The Students Union Strategy 2005-2010 by asafwewe


The Students Union Strategy 2005-2010

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									    The University of Surrey Students’ Union

The Students’ Union Strategy

                      September 2005
            Compiled and Edited by Andy Blair (
               Deputy General Manager (Membership Services)

       Draft Versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 , 1.3 and 2.0 are superseded by this document.
                            The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                           Completed Strategy | API Blair

Executive Summary
The Union’s Strategy 2005-2010 is consistent with the University’s Vision Statement and
Strategy document for 2004-14 and confirms the Students’ Union’s vision and mission to unify,
support, develop and represent the students of the University of Surrey.

It recognises that the period 2005-2010 will be extremely challenging due to the changing nature
of student expectations and the internationalization of the Higher Education sector at large.
Greater diversity amongst members will fuel an expectation to provide better quality services and
a wider variety of activities. Raised expectations will trigger a need for greater transparency and
financial security to allow the organisation to provide relevant and comprehensive services and
representation to best sustain a strong reputation and purpose within Surrey’s recruitment
portfolio and overall student experience.

It proposes strategic developments by dividing the Union into three core areas; Membership
Services, Traded Services and Central Services.

The Union will pursue the primary objective of completely redefining the democratic model of
student representation contained within the constitution and will ensure significant steps are taken
to create and maintain a contemporary model for academic representation at the University of
Surrey. This will be coupled with the introduction of a management information system to control
membership information that will allow the Union to better track student participation and
affiliation to particular activities.

Increasing opportunities and removing barriers to participation will ensure that the Union
propagates a wide range of well run and appropriately funded activities to enhance the student
experience. These will focus on the future opportunities provided by the forthcoming activities
facilities at Manor Park. These activities will be supported by ensuring excellence in training and
development and strengthening peer-led activities in areas of key skills and entrepreneurship
during the life of the strategy. Equal emphasis on individual development and group activities
will create strength when delivered as integrated opportunities in association with University
departments and external organisations.

Managing, marketing and promotion of the organisations abilities and opportunities will be
enhanced by the introduction of key performance indicators, ensuring business development
through growth in planning and review as well as increased participation, sales and sponsorships
to support the membership.

The overall growth in postgraduate and overseas student numbers will be met by an insistence on
providing better support, outreach activities and innovative opportunities over the five years and
the Union will maximize its relationships within the student and local communities.

Financial robustness will be achieved through creating an evolved economic model that aims to
minimize the need to continually increase public funding through the subvention. Securing
sources of income from non-traditional streams will ensure stability and protect the Union’s
commitments to investing in enhancing the overall student experience. In addition to this, the
Union will manage its affairs with integrity and ensure it remains a supporting and trusted
employer, retaining its accolade as an Investor in People by embracing social and cultural
diversity throughout its operations, IT infrastructure and services.

                            The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                           Completed Strategy | API Blair

The Students’ Union will remain the market leader in social activity within Guildford by
providing a safe, comfortable and fashion conscious environment. All trading activity taking
place will be focussed on funding the experience provided by the organisation to students at the
University of Surrey. This will ensure that all investments made into trading activities will be
focused on providing financial resources for the central administration and maintenance of the
Union’s facilities and assets and generating income to progress the development of student
activities. This will include creating a long term alternative to traditional Students’ Union trading
to bring investment into the student experience.

In summary, The University of Surrey Students’ Union will fulfil its vision and mission by
building on its strengths and addressing its weaknesses - taking into account the environmental
factors that will affect it in areas of finance, service delivery and democratic structure. By
realigning and evolving the core purposes and activities of the Union within the student
community, future developments within the University of Surrey will be able to benefit from a
robust and well ordered student-led organisation that will be recognised as delivering a world-
renowned student experience.

                        The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                       Completed Strategy | API Blair


Executive Summary

1) The Students’ Union Mission & Vision ……………………………………..                              5

2) Strategic Context ……………………………………………………………..                                        5

3) The Strategic Direction of the Students’ Union ……………………………                         8


4) Membership Services Strategies

       4.1 - Representation & Welfare Strategy …………………………………                          10
       4.2 - Student Activities Strategy ………………………………………….                            13
       4.3 - Student Training & Development Strategy …………………………                       15
       4.4 - Marketing & Communications Strategy …………………………….                         17
       4.5 - Outreach Strategy …………………………………………………...                                 21

5) Central Services Strategies

       5.1 - Finance Strategy …………………………………………………….                                   24
       5.2 - Human Resources Strategy ………………………………………….                               27
       5.3 - Information Technology Strategy …………………………………...                         29
       5.4 - Transport Strategy …………………………………………………..                                 30

6) Traded Services Strategies

       6.1 - Traded Services Strategy ……………………………………………                               34
              6.1.2 - Bars, Catering & Entertainments ……………………………………………               34
              6.1.3 - Retail & Diversified Trading …………………………………………………                35
              6.1.4 – General Development ………………………………………………………...                    36
              6.1.5 – Assisted Investments & Consideration ……………………………………..           36
       6.2 - Venue Strategy ……………………………………………………… 37

7) ANNEX B: The Operating Environment for the University of Surrey
           Students’ Union: PESTLE Analysis ……………………………                               40

8) ANNEX C: Strengths and Weaknesses of the University of Surrey
           Students’ Union: SWOT Analysis ……………………………...                              46

9) ANNEX D: Strategic Options ………………………………………………..                                    48

                               The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                              Completed Strategy | API Blair

1) The Students’ Union Mission and Vision
   1.1. The 1994 Education Act defines a Students’ Union in the first instance as:

         (a) an association of the generality of students at an establishment …whose
         principal purposes include promoting the general interests of its members as
         students; or

         (b) a representative body (whether an association or not) whose principal purposes
         include representing the generality of students at an establishment … in academic,
         disciplinary or other matters relating to the government of the establishment.

   1.2. The Students’ Union’s values are encapsulated in its vision statement:

         The University of Surrey Students’ Unions vision is to become a world class
         representative organisation and provider of activities and resources to develop a
         truly cosmopolitan student experience for our membership. We will achieve this by
         unifying, supporting, developing and representing the students of the University of
         Surrey and creating strong social and political relationships on a local, national and
         international scale.

   1.3. The University of Surrey Students’ Union mission will therefore be

         ‘To unify, support, develop and represent the students of the University of Surrey’.

   1.4. The purpose of the strategy set out in this document is to secure these objectives and
        realise this vision over the 5 year period 2005-2010, in the context of the needs of
        students in the contemporary UK.

2) The Strategic context
   2.1      The Operating Environment

         2.1.1.      The increase in competition within the global HE market will be matched by a
                  rising emphasis being placed on the student experience by universities for
                  recruitment purposes. Students’ Unions across the UK will become significantly
                  more focused on ensuring universities provide a rounded student experience during
                  the period 2005-2010. This will include monitoring the developments in service
                  quality and provision across the sector as well as developing new methods engaging
                  students within a cosmopolitan environment.

         2.1.2.      The introduction of tuition fees will compound the need for Students’ Unions to
                  enhance their representational mechanisms, ensuring students receive the best
                  possible individual representation when needed and that collective issues are
                  addressed in an appropriate manner. Academic representation will also need to be
                  developed to allow for greater feedback and continued monitoring of teaching
                  quality and support provision following the recent round of QAA Internal Audits.
                  This will ensure student opinion is sought and the universities are able to access
                  constructive channels of feedback to assist in the delivery of their teaching and
                  learning objectives. Students’ Unions seeking to continue their affiliation to the

                             The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                            Completed Strategy | API Blair

               National Union of Students will look for this increased representational need to be
               expanded at a national level through the reform of the NUS.

      2.1.3.      The future funding of the Students’ Union will be market sensitive, both in terms
               of its subvention funding and revenue for activities drawn through traded
               operations. As Unions continue to grow, new avenues of funding will have to be
               explored to underpin the improvement process and solidify a Union’s ability to
               provide a wider range of core services. Diversification of trading activities will
               redefine the perceived purpose of Students’ Union traded services; seen not as
               simply creating surpluses but generating third party revenue to invest in the overall
               student experience. The implications of those costs beyond the control of SU’s such
               as National Insurance and pension contributions will continue to place strain on
               financial resources.

      2.1.4.      If passed, The Charities Bill, first proposed in 2005, will redefine how charitable
               organisations are governed and operationally managed. This will have the largest
               impact on the governance of Students’ Unions since the 1994 Education Act and
               will force SU’s to more clearly define roles and responsibilities between elected
               officers, professional staff and trustees to satisfy any change in legislation. Changes
               to licensing laws and a potential ban on smoking in public places in England and
               Wales will also affect the traditional operating model and environment associated
               with Students’ Unions.

      2.1.5.      Unions will continue to be highly affected by social trends and contemporary
               fashions. A balance of pro-action and reaction will require Unions to more
               effectively monitor their membership and embrace diversity on a broader scale. The
               variance in member ages will also change the operating environment and further
               affect the accessibility of some students to services operated by the organisation
               over the period 2005-2010. This will further encourage the need to embrace
               management and communication technologies to allow access to resources and
               services as part of a 24/7 campus culture.

      2.1.6.      At Surrey, local changes to transport provision and shopping and leisure
               facilities will impact on the organisation, particularly in terms of traded services.
               The Students’ Union fully expects to be a key competitor in any changing market
               with a continued high profile duty of care for its members. The evolution of the
               Manor Park campus will also change campus dynamics.

      2.1.7.      It is assumed in the setting of the Students’ Unions strategy that projections and
               predictions of the global Higher Education market place outlined in the University
               of Surrey’s Strategy 2004-2014 will be fulfilled. Turbulence in the higher education
               sector could have a variety of effects on funding, service provision, fashion/social
               trends, diversity and political aspirations of the organisation. The Students’ Union
               will continue to be mindful of those factors that will affect the University of Surrey
               during the course of this strategy.

2.2      The SWOT Analysis

      2.2.1.     The SWOT Analysis shows the Students’ Union to be a financially robust
               organisation in comparison with peers in the sector, with a good staff team
               commanding a wide knowledge and strong reputation. This is coupled with rounded

                       The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                      Completed Strategy | API Blair

         services delivered to a high standard. The Union has also developed strong brand
         equity and has a culture of maintaining strong links within the community, the
         University and within national networks. [Annex C: 1.0]

2.2.2.      The core weaknesses of the Union are centred on the governance and constitution
         of the Union being obsolete. This has been compounded by the lack of a mid to
         long term strategic plan. Academic connections do not allow for high standards of
         representation for members and the QAA internal audit exposed weaknesses that
         should be addressed when gauging student feedback across the University. The
         layout of Union House and the suitability of the building for the purposes for which
         it is used, significantly hamper the accessibility of services and ability of the
         Union’s activities being able to interface with students. Poor storage facilities, IT
         infrastructure and high demand on services which exceed the financial and human
         resources leave the Union vulnerable in a volatile market. [Annex C: 2.0]

2.2.3.     By becoming more accessible, accountable and focused on providing a high
         quality service, the Union can channel its resources into uniting, supporting,
         developing and representing its membership more thoroughly. By engaging with a
         more cultural membership the Union will be able to benefit from the institution-
         wide support for enhancing the student experience. This can be possible through the
         expansion and diversification of funding streams through both public and
         commercial sources with a focus on developing cultural wealth within the

         The changing focus of students as customers provides an opportunity to
         professionalise services and enhance elected representation across the board to
         solidify the model of USSU being a student led cultural catalyst within the
         University. This is all underpinned by the opportunity to reposition the SU through
         a change in constitution and staff structure to ensure its future and create a strong
         core framework.[Annex C: 3.0]

2.2.4.     The greatest threats to the future of the organisation are unpredictable funding
         sources and the changing social ethic of students. Increasing competition and a
         declining student market in areas of traditional commercial trading could see an
         inability to raise sufficient capital to fund necessary developments. Globalisation of
         the HE market makes for an unpredictable student expectation of the organisation
         and the development of the Manor Park site could seriously marginalise the Union
         as part of the campus equilibrium due to its physical location. Not tackling the
         problems with the constitution will also threaten the long term viability of the
         organisation as being student led and the loss of key staff and costs beyond the
         control of the organisation add to the overall potential threats to becoming an elite
         example of a world class student organisation.[Annex C: 4.0]

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

3) Strategic Direction of the Students’ Union
3. The Strategic Option selected as the direction for the Students’ Union between 2005-2010 is
   outlined in Annex D as Option 2. This will see the Union evolve and innovate across four
   main areas:

       •   Representation and governance

       •   Development of Student Activities

       •   Diversification of trading activity and creation of a new economic model for the
           Students’ Union

       •   Embracing the social and cultural diversity of the membership

   3.1. By developing these four areas of the organisation, the Union will be able to address
        many of the issues raised by the analysis of its abilities and operating environment. The
        supporting strategies outlined in Annex A provide statements for each department that
        set out how the Union will strategically develop in this direction across the period 2005-

   3.2. By providing a financially viable and well structured Students’ Union that is focused on
        the proactive engagement and representation of students, the Union will be able to
        provide services and facilities that will support the mission statement and objective to
        ‘unify, support, develop and represent’ its members.

             The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                            Completed Strategy | API Blair


                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

4.1 Representation & Welfare Strategy
1. Overview and Vision

   1.1. As the only provider of independent representation to students of the University of
        Surrey, the Students’ Union must protect its ability to give a timely, accessible and
        comprehensive service to students.

   1.2. As the Students’ Union SWOT & PESTLE analyses have highlighted, significant steps
        must be taken to ensure that both its members and the University of Surrey are given
        access to a contemporary model for academic representation as well as feedback for
        development of the core services that fuel the overall student experience.

   1.3. The Students’ Union’s primary objective will be to completely redefine the model of
        representation contained within its constitution, challenging the traditional model of
        student democracy and ensuring all potential issues surrounding the need for
        representational depth have been covered.

   1.4. The University of Surrey Students’ Union will aim to become the benchmark for
        introducing and maintaining a world class representative model and establish an
        innovative approach to member, officer, Union Staff and University involvement in its

2. Union Constitution & Governance

   2.1. With immediate effect from the ratification of this strategy, the Students’ Union will
        enact a comprehensive review of its constitution and governance structure. This will
        include a thorough assessment of how the provisional plans prepared by the Union for
        consideration in 2004/5 can be enacted when taking into account the legal and political
        obligations that must be satisfied.

   2.2. The findings of the Students’ Union working groups empowered to provide an outline
        democratic framework during October 2004 – February 2005 will become the basis from
        which a new constitution is drawn, ensuring the unanimity reached by the Sabbatical
        Officers, Union Executive and Union Staff is upheld.

   2.3. The Union will build on the initial endorsement of the principles set out by these
        working groups to University Senior Staff in February 2005. This will ensure that the
        University are instrumental in developing this constitution to best support a truly
        integrated representational framework for students across the institution.

   2.4. The National Union of Students will be invited to participate in the modelling process to
        gain constructive feedback on the implications of engineering a radical model of
        representation and governance in line with changes in charity legislation.

   2.5. The Union will ensure that any new constitution increases accountability and provides
        student centric discussion forums across the institution as part of a revised system of
        academic representation as well as in areas of student activities and welfare. The
        representation of students will be the core motivating principle for each Union
        committee and elected officer position between 2005-2010.

                            The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                           Completed Strategy | API Blair

   2.6. Due to the proposed changes in legislation, the Sabbatical Officers will no longer be the
        sole trustees of the Students’ Union. Upon approval of the constitutional review the
        number of full time elected officers will be evaluated to minimise officer responsibility
        for operational management and administration in favour of maximising student contact
        both inside and outside of Union premises.

3. Representation

   3.1. The constitutional review will create a framework to ensure students are properly
        represented at the University of Surrey across the institution.

   3.2. The Union will seek to facilitate greater communication between students and academic
        staff via the creation of an academic forum at which elected School representatives will
        communicate their student’s views to the University and each other. This will be an
        intrinsic part of the constitutional review. This will also be in addition to the restoration
        of the current Programme Representative system with the Union assisting individual
        schools to continue to recruit representatives for each course where needed.

   3.3. The Union will strive to improve the quality of advice it can offer across academic and
        welfare issues. It is currently not envisioned that this service will be situated in any
        University ‘One Stop Shop’ as this may diminish the perceived independency of advice
        on offer, however steps will be taken to maximise the interrelation between the
        Representation and Welfare Unit and the Student Care Services of the University to
        create a perception of strong partnership.

   3.4. The development of an integrated relationship with the Dean of Students and Deputy
        Dean will support the growth of relationships between the RAWU and the University on
        matter of student welfare and academic appeal.

   3.5. The Students’ Union will also continue to offer up to date, high quality information and
        will seek to provide this through all appropriate mediums, particularly through printed
        and electronic formats.

   3.6. The Representation and Welfare Unit and all elected officers of the Students’ Union will
        strive to provide and promote representational services to all students and will fulfil their
        potential to engage with postgraduates, part-time students and distance learners
        throughout the year.

4. Developing Student Support

   4.1. The Students’ Union will continue its commitment to assisting the University in the
        recruitment and training of Senior Residents in all University halls of residence. This
        will be done in association with Court Wardens.

   4.2. Support will be given to the University in its development of the Multi Faith Centre. It is
        believed that this centre will offer students from a wide variety of religious backgrounds
        the opportunity to meet and discuss ideas in a non-confrontational environment. The
        Union will seek to have a point within the building that will allow the Union’s religious
        societies to engage with each other and for the Union to maintain contact with members
        of the faith community.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   4.3. The Union will continue to further its relationship with the local community and
        generate productive partnerships on issues of mutual interest; particularly it will
        strengthen its links with Guildford Borough Council, Surrey Police, Guildford Chamber
        of Commerce and other community groups.

   4.4. The Representation and Welfare Unit will be enhanced to provide suitable private
        meeting space for individual consultations by September 2006.

   4.5. As a matter of priority, the Union will seek to employ additional full time staff in the
        provision of student advice on representational and welfare matters by the end of 2006.
        This will include a development of the current staffing structure within the Unit as a
        result of constitutional changes and dependent on qualified necessity.

   4.6. The Union will aim to have professionalised the Representation and Welfare Unit to
        eradicate inconsistencies in service quality brought about by the annual changes of
        Union officers. This will ensure the first generation of students paying ‘top-up’ fees will
        receive a high standard of independent support.

5. Campaigning and Affiliations

   5.1. The Union will remain an affiliate of the National Union of Students so long as it is
        deemed to be the wish of the students via campus-wide referendum. The Union will seek
        to significantly increase its influence within the national movement to guarantee its
        members have a national presence during the next parliament and General Election.

   5.2. Campaigning will be evaluated to make sure that there is a true focus on issues that
        directly affect students and that these issues are not understated by poor planning and
        execution of campaign delivery, ensuring the correct staff support is given throughout.

   5.3. The Union will actively seek to enhance its regional acquaintances with the Guildford
        Youth Council and Surrey Youth Parliament, aiding and supporting these organisations
        where possible to kindle lasting relationships with local political youth movements.

   5.4. The Students’ Union will campaign for the development of social spaces within
        departments and halls of residences during the strategy period, with a particular
        aspiration to ensure areas are available that are not driven by the sale of alcohol.

   5.5. The Union will campaign to ensure that there is significant investment and commitment
        from the University of Surrey in securing provision of a nursery facility for student
        parents. In light of the University’s aim to Widen Participation and increase the number
        of mature and postgraduate students attracted to the University, the Union will strive to
        guarantee that a nursery remains a high priority amongst the University’s agenda.

6. Maintaining Moral Independence

   6.1. Although the Union and the University of Surrey will remain in close partnership, the
        Union will continue to professionally challenge the University on issues that are in the
        best interests of its membership; firstly through mutually committed dialogue and, as a
        last resort, through public political campaigning.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   6.2. Throughout the life of this strategy, steps will be taken to ensure that the cultural wealth
        promoted by a secure partnership between both organisations is not to the detriment of
        the Union’s independence to directly and forcibly challenge the parent institution where
        right to do so. This shall become the acknowledged framework that guides a truly
        collaborative approach to representation and welfare support at the University of Surrey
        and underpins this strategic plan.

4.2 Student Activities Strategy

1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The Students’ Union will aim to significantly enhance its ability to provide a wide range
        of well run and appropriately funded activities for students to enhance the student
        experience by 2010. This will include focusing on the future opportunities provided by
        forthcoming sports facilities at Manor Park and redeveloping its storage capacity both on
        and off site to provide secure facilities for Union equipment.

   1.2. The breadth of diversity within the student community will require the Union to better
        provide opportunities for international, postgraduate and disabled members, particularly
        in areas of sports, societies, training and personal development.

   1.3. The Student Activities Department will manage the introduction of a membership
        management system to track student participation and affiliation as part of the Union’s
        wider membership management and feedback agenda.

2. Participation

   2.1. Participation in student activities will be defined in terms of the number of active and
        passive participants in club activities, in order for participation levels to be examined.
        Participation levels will be assessed to identify groups within the student community
        which are participating least in Union Activities and measures taken to provide avenues
        for involvement.

   2.2. Barriers to participation in Student Activities will be identified and tools developed to
        overcome these - with particular focus on providing opportunities for involvement for
        cultural groups, distance learners, placement and disabled students and nurses.

   2.3. The SU will strengthen and create new relationships within the University which will
        develop avenues for participation in Student Activities by all students.

3. Opportunities & Availability

   3.1. The existing provision of activities for students will be consolidated and developed to be
        accessible to all students and create more opportunities for involvement from all student
        groups. Activities will be developed to meet the needs of Postgraduate students, assist
        the growth and reach of cultural societies and create more successful sports clubs in both
        recruitment and competition. These should include students with disabilities.

   3.2. The Union’s commitment to Raise & Give (RAG) will be developed to further enable
        students to assist nominated charities.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   3.3. The opportunity to ensure Wednesday afternoons are ‘free for student activities’ will be
        pursued with the University, striving to make Student Activities accessible to all student

   3.4. The Union will continue to develop initiatives to provide ‘one-off’ samples of activities,
        which have been successful in engaging all student groups and providing new
        opportunities for the development of cultural activities across campus. This will be
        partly achieved through the continued development of the ‘Give It A Go’ scheme.

4. Operation & Support

   3.5. The development of a Student’s Union Sports Association will be explored, with the aim
        of creating greater ownership of sports development by sports people and developing a
        strong sporting identity for sports clubs in association with UniSport. The variance in
        fees paid by students to participate in student activities will be examined, with the aim of
        standardising fees for sports in association with UniSport.

   3.6. The administration and management of clubs and societies will be reviewed and
        developed to include a workable auditing system for purchased equipment.

   3.7. The Union will introduce a membership management system, allowing for information
        to be held regarding participation in student activities and also information collated from
        audits of equipment. This will be alongside a clearly defined health and safety policy
        and the development of tools to aid effective internal and external communication. This
        will be a priority across all student activities and allow for coordination with the
        University Personal Development Plan to take place.

   3.8. The developments in the administration of student activities will be supported by the
        recruitment of a Societies Administrator and Sports Coordinator rather than a single
        member of support staff for both. Findings of the constitutional review will also give
        guidance on the restructuring of staffing levels and full-time officer positions to best
        support the future sustainable development of activities across the board.

   3.9. The training of club and society officers will continue to be developed to ensure they are
        equipped with up to date and relevant information to enable the clubs and societies to be
        managed efficiently.

4. Accommodation of Activities

   4.1. With the development of new sports facilities on Manor Park, it will be necessary for
        Union activities to have a presence on the new campus. In lieu of new facilities, the
        location of student activities will be reviewed, due to the need for a more ‘shop front’
        position to increase accessibility and awareness of the opportunities available to

   4.2. The pressure on existing storage facilities, increased with the loss of the Boat Shed at the
        Varisty Centre, will be addressed with the creation of dedicated, safe storage facilities
        for student club and society equipment. The Students’ Union will ensure that appropriate
        storage facilities for Union equipment are created as part of the initial social
        developments on the Manor Park campus.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

5. Funding of Activities

   5.1. In line with its Finance Strategy, the Union will ensure that the effectiveness of monies
        invested in student activities is maximised through stringent procedures, continual
        monitoring of activity budgets and comprehensive claw-back at the end of each period
        of activity.
   5.2. Additional sources of revenue for clubs and societies will be actively sought in
        conjunction with the Union’s marketing resources and the Membership Services

   5.3. The Union will neither over or understate the costs of running its activities during the
        life of this strategy when applying for funding. It will commit to the intention of seeing
        an increase in funding to fulfil its ambition to become a world class provider of diverse
        student opportunities and peer-to-peer activities.

   5.4. The Union will push hard to ensure that there is significant investment from the
        University of Surrey in consolidating and enhancing the range and quality of facilities
        and equipment for all student led activities as part of the student experience agenda.

4.3 Student Training & Development
1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. Training and developing students is central to the Union’s vision and mission. During
        the life of this strategy, the Union will build on its reputation and strength at providing
        peer-led opportunities in areas of key skills and entrepreneurship. This will be done by
        delivering stand alone activities as well as integrated opportunities in association with
        University departments and third party organisations.

   1.2. It is the Union’s vision that students will be able to enhance their employability and be
        exposed to the option of becoming an entrepreneur through the activities offered by the

2. Skills Training / The DAVE Project

   2.1. The Development, Accreditation, Volunteering and Employability Project (DAVE) will
        be significantly developed to ensure it remains a leading programme amongst Students’
        Unions for peer-to-peer training.

   2.2. The range of training sessions offered will be reviewed on an annual basis in association
        with the National Student Learning Programme to ensure all courses are relevant and
        well written for each generation of student.

   2.3. In conjunction with the teaching and learning commitments of the University of Surrey,
        the DAVE Project will focus on allowing students to increase their generic level of
        understanding of the skills they require to become more employable by supporting the
        development of the Personal Development Plan.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   2.4. The Union will work closely with the Centre for Learning Development on both the
        Personal Development Plan project and the e-PDP project as they are progressed.

   2.5. DAVE Project trainers will be further developed through their role, engaging with the
        National Student Learning Programme more directly. The Union will also explore the
        option of part-paying student trainers to ensure retention of trainers during the academic
        year. Network events for trainers to meet peers from other Universities should also be

   2.6. A ‘deposit’ system will be investigated to increase the transfer in numbers from students
        booking on to a session to numbers in attendance with an aim to professionalise the

   2.7. The branding and marketing of the DAVE Project will be reviewed in 2005 and every
        year thereafter to ensure its appeal remains in fashion. All marketing materials should be
        reviewed on an annual basis, including the title of the project if necessary.

   2.8. An IT solution to enhance the current booking mechanic should be developed by 2006/7.
        This should be a resource capable of tying in with the membership management process
        the Students’ Union should adopt for Student Activities.

   2.9. Corporate sponsors will be sought to ensure the project has a high enough profile to be
        able to continue to grow and develop programmes relevant to the work place and to
        develop on the relationship built with Sainsbury’s PLC.

   2.10.        Evaluating the future of the Individual Development scheme of accreditation
        should take place upon ratification of this strategy to ensure that the most appropriate
        certification/accreditation is made available to participants of the Union’s skills
        development portfolio. A steering group will be formed to best progress this aim.

3. Central Resources

   3.1. The Union will carefully consider the amount of human resource available for expanding
        its commitment to the development of its skills provision. Should the need arise to
        increase the support available, corporate sponsorship, traded services revenue and
        placement options will be explored to avoid the need for centralised funding via the
        subvention. The Union will put pressure on the University to assist in securing third
        party funding or a HEFCE funding stream where possible, prior to placing a bid for
        higher subvention in this area.

   3.2. The Union will ensure that the DAVE Project is appropriately located and that facilities
        are appropriately maintained to allow for groups to participate in training in a suitable

   3.3. Union Officer training and Sabbatical Handover will utilise the resources available
        through the Union’s training programme during the induction of these positions to
        ensure all Union officers have an understanding of the Union’s training activities.

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4. Developing Entrepreneurs

   4.1. As a matter of priority, the Union will develop its relationship with UniSdirect to ensure
        that it develops as the medium through which to engage with students to encourage

   4.2. The Future University of Surrey Entrepreneurs scheme and Entrepreneurship Society
        will be encouraged to increase the number of students involved in their activities,
        creating networking opportunities, specialist training and access to information in
        association with UniSdirect.

   4.3. The Union will increase its level of human resource during the life of this strategy to
        extend its ability to become a Students’ Union renowned for its opportunities for
        members wishing to become self employed. This will be done by working with
        UniSdirect to secure third party funding and by building relationships with local funding
        organisations including the South East England Development Agency.

   4.4. The Union will consider running ‘Business Plan’ competitions, exchange schemes and
        organising conferences/summer schools in association with UniSdirect and the School of
        Management to raise the profile of the University nationally from a student perspective.

   4.5. An online community for entrepreneurs will be developed as part of the Union’s
        revitalisation of with a view to managing and maintaining a spin-off
        website for entrepreneurs across the South East of England in conjunction UniSdirect.

4.4 Marketing & Communications Strategy
1. Overview

   1.1. In line with the University of Surrey’s goal to be seen as the ‘University of Choice’, the
        Students’ Union will market itself accordingly, guided by the ideal of being seen as the
        ‘Union of Opportunity’. This should ensure that the image of the Students’ Union is
        developed to maximise the awareness of our diverse membership; ensure we are being
        seen to be more accountable, focused and transparent and committed to developing
        methods for encouraging integration for all students.

   1.2. Marketing objectives will be set centrally as well as across both Membership and Traded
        Services areas of the Union. Each yearly operational plan must tie its marketing
        objectives to agreed key performance indicators. These objectives should ensure
        business development through growth in sales and sponsorship as well as show
        imagination and innovation in creating materials to inform and engage the membership.

2. Market Research

   2.1. Through cultivating a programme of institution-wide market research, the Student’s
        Union will begin a process of regular and thorough assessment of the student body in
        addition to those methods already employed through constitutional processes. Primarily,
        but not exclusively, this will take place in the second semester of the academic year to

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       further inform the budgeting process and to ensure that officer and staff summer
       planning is heavily influenced by the results of research carried out.

   2.2. Analysis of cultural trends must be enacted to ensure a greater depth of understanding.
        This will include assessing information requirements, social preferences and purchasing
        behaviours to give a clear picture of what drives the membership’s actions with regards
        engagement with the Students’ Union. The utilisation of captive groups such as sports
        clubs and societies to act as sample cells for feedback will be increased and the use of
        membership management software to track and record data on social affiliations and
        habits per member will be enacted.

   2.3. Within the wider marketplace, research that has been carried out by external
        organisations will be more readily available and utilised. This will include pinpointing
        companies likely to engage with the Students’ Union for advertising purposes and
        investment and potential avenues for partnership with both non-commercial and
        commercial projects.

3. Branding & Corporate Identity

   3.1. The current branding was introduced in 1999 following the introduction of the UniS
        brand and created the abbreviated USSU logo. Within the first 2 years of the life of this
        strategy, the Students’ Union will undertake a re-branding exercise to modernise its
        profile, carefully researching alternatives to the current branding to create an identity
        that clearly encapsulates everything the Union perceives itself to be.

   3.2. This re-branding should coincide with the release of the model of governance created as
        part of the constitutional review process.

4. Marketing Operations

   4.1. A central resource for assisting in the promotion of activities and development of
        marketing campaigns will be continued and enhanced. Human resource in this area will
        remain an essential part of the Union’s marketing activities to ensure that the
        organisation is positioned as the primary gateway to student brand awareness.

   4.2. The Union will clearly define a portfolio of marketing ‘mini-guides’ that can be adopted
        to suit a variety of Union activities to ensure that events receive the maximum possible
        exposure. These will include template timelines as to when/how to produce materials,
        lead times and recommended suppliers, procedures for global emailing and Union
        advertising policies. These mini-guides should be utilised by clubs and societies as well
        as central union officers and staff to allow for the creation of a Union ‘standard’ for
        approaching marketing of activities whilst devolving ownership of marketing processes
        to individual activity leaders.

   4.3. A student marketing team will be created to act as a knowledge and resource base
        through which to propagate strong peer-to-peer awareness. This team should assist
        across the full range of Union activities, ensuring team members are utilised for gaining
        sponsorship and revenue for student activities.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
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5. Public Relations

   5.1. The Union will aim to reinforce its current profile within the local community by
        developing a strong brand presence and celebrating its achievements in a public manner.
        Promoting a positive image of students in the local area should be a priority and the
        Union, its membership and its assets managed in such a way that the organisation is seen
        as a cultural hub within the community. Opportunities to support community initiatives
        should be taken and where appropriate, association with the University press office to
        maximise exposure of good publicity should be developed.

   5.2. The Union’s Outreach Strategy will further support this philosophy of promoting
        positive interaction with the local community.

6. Technical and Trading Services

   6.1. The marketing of technical services will ensure that the Union remains competitive
        within the market and that pricing and service options are attractive to potential clients.
        Commercial development of the ‘Origin’ brand and other Union brands such as ‘Flirt’
        and ‘Rubix’ should be pursued where there will be a direct benefit to the overall student
        experience as a result.

   6.2. Increasing the Union’s profile as part of the University conference package will be an
        essential marketing exercise during the course of this strategy. The Union should
        continue to pursue a commitment to increasing its share of the conference market by
        actively promoting its abilities within the University’s conference packs and gaining
        support from all levels of the University to utilise conference clients as an income stream
        for the student experience through the Students’ Union.

   6.3. Point of sale materials will be overhauled to ensure the membership are clearly
        encouraged to make certain choices when purchasing from the product range and
        marketing activities should be developed around strategic objectives in accordance with
        the Traded Services strategy.

7. Publications & Radio

   7.1. The Students’ Union is entering a period which will undoubtedly see a continued move
        towards a variety of digital media and communication tools for interacting with the
        membership. The Union will commit itself to ensuring that it’s printed and electronic
        communication will make information about the Students’ Union available to all and
        that students are given greater opportunity to develop a collective identity through these

   7.2. Barefacts & GU2 Radio will continue to be produced with a full time officer as Editor-
        in-Chief. The Barefacts Society will manage production of the paper on a continual basis
        with the Students’ Union submitting content alongside student submissions. Although
        Barefacts will receive a continued grant from the Students’ Union, it will continue to
        rely heavily on additional revenue to ensure its continued publication. GU2 Radio will
        continue to operate and develop under the guidance of its own strategy as agreed on an
        annual basis.

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     7.3. The Students’ Union will also consider providing monies to produce a Students’ Union
          publication to ensure information regarding Union issues, democracy, campaigns,
          activities and events continue to be produced for students free at the point of
          distribution. This publication should be produced as frequently as is necessary to ensure
          information is appropriately circulated.

     7.4. Publications to serve the postgraduate, placement and part-time communities should also
          be actively explored whilst ensuring that hard-copy documents are only printed should
          electronic copies be deemed unable to satisfy demand.

     7.5. The Union will continue to provide information for new members as part of the
          University induction programme and also provide hard-copy access to information
          regarding its service provision and activities.

8.   E-Marketing and Soft Publication

     8.1. The Union will migrate as much information for its membership as possible to electronic
          formats over the life of this strategy. All handbooks, information materials, official
          forms, policies and regulations should be made available via the internet by 2010. All
          hard-copy publications should be alternatively available electronically to ensure access
          for remote members.

     8.2. The internet will be utilised for marketing purposes to extend the Union’s direct
          marketing abilities. This will be managed in such a way that correspondence between the
          Union and its members is not seen as spamming or unsolicited. Appropriate policy will
          be developed to clarify the guidelines for e-marketing.

     8.3. E-newsletters, such as Grapevine, should be developed further as options for delivering
          essential information by 2006.

9. The Students’ Union Website

     9.1. The Students’ Union website will become the central communication and information
          tool for student members by 2010. A comprehensive review of how to evolve the current
          website will take place and options for development proposed. Exploration of free
          content resources, marketing activities and the development of a truly integrated online
          community for students should be part of this review with a view to the Union website
          becoming an interactive environment.

     9.2. Emergent technologies should be adopted when cost is not prohibitive and financial
          investment into building an online centre piece for the organisation will be deemed a
          priority for future expenditure. The infrastructure of the content management system
          should be reviewed when any third party contracts expire and the technology adopted for
          the website should be in keeping with the Union’s IT Strategy.

     9.3. Online web-casting of media content will be continued and enhanced and special
          attention paid to sourcing a secure solution to online voting for officer elections before
          2008 and in line with the findings of the Union’s constitutional review.

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   9.4. All clubs and societies should be encouraged to frequently utilise their space on the website and the maintenance of information should be essential
        prerequisite of the existence of a club or society as part of an integrated membership
        management system where possible.

   9.5. Community tools such as discussion boards, chat rooms, avatar environments and e-
        groups should be pursued and opportunities for partnerships with service providers to
        create bespoke solutions will be considered. SMS Text Messaging will also be explored
        as an option for delivering/interacting with students.

4.5 Outreach Strategy
1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The University of Surrey Students’ Union is committed to engaging itself with the local
        community. All University of Surrey (UniS) students and staff should be entitled to, and
        be made aware that they can be actively involved in outreach activities and know how
        they can get involved in these through the Students’ Union.

2. Building Relationships

   2.1. Strong working relationships must continue to be nurtured and maintained throughout
        UniS, especially with Education Liaison’s Widening Participation Department,
        UniSport, The International Office and Careers Centre.

   2.2. Alongside this, relationships must be continuously strengthened with external
        organisations, particularly charities, community organisations and prominent individuals
        involved in outreach activities. This should also be undertaken to highlight potential
        sponsorship opportunities.

   2.3. The Union will continue to monitor funding sources available for volunteering activities
        and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to maintain provision at its current level
        as a minimum standard.

3. Encouraging Volunteers

   3.1. Volunteers will continue to be encouraged in initiating and leading projects alongside
        being trained and supported as necessary - case by case on an individual, as well as a
        group basis. Student led projects should be actively and enthusiastically encouraged.
        Out of pocket expenses should continue to be covered. All of these activities should
        continue to come under the banner of ‘The V Project’.

   3.2. All students and staff should be actively targeted through continuous marketing, and
        new staff and students should be made aware of outreach opportunities to quickly
        engage them in their new surroundings and local community.

   3.3. The Union will continue to accredit volunteers and maximise publicity of the
        achievements of its volunteers and ambassadors wherever possible. The Union will also
        ensure that its outreach activities can be seen as part of the University Personal
        Development Plan.

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4. All-Year-Round Opportunities

   4.1. Outreach activities must be actively encouraged and promoted throughout the year to
        cater for postgraduate as well as undergraduate students, and activities must be diverse
        and inclusive of all cultures. ‘Success’ should not solely be measured numerically:
        personal testimonies and actual ‘tasks achieved’ by volunteers in outreach should be an
        additional and equal gauge.

5. Widening Participation & Citizenship

   5.1. Students will continue to play a role in assisting the University in encouraging young
        people to enter Higher Education. The Students’ Union will endeavour to assist where
        possible any University department seeking to utilise students as ambassadors of the

   5.2. The Union also recognises the importance of embracing the political move to encourage
        citizenship. Opportunities for the Union to promote student involvement in charitable
        causes, local government and community schemes will be encouraged during the life of
        this strategy.

   5.3. The Students’ Union will also seek to provide support for initiatives such as the
        Guildford Youth Council and the Surrey Youth Parliament as part of its outreach

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                            The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
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5.1 Finance Strategy
1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The Finance Department will provide accurate, relevant, reliable and timely key
        information that reflects the current financial situation.

   1.2. The Students’ Union will be financed under an evolved economic model that aims to
        minimise the need to continually increase subvention funding, in favour of building
        secure sources of income from non-traditional streams, to provide a balanced funding of
        the Union’s aspects of the student experience.

   1.3. To complete this vision, the department has identified five groups for whom different
        information and services will be required as part of its strategic development outline
        from point 3 onwards.

2. Funding the Students’ Union

   2.1. As an organisational priority a new economic model will be developed and agreed which
        will allow for the Students’ Union to generate income from new markets to directly fund
        its activities for students.

   2.2. Securing an institution wide acceptance that the Union must become more self
        sustaining during this period will allow for the Union to strive to meet its vision within
        the confines of the PESTLE and SWOT analyses set out in this strategy.

3. Students / Groups

   3.1. The Union will ensure that efficient customer facing service appropriate to everyone’s
        needs is maintained and wherever possible improved.

   3.2. Club and society budgets and expenditure details will continue to be maintained by the
        cashiers on a daily basis. It is likely that students will request a status of their accounts
        and staff will handle this on a one to one basis – either face to face in person or by
        emailing information held on the ‘Sage’ accounting software.

   3.3. The Finance and Staffing Committee will continue to run as a medium through which
        requests for extra funding for various activities are made. The Finance Department will
        continue to be represented as an integral part of the committee, giving advice on whether
        or not the committee has funds to release.

   3.4. Access to ‘Sage’ financial software will be available to all students on a read only basis.
        Opportunities to deliver this via the internet/intranet will take place during 2005/6. This
        will ensure that students on placement or distant learners can access information without
        returning to campus or contacting directly by telephone or email.

   3.5. Financial training for club and society treasurers will remain a high priority and
        workshops will be held during the course of a financial year as part of increased training
        for student groups in line with the Student Activities Strategy.

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4. Finance Staffing

   4.1. The Union will continue to ensure that it maintains and improves its services by a
        commitment to developing its staff and systems.

   4.2. A training programme will be put together covering new and improved technological
        advances and customer care services for staff within the department.

5. Senior Managers and Full Time Officers

   5.1. The Finance Department will aim to provide management accounts within three working
        days. In order for the Union to maintain its financial robustness, senior management will
        need this information as soon as possible and this will remain a top priority.

   5.2. Weekly sales ‘flash’ reports will be produced. This data shows only sales data and gives
        management a steer in relation to the current month’s activity. Weekly cash flow reports
        will also be produced. This will ensure that maximum interest is earned on monies held
        on deposit. The report will ensure that creditors are paid on time and debtors are chased.

6. The University of Surrey

   6.1. Monthly meetings with the University’s Director of Finance will continue. The previous
        months management accounts and balance sheets will continue to be available as part of
        this process. This will ensure that the University is kept informed as to the Union’s
        performance and finances. More detailed reports will be presented to the University
        Finance Committee and the University’s senior management team will also therefore be
        kept abreast of the Union’s financial position.

   6.2. The student membership will also receive financial information about the organisation
        when deemed appropriate to do so in the interests of being an accountable and
        transparent organisation.

7. Operational Staff

   7.1. Monthly budget meetings will be held between the financial controller, General Manager
        and the respective budget holders. Performance will be discussed along with income
        and expenditure targets and achievement of agreed key performance indicators.

   7.2. The introduction of a new stock management system will mean in house stock control
        will improve and the Union will dispense with its current external stock takers services.
        The Union will continue its move towards a ‘cashless’ society. More swipe machines
        will be introduced. The Union will also work closely with the University in developing
        the current campus card.

8. Additional Development

   8.1. The Union will create a working group to best research a method for renovating the
        clubs and societies accounts system, aiming for greater flexibility, the use of information
        technology and ensuring that human resource is best utilised as part of the process.

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8.2. The current auditing processes will continue as long as they are deemed the most
     appropriate and sufficient methods.

8.3. Developments may have to be made following the constitutional review to ensure that
     the financial stability and infrastructure of the Union can support any constitutional
     changes that impact on the organisation.

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5.2 Human Resources Strategy
1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The University of Surrey Students’ Union will develop itself as an organisation that has
        a friendly, supportive and trusting environment where staff in all roles are treated as
        individuals and diversity embraced.

2. Planning, Recruitment and Retention

   2.1. It is essential that strategic human resource planning takes place whenever a post
        becomes vacant or a new post is identified within the organisation. The Students’ Union
        will continually identify current staff skills with a view to potential succession
        management within and across departments.

   2.2. The Union will revise all current staff job descriptions in line with the University’s
        current project by the end of the 2005/6 academic year.

   2.3. As new posts are agreed, consideration will be given to the method of recruitment and
        whether to advertise locally, nationally, via associations the organisation belongs to or
        through internet sites. This will be determined by the likely markets that potential
        candidates will be drawn from according to person specification requirements and the
        costs involved.

   2.4. The Union will continue to ensure equal opportunities are followed to attract and retain
        staff from a diverse range of backgrounds. The Union will also continue offering
        modern apprenticeships in association with local colleges.

3. Staff Development

   3.1. Continual staff development will take place to enable staff to realise their full potential
        and ensure their contribution is identified as part of the annual staff appraisals. Staff
        development will take place through programmes of professional development; equality
        of opportunity; commitment to continuous development; improvement through Investors
        in People standard and empowerment and devolution of responsibilities.

   3.2. Staff will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own development and will have a
        clear line of communication in order to make requests for training and development
        through their line management and the Human Resources department.

   3.3. The Union workforce will be comprised of motivated, energetic and confident learners
        who react positively to problems and who learn from mistakes in a no risk environment.
        This work force will be able to gain appropriate support in a timely fashion and feel
        valued by the Union as an employer.

4. Reward and Performance Management

   4.1. The Union’s annual appraisal and development scheme to continue ensuring it strikes a
        balance between performance review and development aspirations. It is essential that
        poor performance is managed correctly and that there are two way discussions between

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        line manager and employee to resolve issues. The management of sickness absence to
        be improved with return to work interviews taking place following any period of
        sickness absence.

   4.2. The Union will acknowledge that staff who undertake special responsibilities and
        display flexibility should be recognised and rewarded in line with prevailing economic
        commitments. The Union will look to provide a flexible staff reward incentive scheme
        for all staff. The Union will also continue to maintain pay at competitive rates ensuring it
        salary scales are benchmarked against the University and local employers.

5. Staff Conditions

   5.1. The Union will continue to monitor changes in legislation and good practice to ensure
        that its staff working conditions and related policies allow it to be seen as a progressive

   5.2. The Union recognises the changing needs of its workforce and will try to assist any
        member of staff who wishes to change to more flexible working conditions or to work
        from home.

   5.3. The Union will develop a Tele-working Policy with clear guidelines on how to apply for
        consideration to new types of working. The Union will also actively encourage staff to
        maintain a healthy balance between their working, personal and family lives. Staff will
        be encouraged to participate in Union and University health initiatives including
        sporting activities with flexibility given during the day to attend specific sessions by

   5.4. As part of the commitment to a healthy work/life balance, the Union will standardise
        staffing hours to include a realignment of full time elected officers operating hours
        through modification of the Union constitution.

6. Communication, Consultation and Involvement

   6.1. The Union will continue to communicate openly with employees on all issues that they
        consider appropriate. This will be via departmental staff meetings, general staff
        meetings, specific briefings and monthly newsletters. Staff will be encouraged to give
        feedback which would include setting up a Staff Representative Body.

   6.2. All Union Human Resource policies and procedures will become available to staff as
        part of an intranet facility by the Autumn of 2006.

7. Professional Recognition

   7.1. The Union will continue to maintain the Investors in People accreditation and to work
        towards the next step by becoming an Investors in People Champion. Investors in
        People Champions are role models for excellence in meeting the IIP standard and are
        exemplars of how to maximise its benefits.

   7.2. USSU will work towards other independent standards where appropriate to help ensure a
        commitment to being a forward thinking employer with a view to being seen as the
        benchmark for good practice amongst its peers.

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5.3 IT Strategy
1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The students’ union IT strategy is formed around two principles:

       1.1.1.   Improving access and use of services to our membership.
       1.1.2.   Improving efficiency & productivity for staff.

   1.2. It is the Students’ Union vision that it shall, wherever possible, utilise IT systems already
        put in place by the University for reasons of economy and reliability whilst ensuring that
        efficiency and productivity will be maximised by using appropriate and cost effective IT

2. Reliability of Workstations

   2.1. Reliability will be key to achieving these aims, and the Union’s primary goal is to have a
        stable set of IT systems that assist staff rather than burden them with time consuming

   2.2. This will be achieved by ensuring the staff are using hardware configurations of a set
        standard and make to minimise instability.

   2.3. The Union will commit to ensuring that a standard range of software is available to all
        Union staff to make sure that each work station has enough flexibility to allow for
        standard Microsoft Office software and a graphics editing/DTP package.

   2.4. Individual workstations requiring further specialist software will be enhanced on a
        special request basis and only where deemed essential.

3. Online Services

   3.1. In today’s world students are used to having access to what they need in a 24/7
        environment, be it banking, shopping, or studying. The Union shall look to provide an
        internet interface for as many facets of Union life as is feasible. The areas we shall look
        to put online are as follows:

       3.1.1.   Purchase of tickets
       3.1.2.   Administration of society finance
       3.1.3.   Booking of union resources
       3.1.4.   Clubs and society membership administration

   3.2. These areas will all be carried out in conjunction with relevant developments as part of
        individual departmental strategies where IT can be a solution provider.

4. Centralisation to

   4.1. Delivery of online resources shall be through the single domain of and
        the Union will aim to bring all other active domains associated with the Union into

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 to ensure that students have a single gateway through which to access all
        Union activities.

   4.2. will also be developed to include an intranet facility during the first 18
        months of this strategy to provide a central administrative resource for storage of
        minutes of meetings, staff policies and procedures and other non-public information
        utilised during the course of running the organisation. This will be done in conjunction
        with the Union’s Human Resource Strategy and pursuit of the ‘Investors In People
        Champion’ standard.

5. Remote / Tele-working

   5.1. The Union shall look to develop a procedure to allow staff to work remotely, either at
        home, or on the move as part of the IT strategy and Human Resources Strategy.

   5.2. As mobile technologies become more prevalent in the work place, the Union will
        explore the utilisation of mobile workstations / laptops for key staff who may benefit
        from greater flexibility – particularly for staff members who regularly travel away from
        the Union for conference / business meetings.

5.4 Transport Strategy
1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The Students’ Union is the main supplier of transport for student activities at the
        University of Surrey. As a result, the Union will develop more flexible methods of
        transporting its membership and staff for the purposes of Union business to allow more
        people to participate and ensure transport does not continue to be a barrier to

   1.2. Within the confines of ensuring the environmental impact of developing Union transport
        is minimised, diversification of resource to allow for greater mobility will be pursued to
        meet the standards of peer Unions across the country.

2. Vehicle provision

   2.1. The demand on Union transport for all USSU activities is increasing, whilst the current
        provision is not meeting the needs of the organisation. The current fleet of 15 seat
        minibuses would continue to be adequate if their condition and number is maintained
        and supported by the addition of lower capacity, lower maintenance vehicles. This will
        prevent small groups of students using 15 seat minibuses but still providing them with a
        means of transport.

   2.2. Complimenting the lower capacity vehicles for student use, USSU transport provision
        will be increased to include ‘pool vehicles’ which would be available to USSU staff and
        officers for transport to events, conferences, meeting, visits and trips that do not require
        a minibus. This would reduce the expenditure on hire cars and mileage reimbursements.

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3. Hire/Usage

   3.1. The Union will develop a system of ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ hire, to reduce the maintenance of
        all vehicles, and ensure that the vehicles are used for the use they are designed. ‘Wet’
        hire would be for clubs including Canoe, Sub Aqua, Mountaineering, Mountain Walking
        for example, and the vehicles booked under ‘Wet’ hire would be those vehicles designed
        for that purpose (tow bars/roof racks). ‘Dry’ hire vehicles would be used for all other

   3.2. The need for a bespoke vehicle suitable for towing trailers and impervious to wet and
        muddy conditions has been identified to reduce demand for minibuses with tow bars
        when the number of people needing to be transported is low.

   3.3. Users of Union vehicles will be made responsible for returning vehicles in an acceptable
        condition inside and out and monitoring will be undertaken by the Transport Committee.

4. Access

   4.1. Changes in licensing have created barriers to becoming a Union minibus driver and the
        Union are committed to investigating ways to increase the number of students able to
        drive Union vehicles; through improved access to tests and licenses and access to
        alternative transport means.

   4.2. Developments will be made to ensure Union vehicles (where possible) will be adapted to
        be accessible for disabled students.

   4.3. With the increasing demand for Union vehicles at weekends, the access and booking of
        vehicles during weekends will be reviewed with the aim of improving access out of
        hours. These improvements will be supported by the development of an on-line booking

5. Safety

   5.1. To promote safety and good driving, Union vehicles will be fitted with ‘in reverse’
        sound indicators, as well as ‘How’s my driving?’ stickers with USSU contact telephone

   5.2. As part of the Union’s Health & Safety policy, appropriate safety issues regarding the
        usage of Union transport vehicles will be monitored and updated in line with changing
        legislation and acknowledged best practice.

   5.3. The commitment to independently assessing an individual’s suitability to drive a Union
        vehicle will be maintained.

6. Transport Committee

   6.1. The role of the Minibus Committee will be reviewed with a view to create a Transport
        Committee with a remit to manage all elements of Union transport. The Student
        Activities Manager will be the designated Chair of the Transport Committee, with
        membership of the committee remaining unchanged to cover all aspects including
        maintenance, finance and operations.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

7. Environment

   7.1. The Union will support the UniS Transport Policy by encouraging staff to car share as
        well as encouraging all staff and officers to use public transport when travelling to and
        from the Union, including on official business.

   7.2. Where possible, the Students’ Union will actively promote the use of bicycles by
        students, particularly with reference to transportation between sites when Manor Park is
        habitable. The Union will actively seek to find a local partner with which to negotiate
        discount rates for members or staff wishing to purchase bicycles as an incentive to make
        bicycles a common alternative to public transport or Union vehicles over short distances.

        The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                       Completed Strategy | API Blair


                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

6.1 Traded Services Strategy

1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The Students’ Union will ensure that all trading activity takes place in order to fund the
        experience provided by the organisation to students at the University of Surrey. This will
        ensure that all investments made into trading activities will be focused on providing
        financial resources for the central administration and maintenance of the Union’s
        facilities and assets and generating income to progress the development of student

   1.2. The Union will carefully choose which areas of expansion will best provide for stable
        and viable economic growth in order to satisfy the funding objectives set out in the
        Finance Strategy.

   1.3. A real long term alternative to traditional students’ union trading must be found during
        the life of this strategy to secure the future of the organisations aspirations and
        commitments to its membership. The Union will ensure that the University is exposed to
        methods employed by those Unions against which it is benchmarked to exploit
        opportunities for using trading as a means to bring investment into the student

2. Bars, Catering & Entertainments

   2.1. The Union will maintain its commitment to a high profile corporate social responsibility
        (CSR), ensuring that pricing remains competitive and in line with market trends to
        satisfy expectations of the additional value students expect from a students union. This
        will not, however, be at the expense of its CSR standards. This will be upheld in line
        with the Union’s Venue Strategy to ensure a safe environment.

   2.2. The strength of the Union’s three main operating brands, Rubix, Chancellor’s and HRB
        will be maintained and wherever possible ways to add brand value will be sought.

   2.3. The Union will carefully monitor changes in the local market place, ensuring it
        maintains a firm understanding of student purchasing habits and social preferences. This
        will include taking an active role in adapting to changes brought about by the
        redevelopment of the town centre, proposed by Guildford Borough Council in
        conjunction with the Union Marketing Strategy.

   2.4. Social and entertainment programmes will be widened to accommodate the increase in
        ratio of Postgraduate and International students within the membership. This will include
        developing activities that are not serviced by alcohol sales to ensure members do not feel
        excluded from Union activities if it is their preference not to purchase alcohol.

   2.5. Societies will be encouraged to celebrate major cultural festivals inside Rubix. Clubs
        and societies will also be encouraged to hold their end of year balls within Rubix, with
        the aim of extending the trading period beyond term time and reducing their ticket price.

   2.6. Catering will improve to broaden the offering available for our ever increasing
        cosmopolitan customer base through all outlets as long as it remains financially viable to

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
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        do so. This will include providing catering options that will particularly attract
        international students and students with a low disposable financial resource.

   2.7. A number of Key Performance Indicators will be introduced establishing new targets for
        concentrating on improving the quality of customer care across all trading outlets.

   2.8. The range of entertainments offered will be continually reviewed and prices will be
        adjusted to ensure that there is a balance between price and quality of entertainments
        throughout the programme. The Union will continue its commitment to ensure a wide
        variety of entertainments are provided within the limitations of its facilities to cater for

   2.9. Working parties will be established to identify new markets and opportunities.
        Recommendations will be put before the University, particularly in areas out of term
        business and usage of the Union as part of the University Conference seasons.

   2.10.       The Union will work hard to secure a long term relationship with the University
        Conference Office to develop out of term funding streams to maximise revenue for term
        time activities. This will be in line with continuing to ensure that students that remain on
        campus or are in study during the undergraduate closure period, still receive a high level
        of concurrent service.

   2.11.       The Union will consider options of developing its catering provision on campus
        should opportunities become available. It will also ensure that it shares best practice in
        areas of training and supply to best compliment the University of Surrey’s own
        provision. The Union will assist in the operational delivery of University run services if
        approached where its expertise could be appropriately utilised.

3. Retail & Diversified Trading

   3.1. A number of companies rent shop space from the Students' Union. This will continue
        and develop should any unused space be identified within Union House. Maximum
        rents will be attained via benchmarking against other unions and the town centre

   3.2. The Students’ Union owns the “FLIRT” UK trademark and this national student night
        has been taken up by 15 other student unions at the time of publication of the strategy.
        The target set for September 2005 is 40 student unions. USSU will look to develop
        “FLIRT” outside of the UK, in particular Europe, Canada and Australia as a potential
        valuable future asset.

   3.3. Areas outside of our mainstream traded activities will, as a result of working parties, be
        maintained and developed. Opportunities in areas such as vending will be explored in
        depth to cover hot and cold food, hot and cold drinks, condoms, photographs and
        photocopying amongst others. This will allow for greater 24/7 provision for students.

   3.4. The Students’ Union Shop will be significantly extended both in range of clothing and
        accessories to build on the success of its first two years of operation, with the potential
        to engage with other products and services. This will be central to the diversification of
        income streams during the life of this strategy.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   3.5. The Union will closely monitor the gaming market and wherever possible strive to
        accommodate the latest machines, influenced by licensing and in line with the Union

   3.6. The renting of our minibuses as a means of income will be constantly reviewed,
        balancing running costs against revenue in line with the Union Transport strategy.
        Exploration of mirroring those students’ unions that operate airport runs for students at
        arrival points during the year will take place.

4. General Development

   4.1. Traded Services will be an intrinsic part of the Union’s development of a new economic
        model in line with the Finance Strategy. The Students’ Union and the University will
        negotiate to secure an agreement to open up new opportunities for trading so as to not
        risk the future of the organisation on trading areas that are haemorrhaging across the
        national student market.

   4.2. By far the largest opportunity open to the Students’ Union is to develop a business off
        campus or outside Union House either on Stag Hill or Manor Park. Significant and
        dynamic moves must be made by the Union and University to address the need to tap
        into income streams available from the Guildford region to fund the strategic objectives
        set out in this document.

   4.3. Working groups and business plans will explore the options in areas of off licensing,
        managing of a remote sandwich/juice bar, coffee shop or bookshop. Options to explore
        trading activities through outlets not in Guildford itself should be explored thoroughly as
        rents and business rates may be too high and therefore prohibitive.

   4.4. To maintain its high profile and understanding of the sector, the Union will work closely
        with third party organisations, particularly National Union of Students’ Services Limited
        (NUSSL) and the Association of Managers in Students’ Unions (AMSU). In both cases,
        the Union will seek to be highly represented and aim to gain influence at the highest
        levels by sitting on working parties and strategy groups where possible.

   4.5. Developing a strong relationship with local licensing bodies and Guildford Borough
        Council will remain a priority and further partnership with the Guildford Chamber of
        Commerce will be developed.

   4.6. Origin Events Ltd, the company owned by the Students’ Union, will continue to develop
        its activities in line with the Students’ Union strategy as a resource for securing
        additional income for the renewal of equipment for student activities and entertainments.

5. Assisted Investments & Considerations

   5.1. During the life of this strategy, the Union will need to ensure a programme of capital
        investment takes place in certain parts of its facility. In particular, The Helyn Rose Bar
        must be redeveloped if it is to remain a useable space for student activities of all kinds.
        The Union will create a proposal of options for this space and seek funding from the
        appropriate source.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   5.2. Throughout the life of this strategy, the Union will consider the future location of its
        traded services and in particular, the validity of its continued occupancy of Union House
        past 2010. The Union must develop a long term plan for either massive redevelopment
        of the Union House footprint or an exit strategy to a more suitable facility elsewhere
        within the confines of the University’s land.

6.2 Venue Strategy
1. Overview & Vision

   1.1. The Students’ Union venues are the main social hub of campus. They are required to be
        multipurpose areas that can house any number of events or functions.

   1.2. The provision of late night licensed trade entertainment has always been a core business
        of the Students’ Union and it is important that this remains. Socialising in the protected
        environment of the Students’ Union gives students the chance to enjoy their time at
        University in a safe controlled environment.

   1.3. Any venue that is to be successful in the 18-24 year old market must be stylish, clean
        and comfortable. Students are always experiencing high street concepts and look to their
        Union to provide a similar level of service.

   1.4. The Students’ Union will remain the market leader in Guildford by providing a safe,
        comfortable and fashion conscious venue, providing a wide range of cultural activities
        for all social groups.

2. Maintenance & Refurbishment

   2.1. The Students’ Union shall continue a rolling refurbishment programme with a view to
        refresh one or more aspects of the venues each summer recess.

   2.2. As the Union venues get used more often, they become more difficult to maintain at a
        required level of cleanliness. The Union will work with the University Waste & Central
        Services department within the terms of the Union House Occupancy Agreement and
        Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure that the venues are cleaned to the standard our
        students expect and require.

3. Licensing & Policies

   3.1. Currently, both Rubix & The Helyn Rose Bar allow smoking throughout. The Students’
        Union shall review this policy on a regular basis. The option of banning smoking
        completely will be explored in Chancellors as and when the market conditions make this
        feasible without a significant adverse affect on trading.

   3.2. The Union will also commit to exploring a venue wide no-smoking policy in light of
        recent moves to ban smoking in public places. This will only be enacted by either a
        change in legislation or the overwhelming desire of the membership.

   3.3. With changes in licensing laws and legal obligations surrounding the operating
        requirements for venues (ie. amplified music, PPL, PRS, fire regulations), the Union will

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

        carefully monitor and adhere to changes required to allow Union House to be maintained
        as operating within its strategic vision.

   3.4. The Union must ensure that it is proactive in surpassing the requirements of the
        Disability Discrimination Act.

4. Safety & Social Responsibility

   4.1. As a part of the wider University community, the Union shall keep in regular
        communication with other sections of the University, e.g. court wardens, University
        Security, etc.

   4.2. The Union endeavour to cause minimum disruption to the rest of the campus whilst
        operating late night activity. Wherever feasible the Union shall enable agreed changes to
        our operating schedule to prevent any disruption.

   4.3. The Students’ Union prides itself on its excellent record in safety and shall continue to
        make every effort in ensuring the safety of our members whilst in our venues. Each
        academic year the Union will perform a live evacuation of the main venue, in
        conjunction with the University Safety Office.

   4.4. Union House will be covered as a venue by the Union’s commitment to it social and
        corporate responsibilities. External accreditation for the venue’s outlets will be sought to
        build on its current reputation and recognition as part of the ‘Best Bar None’ scheme.

The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
               Completed Strategy | API Blair

                                     SUPPORTING ANNEXES:

                            The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                           Completed Strategy | API Blair

ANNEX B: The Operating Environment for the University of Surrey
         Students’ Union: PESTLE Analysis
1.0 Political

    1.1. The government agenda to widen participation in line with its target of getting 50% of
         18-30 year olds into higher education by 2010 will continue to put demands on UK
         Universities and Students’ Unions. The level of government spending will not increase
         relative to the growth in the size of the sector needed to accommodate the targets and a
         change in government will be unlikely to have a dramatic impact over the course of
         2005-2010. Students’ Union’s will therefore continue to face even tougher demands to
         increase the level of service provision and diversity of opportunities whilst being
         financially constrained by the same funding issues as the parent institution. This will
         force the Union to mirror the University in aiming to become increasingly self sufficient
         and enterprising so as to be less reliant on central public funding.

    1.2. The immediate changes in institutional funding following the advent of variable tuition
         fees will have an impact on the need for Students’ Unions to provide representation for
         students in a more professional manner both individually and collectively. The
         movement towards ensuring continued monitoring of teaching quality and service
         provision will widen the debate about the differences between students as members and
         customers over the course of 2005-10. The University of Surrey’s policy of charging the
         full £3000 per year for every student on every course has brought forward the need to
         reform the representation and welfare functions of the Students’ Union to bring USSU in
         line with peers across the UK.

    1.3. The globalisation of the Higher Education market will bring about a more prominent set
         of comparisons between Student organisations in the UK and those of competitor
         institutions across the world. The modernisation of the Students’ Unions and the role the
         parent institutions take in developing the representation and integration of students of all
         nationalities will see changes to the way in which Students’ Unions are governed and
         valued as part of the overall student experience.

    1.4. The increasing importance of being an active citizen and promotion of ‘citizenship’ in
         UK Primary, Secondary and Further Education will mean that Higher Education and, in
         particular, Students’ Unions will have a large role in continuing the preparation of young
         adults for contemporary society. Students’ Unions will need to embrace and continue to
         facilitate their members as they assume roles as a community member, consumer, family
         member, lifelong learner, taxpayer, voter and worker.

    1.5. Between 2005 – 2010 the realignment of the National Union of Students will play a
         significant role in the relationship between Students’ Unions and the UK’s political
         infrastructure. After a period of instability and internal wrangling, the NUS have laid a
         pathway for evolution to encompass the needs of an increasingly internationalised UK
         HE system and the changing roles played by Students’ Unions across the sector. The
         political aspirations of the National Union’s agenda will have a marked effect on the
         University of Surrey Students’ Union and conversely, USSU can influence the future
         shape of national student representation at the highest levels during this period.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   1.6. The University of Surrey will continue to heavily influence the operational policies of
        the Students’ Union, particularly in the areas of human resources, pensions, finance,
        safety and estates/buildings provision. As new policies are enacted within the
        University, the Students’ Union will have to assess whether its reliance on adopting or
        slightly adapting the University approach on an operational basis is in the best interest of
        the organisation and continues to give the Students’ Union a competitive operational

2. Economic

   2.1. The Students’ Unions continued membership of the purchasing consortium overseen by
        National Union of Students Services Ltd (NUSSL) will continue to affect the economics
        of USSU by the variances in purchase prices and the selected key products that must be
        stocked as part of this commitment. The increasing diversification of NUSSL’s remit as
        a consortium and the political tension surrounding the growth of NUSSL’s independence
        from the political arm of the National Union will give rise to a period of uncertainty as
        to the future structure and working practices of the company. The financial benefits of
        being a member Union are also intrinsically linked to the prerequisite that a member
        must first be affiliated to the National Union.

   2.2. Students’ Unions continue to be greatly affected by changing UK home economic
        policies, particularly those delivered through budgeted rises in employers National
        Insurance contributions and increases in the minimum wage threshold. The increasing
        concerns about the state of the UK’s pensions provision will see a continued marked
        increase in both employees and employers contribution to pension funds, be those
        national or local government schemes. This will have a major impact on the ability of
        the Students’ Unions to grow financially during 2005-2010 unless new income streams
        can be utilised within the sector to ensure financial robustness and allow for prudent
        investments to be made.

   2.3. In 2004, Students’ Unions commanded only 6% of the UK student wet sales market.
        2005-2010 will require Unions to diversify to ensure that the declining market share in
        wet sales is either corrected or that new sources of income are found to ensure
        commercial stability and investment in those activities funded through trading surpluses.
        The dramatic increase in local competition from private companies in and around the
        University of Surrey will continue to have a marked affect on the local market share.
        Growth in the areas of licensed gambling and reformation of licensing hours for the sale
        of alcohol will increase uncertainty within the local market and new migration patterns
        between social hubs within Guildford will increase competition.

   2.4. The Hay report aimed at reforming the salary scales system of the University of Surrey
        will have a large impact financially on the Students’ Union should recommendations be
        adopted and applied to Union staff in 2005/6. The implications of salary review and
        realignments could potentially add additional costs to the business and trigger an
        increased need to question the connection between the Students’ Unions human resource
        systems and policies for remunerating and retaining staff. The wider implications of
        increased holiday allowances and reduced core working hours will also see a financial
        implication in continuing to fund the current level of service provision and in turn
        developing further provision to support the student experience.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
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   2.5. Regional disparities in economic activity in the UK will sharpen, with the South East
        becoming more expensive as an area of operation. Recruitment and retention of staff will
        become increasingly difficult should the cost of living in the Guildford area increase at
        the same rate as the period 1999-2004. The average house price in the Guildford
        Borough in 2003/4 had exceeded £284,952. Reflected in this will be the need for the
        Students’ Union and University to ensure that the Union remains a employer able to
        compete in the employment market at both a regional and national level to ensure
        current employees are not priced out of the sector and potential staff are not discouraged
        from joining the Students’ Union against other regional employers.

3. Social

   3.1. The number of school leavers will increase between now and 2010 and then stabilise.
        The diverse socio-economic backgrounds of the increased student population will affect
        lifestyle choices and expectations of the social and service responsibility of Students’
        Unions nationally. The University of Surrey Students’ Union expects to see an
        increasingly multi-cultural, mixed age membership develop between 2005-2008 before
        seeing growth and diversity settle between 2008 – 2010 in line with anticipated
        projections within the University.

   3.2. Development of the postgraduate and part-time student numbers within the University of
        Surrey will serve to propagate a changing demographic amongst the student population.
        The age difference between final year undergraduates and postgraduate students may
        increase due to the foreseen indebtedness of completing undergraduate studies. This
        requires the Students’ Union to progress programmes of activity that are attractive to a
        wide variety of ages and abilities inline with an increased responsibility for social

   3.3. The proportion of students living at home and commuting for their studies looks set to
        increase across the country due to the tightening economic situations of most families
        funding HE students. Although the number of accommodation units available at the
        University of Surrey is set to increase before 2010, the Students’ Union expects that it
        will not curb the number of students commuting, rather encourage students away from
        the private accommodation sector in their latter years of study. The need to engage with
        a disparate and disenfranchised membership, spread across the UniS commuter belt will
        require a growth in information and communication provision so as not to allow the
        adverse affects of variable tuition fees meaning a lessening of the membership
        experience or ability to access services. Consideration will also have to be given to the
        financial implications of a more withdrawn membership.

   3.4. The social and corporate responsibilities of the Students’ Union will play an important
        role in distinguishing the organisation from its competitors. Providing a safe, well
        managed and customer focused environment will be paramount for all businesses
        between 2005-2010 and the Union’s responsibilities to ensure sensible drinking and
        pricing policies to give students the best corporate safeguards without stifling enjoyment
        will set it aside from its competitors. These responsibilities will need to be enacted and
        delivered to the same high standard as the period 2000-2005 and non-alcohol based
        entertainment to encourage inclusion and participation from non-traditional backgrounds
        will need to be significantly expanded to satisfy an inclusive Union membership. The
        Students’ Union will continue to grow the Best Bar None project in line with other
        participating UK SU’s across the country.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

   3.5. Changing patterns in students social habits with regards shopping, eating, drinking and
        networking will affect the Union’s ability to define the social common denominator that
        binds students into social groups. Drinking culture will continue to evolve based on
        brand influence and the impact of financial constraints on disposable income. It is
        expected that more students will purchase cut price alcohol from local superstores or off
        licenses to be consumed within their private accommodation before venturing out to
        either the Students’ Union venue or its local competitors. This will be mirrored by the
        increase in students eating at home/KUB and a significant rise in the number of students
        taking on part-time work to support the running costs of being an active participant
        within the student experience.

4. Technological

   4.1. Information and communication technology within the Students’ Union will continue to
        play a large role in the operational effectiveness of running individual student activities
        such as clubs and societies. Embracing technological advances in allowing students to
        monitor budgets via the internet and ensuring that accounting and reporting methods are
        simplified by the correct ICT strategy will have an impact in areas of human resource
        and finance. Cost effective enhancements of current technologies will be essential as
        students continue to demand a greater level of instant access to relevant information for
        operating their activities.

   4.2. Tracking the activities of student members will become essential following the
        introduction of the UniS Personal Development Plan. The Union will need to gather and
        process information to allow for a greater understanding of student involvement and
        achievement that can be used as part of the reflective personal development process. As
        a membership driven organisation, the Students’ Union should have a complete record
        of its membership held centrally, rather than operated by a third party, which in USSU’s
        case is the University of Surrey. The introduction of membership management
        technology will be an essential part of a strategic investment into understanding student
        interaction with the organisation and will be inline with those Union’s already
        undertaking to utilise ICT for this purpose.

   4.3. The increasing emphasis placed on providing a strong work/life balance for employees
        will extend the Students’ Unions need to embrace flexible working methods and the
        possibility of remote working for certain staff. This in turn will require USSU to develop
        a robust IT infrastructure that can be interfaced remotely, giving access to the essential
        communication tools and individual file stores for any remote worker.

   4.4. Communication technology will play an important role in managing a remote
        membership. More students will live outside the Stag Hill campus in the period 2005-
        2010 and there will be an increase in line with University targets in the percentage of
        students studying at postgraduate level and part-time. The diversity and disparity of
        Students’ Unions membership will require a revised approach to web-based technologies
        to include a much greater sense of community and interaction via the internet. Third
        generation mobile technologies also allow for the development of alternative resources
        for disseminating information and Students’ Unions across the UK and Australia are
        readily utilising both of these mediums of communication, leaving Surrey in a
        potentially under-resourced position.

                           The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                          Completed Strategy | API Blair

5. Legal

   5.1. The Charities Bill expected to be passed in 2005 will redefine the roles of trustees and
        the style of governance and accountability within a charitable organisation. This
        legislation will bring with it the need to radically modernise the Students’ Union.
        Although it derives its charitable status from the University of Surrey, the bill will
        impact significantly on the strengthening of processes of the organisation and ensuring
        that additional legal commitments assigned to the trustees are performed separately from
        those operational tasks set out by internal policy. The relationship between the
        Sabbatical Officers and the Union Trustees will have to be redefined to ensure no
        conflict of interest. There is also a clear need to distinguish governance for management
        under the new bill and a need to clearly induct trustees more effectively to ensure
        satisfying the prerequisites of the Charities Commission.

   5.2. Recent changes to UK licensing laws will mean a potential change in operating hours for
        USSU Traded Services. This will be market sensitive and reflect the need to balance
        customer expectations with awareness of community feelings. The Students’ Union must
        ensure that it utilises any opportunities to diversify its licensed trading in the best
        interests of the membership and its own financial stability within the market.

   5.3. Issues surrounding data protection will force Students’ Unions to develop new systems
        of membership management. Ensuring the safe storage of personal information on behalf
        of students across the board will make it essential for the University of Surrey and the
        Students’ Union to develop methods of encapsulating data effectively in social areas as
        well as academic registration.

   5.4. Although the Students’ Union currently has Officer Liability insurance covering the
        organisation against an officer giving ‘bad’ advice, Students’ Unions across the country
        will continue to employ professionals to manage and deliver advice to the membership
        on matters of individual welfare and support. As regulation develops over the delivery of
        advice, particularly in areas of grievance, visas and housing; professional staff members
        will replace elected officers in the day-to-day working environment within the

   5.5. The potential for a ban on smoking in public places would have a pronounced effect on
        the way the Union provides social spaces. Although parts of Union House already have
        limited smoking hours, USSU should be prepared to become a no-smoking environment
        and research the possible impact of such a ban.

6. Environmental

   6.1. The impact of the Manor Park development will not be felt until 2006 when the first of
        the University of Surrey’s new accommodation buildings is opened. As the proposed
        plan rolls out across the Manor Park site, the social pressure of student housing on the
        Guildford community will be eased and members of the Students’ Union should find it
        more likely that they will be able to reside in University managed accommodation. The
        impact of collating the membership onto two campus sites will have a marked effect on
        the cultural mix in halls of residence.

                        The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                       Completed Strategy | API Blair

6.2. Union House will become increasingly incapable of providing the correct social spaces
     and operating environment for the Union’s core non-trading activities. The future
     location of the Union’s representation and welfare provision, office facilities, training
     and development activities and sports and societies will have to be thoroughly quantified
     as Manor Park is built to ensure that the physical location of these services, based at the
     far end of Stag Hill, will not deter students from participating or gaining access to
     services when required. Union House will also require structural and cosmetic attention
     during the period to ensure that it remains a suitable environment to meet changing
     student/customer expectations as part of the overall student experience.

6.3. Transport to and from the Manor Park campus and between the University as a whole
     and the local area will continue to impact on the utilisation of the Students’ Unions
     facilities. The University of Surrey is committed to a Green Transport Policy and also
     way of the necessity to minimise the environmental impact of further new developments
     and renovation to its buildings on both sites. By default, these commitments are shared
     with the Students’ Union and should be adhered to as the organisation progresses. The
     redevelopment of the town Bus Station will also provide changes to the transport
     infrastructure to and from the town.

6.4. The Town Centre Redevelopment Programme being undertaking by Guildford Borough
     Council will see the rejuvenation of the Friary and St Saviours wards within the town
     centre. A new landmark building programme to extend the Friary Shopping Centre will
     undoubtedly force the local business community to adapt to a new operating
     environment and increase the pedestrianised areas of the town centre significantly.
     Students will be part of the target audience for these developments and with the high
     potential for a casino within 10 minutes walk of Stag Hill, the Students’ Union must
     involve itself fully in the proposed plans to ensure it has a good understanding of the
     project. This redevelopment coupled with the Manor Park programme puts the Students’
     Union at level of high risk from environmental influences.

6.5. The Students’ Union will need to continue to be alert to the environmental impact of its
     service provision, particularly in terms of noise, human traffic and waste. In line with the
     University of Surrey, the Students’ Union should continue to manage its activities in
     such ways as to promote environmental awareness and minimise waste and pollution as
     a matter of priority.

                         The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                        Completed Strategy | API Blair

ANNEX C: Strengths and Weaknesses of the University of Surrey
         Students’ Union: SWOT Analysis
1.0 Strengths

   1.1    Financially robust compared to like organizations in the sector
   1.2    Independence from University
   1.3    Reputable employer of students into part-time work
   1.4    Offer development of students outside academia (social, employability)
   1.5    Good Staff team with expertise, wide knowledge of sector and experience
   1.6    History of good working relationship with the University
   1.7    Broad service provision for students
   1.8    Adaptability of the organisation
   1.9    Good relationship with University colleagues
   1.10   Ability to change and get things done
   1.11   Part publicly funded
   1.12   Main provider of University clubs and societies
   1.13   Main provider of entertainment on campus
   1.14   Independent provider of support
   1.15   Good community profile
   1.16   Investor in People
   1.17   Trusted provider of information
   1.18   Entrepreneurship links (ie. FUSE)
   1.19   Chancellors Bar & Restaurant
   1.20   Ability to engage with a broad demographic
   1.21   Strong brand equity

2.0 Weakness

   2.1    Governance model becoming increasingly obsolete
   2.2    Lack of strategy
   2.3    The Building (Layout, accessibility, suitability for purpose)
   2.4    Physical location
   2.5    Stereotyped perception of organization by students and of students by
   2.6    Commercially services drive use of social spaces (ie, sale of alcohol)
   2.7    Some students can be indifferent towards the organization.
   2.8    Constraints on ability to provide 24/7 service provision
   2.9    Ability to distribute marketing materials to a broad base / most needed places.
   2.10   Communication with students; focus on communicating through cultural
          differences rather than academic similarities; need to internationalize methods.
   2.11   High demand exceeds limited financial and human resources.
   2.12   Difficulty in gauging feedback on events
   2.13   Lack of organisational environmental / waste policies and processes
   2.14   Outdated Student/Staff Protocol
   2.15   Difficult working environment / cleanliness of environment
   2.16   Lack of dedicated staff facilities
   2.17   Storage and archiving

                         The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                        Completed Strategy | API Blair

   2.18   IT facilities
   2.19   Older style budgeting/monitoring system (no member facing e-services for
          financial running of activities.)

3.0 Opportunities

   3.1    Unify, support, develop and represent the membership
   3.2    Become more accountable, focused and transparent
   3.3    Enhance student employability and skill levels
   3.4    Development of Origin Events
   3.5    Development of Student Activities Centre concept
   3.6    Manor Park
   3.7    Engaging with the Postgraduate community
   3.8    Development of new income streams to support activities
   3.9    Increased institutional emphasis on the Student Experience
   3.10   Strengthening of local and regional awareness of the benefits of our diverse
   3.11   Opportunities to engage more with Academia
   3.12   New opportunities to develop cultural capital (ie Give It A Go)
   3.13   Use of ICT across the board
   3.14   Increase in dialogue between Union and all levels of University staff
   3.15   Developing methods of international integration
   3.16   Continuation of the Widening Participation agenda in HE
   3.17   Volunteering and community partnerships

4.0 Threats

   4.1    Unpredictable funding sources
   4.2    Changing social ethic of students
   4.3    Instability caused by need for potential large scale change
   4.4    Increase in admissions
   4.5    Increasingly diverse and disparate membership
   4.6    Variable Tuition Fees
   4.7    Loss of key staff
   4.8    Marginalisation of the organisation in campus equilibrium as campus grows
   4.9    Declining student market in areas of traditional commercial trading
   4.10   Location of services and activities
   4.11   Costs beyond the control of the Union and University (ie NI, pensions)
   4.12   Decline of the National Union of Students
   4.13   Changing legislation
   4.14   Guildford night life and competition
   4.15   Cost of living in the region both for students and staff
   4.16   Increasing competition from Guildford Town threatening market share
   4.17   Failure to adapt to changes in Higher Education globally
   4.18   Inability to raise sufficient capital for development needs

                              The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                             Completed Strategy | API Blair

Strategic Options for The University of Surrey Students’ Union

The investigation of strategic options presented three clear directions the Students’ Union should
consider taking. These are defined below to present a summary of how the organisation could
best proceed:

1. Consolidate & Continue

    1.1       In line with developments over the last 5 years, the SU would consolidate its current
          activities and develop around current constitutional structures. Modification of the role of
          trustees would take place and the current Programme Representation system would be
          reworked to encourage the recruitment of a more diverse group of programme
          representatives. The Sabbatical structure would remain unchanged and supporting
          positions would be increased to suit a development in volume of students participating in
          activities or interacting with services.

    1.2       The Representation and Welfare Unit (RAWU) will evolve to provide a service based
          around employed professionals, rather than elected officers during the course of the
          period. It will be an essential requirement to manage a steady increase in student
          feedback, grievances or need for individual representation and the legalities surrounding
          the distribution of advice. The Union will continue its commitment to providing
          appropriate resources for postgraduates and continue its current communications tools in
          print, online and on-air.

    1.3       Embracing diversity will continue across all student activities with a minimal change
          to the investment and range of opportunities offered. The Development, Accreditation,
          Volunteering & Employability Project (DAVE) and the ‘V’ Volunteering, FUSE and
          Give It A Go initiatives would be strengthened and staff resource increased to ensure
          demands are met to enhance employability.

    1.4       Income sources will remain centred around the current operations within Union House
          enduring a managed decline in the revenue offset only by the redecoration of the Helyn
          Rose Bar and Chancellors Bar (including kitchens) during the life of the strategy to meet
          increased expectations. Origin Events Ltd will maintain its current level of development
          to maximise revenue from the Union’s expertise in sound and light and brand assets such
          as ‘Flirt’ will be developed as far as possible within the constraints of the organisation as
          will the range of entertainments provided.

    1.5      USSU would consolidate its relationships on a local, national and international level
          and monitor developments within Higher Education to adapt its service range and
          representational abilities to absorb changes. The Union would also complete a re-
          branding exercise to refresh its appeal on all fronts in line with its mission and vision.

2. Evolve & Innovate

    2.1      In addition to those elements set out in Option 1, the Union would be more innovative
          and proactive in areas of representation and trading. In place of its minor review of
          operation of representation, the Union would undertake an immediate comprehensive
          review of its constitution and governance structure. In line with provision work carried

                             The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                            Completed Strategy | API Blair

         out in Australia and by the Union Strategy Working Group. This review would look to
         completely redefine the systems of representation for students across the University, with
         the Union as the focal point for an evolved system for academic, welfare and activities
         engagement with students of all levels. The commitment to increasing the
         professionalism of the Representation and Welfare Unit would be consistent with the first

   2.2       This review will be encouraged to consider the role of the University and Union Staff
         in the governance of the Union and the Sabbatical structure would be evaluated with a
         view to reduce the number of officers elected in favour of greater part-time student
         representatives. The role of trustees would also be overhauled in line with proposed

   2.3       Greater emphasis and resource would be placed on embracing diversity and particular
         attention placed on enhancing employability through nurturing the DAVE Project and
         FUSE programme for skills training and entrepreneurship. The introduction of a
         comprehensive membership management process would be integral to the progression of
         the Union’s clubs and societies.

   2.4       The Union would diversify its trading activities in a well controlled manner to assist
         in the organisation wide creation of a new economic model to ensure that the Union
         remains robust and able to fund its part of the student experience to a high level. This
         would be done to minimise the environmental effects of the decline in the traditional bars
         and catering trade associated with Students’ Union across the country.

   2.5       The Union would also ensure that the University committed itself to supporting the
         need to create this new economic model as a means to support the Union’s contribution
         to the student experience and lessen the reliance on increased subvention funding during
         the University’s proposed period of expansion and financial commitment elsewhere.

   2.6      Rather than consolidating its relationships both locally and nationally, the Union
         would endeavour to pursue a larger role in shaping the national direction of Students’
         Unions through NUS, NUSSL and AMSU.

3. Redefine & Relocate

   3.1       Further to Options 1 and 2, The Union would massively expand its activities to
         include large scale off campus trading activities to fund large scale developments in
         representation as outlined in Option 2, with radical increases in staffing numbers and
         funding for core activities. Capital investment into refurbishment of Union House or
         relocation to a new site would be a top priority once funding sources had been secured
         and USSU would consider approaching other regional Students’ Unions to develop
         partnership groups and share human / financial resources on a scale piloted with
         Roehampton in 1999-2003. Approaches to Kingston, Reading, Winchester, Royal
         Holloway and Roehampton would be made.

   3.2       The Union would make a serious tender to follow the likes of Bath Students’ Union,
         UEA, Kent, Portsmouth, Reading and Southampton in running campus catering outlets or
         the ‘One Stop’ shop during the 5 year period. All revenue would be utilised to fund it vs
         commitment to the student experience and use students expenditure in these areas,
         particularly in the case of the shop, to channel resources back into student activities.

                          The University of Surrey Students’ Union Strategy 2005-2010
                                         Completed Strategy | API Blair

3.3      USSU’s minibus fleet would be replaced and expanded to allow for great
      opportunities for students to travel within the region in social groups and breaking the
      monopoly on transport by Surrey’s sports clubs. A significant amount of time would be
      used sourcing suitable storage facilities for all the Union’s assets either on or off site.

3.4       The Union would overhaul its staff wages and realign them to reflect the cost of living
      in the Guildford area – both in an effort to retain current staff and recruit new specialists
      into the Union to develop the range of activities.

3.5       Origin Events Ltd would diversify and expand to act in association with NUSSL to
      provide sound and light equipment and other entertainment related activities to the
      national student network. GU2 Radio would develop to become a community radio
      license holder, allowing it to broadcast on FM all year round.



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