Opportunities Strategy

Student Opportunities

We run the best range of student opportunities in the UK, no argument. We provide opportunities to learn skills, make friends and become more employable. And we provide student employment that’s fun, well paid and transformative.

The context

Some of our students are able to take advantage of the opportunities we offer but many are time poor or are on programmes that prevent participation. UEA’s Graduate Employment statistics are poor for its peer group and students consistently feed back that they are worried about work, both while they are on their course and after graduation. UEA runs a high number of “non commercial” student events but support for students is patchy and we could be doing more.

Our ambitions

This is where we want to be by 2019:

  • We want every student in the University to take part in extra curricular opportunities, ensuring activities are student led and high quality.
  • We will support all student volunteers and staff to use their experience taking part in student opportunities to benefit them in later life.
  • We will be an exemplar in relation to activities safety and risk assessment and our facilities are geared around the needs of our active members.
  • We will support the full breadth of student diversity to take part in the most diverse set of activities possible, reducing barriers to involvement and setting and meeting targets related to diversity.

The year ahead

This is what we’ll do to get there in 2016-17:

  • We’ll expand our support for societies, student media and student enterprise, increasing the number of societies and opportunities further and setting and hitting diversity targets to ensure the fullest range of students are taking part.
  • We’ll build on research findings and work with partners in the University and City to launch a new Student Work strategy, improving the range, quality and pay of part time work opportunities taken up by students as well as offering Personal Development plans and management pathways for our own student staff.
  • We’ll agree a new strategy for Student Sport with the University- developing every club, increasing grant and capital funding, transforming involvement in decision making by students, securing better access to facilities and ensuring suitable provision for postgraduates and nursing students.
  • We’ll launch a student Skills Training programme directly related to our opportunities offer and partner with the University careers function and successful alumni to ensure that learning and development gained through our opportunities contributes directly to career development.
  • We’ll launch a new Student Events Support service, making it easier than ever for students and student groups to put on events on campus and in the City

And then we’ll go further:

  • We’ll take the lead at UEA on community action and volunteering, seeking to improve the positive impact students have on the local community, increasing the volume of student fundraising activity and working on a community organising strategy to tackle community wide issues.
  • We’ll launch a formal scheme enabling enterprising students to tap into our expertise and capital to build businesses alongside the union that work for students.
  • We will review and renew our dedicated strategies for providing student opportunities for postgraduate students, nursing and midwifery students and international students, and identify whether additional strategies should be created.

The impact

  • 70% of students will be registered as having taken part in a UEASU opportunity.
  • 85% of those students will agree that taking part has helped them learn, develop and grow.
  • UEA’s DLHE statistics will have improved with its graduate prospects in the top 20 of UK Universities.