Training & Development:
All of our Executive Officers are able to participate in the flagship Officer Development Programmes. The summer residential training courses, combined with regular NUS events throughout the year make sure that our Executive Officers are able to make the most of their time in office and are able to deliver all they set out to in their campaigns and manifestos. The NUS also offer training for UPSU staff, part time Student Representatives, volunteers and students to develop their skills and expertise.
The NUS provide an external Returning Officer to oversee our Executive Officer elections. This is in order to ensure compliance with the Education Act 1994 and to assist the UPSU Deputy Returning Officer, Lead Officer and staff to increase engagement in our elections and ensure that they are run fairly and transparently.
NUS’ in-house research unit provides NUS and students’ unions with the intelligence they need to make evidence-based arguments nationally and locally. Examples of this can be found on NUS connect. Some reports include research about Postgraduate Funding and Pound in Your Pocket, the first comprehensive reports that dive into levels of student financial support. Both of these pieces of work have contributed to changes in legislation and practices nationally, with the first postgraduate loan provision announced and a commitment from Universities to publish hidden course costs. The NUS have dedicated researchers and writers who support national Policy and shaping best practise. As an affiliated students’ union, we are able to utilise and access these expertise to support your elected Student Representatives with their campaigns, projects and ideas. Their reports on Lad Culture, the General Election and Hidden Course Costs have been hugely beneficial to past and current Executive Officers work as they are able to use national data to lobby the University for positive changes on our campus, for you.
The Green Impact scheme run by the NUS, not only makes sure that UPSU is doing all it can to be environmentally sustainable, it also gives you the opportunity to ask the same of the University. Plymouth’s Green Impact Excellence Award means that they are a leading students’ union when it comes to this area of work!
The NUS Connect is your gateway to the entire student movement. It allows you to contact and interact with Officers and staff from across the country, enabling you to ask questions, see how things are done elsewhere and collaborate with other students’ unions to get better results for other students. It also holds a bank of documents, materials and research that we can access at a touch of a button, including legal advice that student unions alone could not afford to obtain.
Students Union Quality Mark:
As a successor to SUEI, NUS has developed a SU Quality Mark with a core-package that will be available free of charge to member student unions.
Students’ Union Staff Competency Framework:
This year the NUS Charitable Services will launch a competency framework to complement our existing leadership development programme for CEOs, senior managers and aspiring managers. This helps UPSU ensure that we have the best, most effective and skilled management in place.
For every card purchased by a Plymouth University student, UPSU receives £4.70 in commission! Last year (2013/14) over £50,000 went directly back to the students’ union from the NUS. We are then able to spend this money back into supporting you, your Societies, Sport Clubs, Volunteering, sport facilities, student media, our Advice Centre, our venue and much much more. Every student that buys a card also makes an average saving of £193 over a year.
Because UPSU purchases it’s licensed and retail products in conjunction with other students’ unions across the country through NUS, UPSU had over £100,000 in savings last year (2013/14).