complaints to the OIA this year – more early resolution/settling of cases by institutions, a lack of willingness to complain?;

- Mental health and the effect (or not) that may have on an appetite for complaints/appeals;

- Cases involving those studying HE in FE settings.

 

(For professionals)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptor:

  • Representation and Campaigning

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Sophie Williams - CEO, Worcester Students’ Union

 

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You don't even know me, so why do you judge my life?

Location: Gallery Suite 2

One of the things that is supposed to set Students’ Unions apart from other benevolent interest groups is their democracy, which is supposed to ensure that students’ interests are met. But is this true? Is it really ‘democratic’, or just garish popularity contests, painful processes and playground bullying masquerading as “accountability”? Can you become more representative whilst being less democratic? And are those of us advising Students’ Unions on their democracy mainly ex officers that won in a system that systematically shuts out the quiet, the thoughtful, the wise and the eccentric?  We’ve had a few years now of trying to involve ‘minority’ students- nurses, postgrads, international- but aren’t we just creaming off the people in each group who most resemble the traditional? What if students don’t want ‘change’?

 

(For student officers and those new to the movement)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptors:

  • Governance
  • Representation and Campaigning

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Jim Dickinson - CEO, UEA Students’ Union
  • Scott Farmer - CEO, University of Exeter Students’ Guild

 

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Providing Academic Advice on a Budget

Location: Concourse Suite 30

With the changes in NSS and the focus on academic services and representation, Unions that have previously not provided academic advice are at a disadvantage. At Newman Students' Union we have been able to provide Academic advice on appeals, misconduct, and complaints without a full or part time advisor in the Union. The Academic Support Clinic is a way of providing a placement for students; training students on procedures and skills; and ultimately giving students advice so they can represent themselves in disciplinary boards.

 

(For professionals)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptors:

  • Services
  • Representation and Campaigning

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Ashley Storer-Smith - Representation and Activities Coordinator, Newman Students’ Union

 

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LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Training

Location: Gallery Seminar Suite 3

The session would discuss the experience of Coventry University Students' Union in organising and providing student led LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Training for staff and students. Its aims to encourage other organisations to develop such training and discuss the impact it could have on their institution and the experience of the student trainers. The training was a great success at Coventry University and has been picked up by a number of different departments and is going to now be included in the PGCert - Teaching in Higher Education so all new lecturers will have an understanding of how to make their classroom and curriculum more inclusive.

 

(For student officers and those new to the movement)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptors:

  • Participation
  • People

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Grace Cappy - Education Experience Assistant Manager, Coventry University Students’ Union 
  • Matt Rudd, Coventry University Students’ Union
  • Cameron Chalmers, Coventry University Students’ Union

 

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Breaking Records with Digital Engagement

Location: Gallery Seminar Suites 14 & 15

The NUS Digital team will lead the session covering the basis of how important and influential using data, evidence and digital at an SU can be with student engagement. With three Students' Unions (Leeds Trinity Students' Union, Keele Students' Union and Bristol Students' Union), providing examples how they have broken records with student engagement in the recent elections season.

Leeds Trinity SU had a record turnout of 34.14%. With it being their first ever year using UnionCloud they can help our members understand the value and importance of data, digital and evidence being at the heart of everything that they do, which was a huge reason why their elections were so successful. Leeds Trinity SU can share first hand with others in the movement how it’s vital to manage and maintain a strong relationship with the University IT team and how they’ve managed data sharing and how they have overcome the common challenges. They can share the best digital practises they adopted throughout their elections that helped ensure they had an engaged electorate, including their use of the new UnionCloud elections dashboard to drive engagement and other methods.

 

(For professionals)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptor:

  • Representation and Campaigning

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Heather Whiston - Marketing and Digital Engagement Coordinator, Leeds Trinity Students' Union TBC
  • Kate Mitchell - Student Voice Coordinator, Keele Students' Union TBC
  • Matthew Webber - General Manager, Leeds Trinity Students' Union
  • Tom Berry - Head of Communications and Engagement, University of Bristol Students' Union
  • Emma Hedges: Student Voice Coordinator, Keele SU
  • Ed Thake-Adams - Marketing Manager, University of Bristol Students' Union
  • Rebecca Butler - Community Engagement Manager, NUS

 

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Student Opportunities: The risk and rewards of inspiring student leaders

Location: Gallery Seminar Suites 16 & 17

This session will take a deeper look into the management of student opportunities. Presented bilingually, this will cover some of the challenges and opportunities of facilitating student led activity, as well as explore current best practice in a time where students want to do more in different environments throughout the year.

The bilingual presentation will broadly cover the following:  inspiring and supporting student leaders, staff understanding - it's not just a game 

The essentials: competency and compliance, risk management and record keeping, so you've been given the risk assessment - now what? Equipment/asset management and monitoring, don't be afraid to say yes! Encouraging adventure, making failure acceptable, training and development, staff expertise and knowledge sharing, the show must go on! Partnership working: SU and University, and When it goes wrong.

 

(For student officers and those new to the movement)

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptor:

  • Participation

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Steve Barnard - Opportunities Manager, Undeb Bangor

 

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Students' Unions Running Academic Modules

Location: Concourse Suites 19 & 20

An Income Stream or a Step too Far  Coventry University Students' Union (CUSU) has run credit bearing academic modules for over 10 years, for which they receive an income from the University. Many have commented on how this works, as how can a Students' Union run an advice centre, a representation system and academic modules for which they may also receive complaints about. How can all of these services be run from the same department and represent students' fairly? This session will demonstrate what CUSU has achieved and how it has managed these apparent contradictions.

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptor:

  • Services

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Paul Burt Membership Services Manager, Coventry University Students’ Union
  • Devina Whitwell Placements and Modules Manager, Coventry University Students’ Union

 

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We know what Brexit means… but do we?

Location: Concourse Suites 21 & 22

We know what Brexit means...but do we?  In March the Prime Minister formally declared, by triggering Article 50, that the UK would leave the EU. The Government have published a White Paper outlining their position but as negotiations progress what the final outcome will mean for students and Students' Unions will change. This interactive session will review influencing work to date and attempt to outline what the final deal might look like and what preparations we all need to make.

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptor:

  • Strategic Planning

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Mike Day - Assistant Director of Nations, Devolved Nations and Internationalism, NUS

 

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GDPR and Students' Unions

Location: Concourse Suite 28 & 29

Data sharing agreements and data use. This session, presented by Gary Shipsey from Protecture, addresses some of the key changes in the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and how they affect practice in Students' Unions. This session is suitable for staff responsible for data protection in their Union and will be supported by a written briefing to take away. Delegates will leave with up to date information on data share agreements with institutions, handling personal sensitive data in your union, opt-ins and data use for wider Students’ Union activities.

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptor:

  • Governance

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Gary Shipsey - Managing Director, Protecture 
  • Gemma Dean - Operations and Renewals Manager, Protecture

 

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'Big Data' on staff engagement: What's it telling us?

Location: Concourse Suites 31 & 32

The session will share and discuss review some of the important findings from the national Employee Engagement survey for Students' Unions.  Now in its fifth year, over 50 different Students' Unions have taken part in the annual survey since it began in 2013. By collating the data together we can begin to understand more about the movement than is possible from individual surveys.  Delivered in partnership with Agenda Consulting, specialists in staff and volunteer benchmarking in the not-for profit sector, the session will look at some key trends across our movement and consider how we might use this information to improve how we recruit, manage, develop and support staff in Students Unions.

 

Links to Quality Students’ Unions descriptor:

  • People

 

Workshop Presenters:

  • Tim Walters - Principal Consultant, Agenda Consulting
  • Claire Marsland - HR Senior Consultant, NUS

 

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