Objective & Goals
How we will reach our vision...

We have twelve goals that have been developed based on our students' ideas of what we should be and what we should offer as a Students' Union.

These goals are designed to be flexible and should evolve to reflect any new developments, ideas or technologies as they emerge.

These twelve goals have been grouped into four different 'objectives'. Collectively, these will guide and shape our strategic direction.

Bold and effective student voice
Opportunities for students to develop
Student well-being
Relevant, quality services
  • Be led by students
  • Engage in representation
  • Campaign for change
  • Enhance academic life
  • Develop global perspectives
  • Expand and enhance opportunities
  • Support employability
  • Provide guidance and support
  • Build communities and friendships
  • Broaden our horizons
  • Deliver services for students
  • Be digitally innovative

Bold and effective student voice

Be led by students

Ensure that students shape all our services and activities.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Having a better understanding and utilisation of our traditional democratic structures and our more direct impact methods, utilising both effectively and appropriately.
  • Increasing student participation in our services, development and operations.
  • Increasing the involvement of currently under-represented groups in our organisational structures and our methods of gathering student opinion.
  • Providing guidance and support to help students organise large scale events and collaborative initiatives also encouraging student enterprise.

Engage in representation

Have strong student engagement in an effective Students' Union led representation system across The University.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Reviewing and developing the connection between Departmental Societies, Students' Union Councillors and Course Reps, in order to develop a clear relationship on course and academic representation.
  • Refocusing our Representation and Democracy department to be student facing. We will create an open space for students: a highly visible representation support service within the Students' Union
  • Ensuring there is a focus on evidence based representation, including utilising internal information, to provide research and policy advice to Officers and representatives.
  • Reviewing, understanding and developing student representation with regards to broader University services including for example: Sport, Accommodation, Libraries, CiCS, etc.

Campaign for change

Encourage and support our students to influence, lobby and campaign for change at local, national and global levels.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Being a leading Students' Union in campaigning on issues that directly affect our members.
  • Having clear guidance on support for campaigns; we will provide frameworks for campaigning on issues that are not directly related to our Charitable objectives, but still provide for students' development and promote active citizenship.
  • Monitoring the diversity of those students who are involved with our representative & democratic structures and increase engagement with under-represented groups.

Enhance academic life

Ensure that every student feels engaged with their education, part of a learning community and supported to fulfil their individual potential.

We aim to achieve this between 2014 and 2016 by:

  • Empowering students to influence and change curriculum design and development, learning and teaching and assessment methods; through student engagement, representation and partnership working with the University.
  • Developing more ways for students to learn outside the formal curriculum, for example peer-assisted learning, Living Learning, and engagement with societies and volunteering.
  • Providing advice, support and representation on academic issues.
  • Being involved with and influencing the development of educational policy in the University and nationally.

Opportunities for students to develop

Develop global perspectives

Create an environment that enables our students to benefit from intercultural experiences, enjoy international friendships and develop their global understanding.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Recognising and developing our civic engagement with home and international students in the local community.
  • Working closely with The University on the internationalisation strategy.
  • Removing barriers for integration between home and international students by encouraging international students to engage with departmental societies and home students to engage with national societies.
  • Reinvigorating our services and events to enable students to develop their cultural agility and experience alternative cultures.

Expand and enhance opportunities

Resource opportunities for all students, supporting and encouraging them to have memorable experiences and develop their skills.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Increasing the training that is available for students and enabling the transfer of knowledge, skills and support from peer to peer.
  • Facilitating and encouraging collaboration between student groups, enabling students to work together to create more student-led events and initiatives.
  • Providing more resources to allow the development of student groups; ensuring staff are accessible and open to new ideas and are able to support and mentor students in the development of new events and initiatives.
  • Reviewing the space allocations within our buildings and assessing and planing for future student needs.

Support employability

Enhance students' employability through a strategic partnership with The University.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Developing students' skills, experiences and effectiveness through extra-curricular activities, internships and work experience. Furthermore, increasing the number of training, mentoring and recognition initiatives available for our students.
  • Working collaboratively with academic departments, the Careers Service, The University of Sheffield Enterprise Unit and other central support services to enhance students' employability.
  • Supporting the HEAR project and the Sheffield Graduate Award and encouraging students when appropriate to gain these.
  • Providing effective representation to ensure that The University supports employability through the curriculum and offers differentiated careers support, relevant to all courses, which meets the needs of all students including international and postgraduate students.

Student well-being

Providing guidance and support

Provide exceptional support that meets the diverse needs of our students through relevant services, partnerships and expertise.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Investigating and implementing more methods of support, for example by introducing peer support, which would develop student skills whilst increasing support services.
  • Improving signposting of support services to better communicate the support available to students.
  • Utilising and sharing skills and knowledge across departments.
  • Ensuring, through research and environmental scanning, we monitor and respond to students' changing support needs as the Higher Education landscape changes.
  • Embedding well-being, support and guidance into our members' interactions with every aspect of the Students' Union; for example through sport, healthy eating and responsible drinking.

Build communities and friendships

Provide services and spaces that allow students to develop communities, build friendships and feel supported and valued.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Providing structured access to introduce students to activities, sports and committees in order to provide opportunities for student interaction and personal development.
  • Building on community initiatives to ensure students are active citizens, not only through current Students' Union opportunities, but also by involving the city and the local community in Students' Union events. We will utilise our building as a method for increasing interaction between students, the city and the local community.
  • Reviewing and developing a cohesive strategy on Sports and Activities, ensuring all student groups are included and opportunities are available for all.

Broaden our horizons

Encourage and provide ways for Sheffield Students to live and participate as equal citizens within Sheffield and beyond, and take our place as a leading voluntary organisation in communities external to the University.

We aim to achieve this between 2014 and 2016 by:

  • Facilitating student involvement in external communities and organisations, and encouraging them to identify opportunities for collaboration both locally and more widely
  • Identifying our key partners and developing a Partner Strategy to create clear goals within our different relationships
  • Developing joint projects with our partners to the mutual benefit of the Students' Union and our Partners, as well as that of the wider community, and ensuring the sustainability of such projects
  • Developing and clarifying our offer for non-members

Relevant, quality services

Deliver services for students

Deliver relevant, efficient, good value services that enhance the student experience.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Considering all the services in our building, the impact they have on our students and the value for money they offer our members.
  • Ensuring that our services enhance the student experience whilst generating funds, where appropriate, to be invested back into the Students' Union
  • Considering ways of developing new services that add value to the student experience at Sheffield.
  • Considering partnership opportunities to develop new and existing services in order to enhance the offer of the Students' Union and better cater for the diverse needs of our members.

Be digitally innovative

Use technology to create and enhance services that are valuable to our students.

We aim to achieve this between 2012 and 2016 by:

  • Providing resources to lead the cohesive development of current and new digital services. This will include staffing, training and systems development investment.
  • Better understanding The University strategy on digital developments and collaborating where appropriate.
  • Having a cross departmental, co-ordinated approach to our digital offer.