The Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) has had another award-winning year as one of the leading students’ unions in the UK, thanks to its partnership approach to working with BU.

Over the last five years, SUBU has become known for its innovative and impactful student representation system, and this year it has taken another great step towards its aim to be the best in the world at student representation. In partnership with BU’s Market Research Group, SUBU developed a simple online student feedback tool called ‘SimOn’ which captures feedback in a unique way. Student Reps used SimOn 976 times over the year, delivering 17,941 student comments to BU. The impact that this has had – enabling SUBU and BU to ensure developments are in line with student needs – led to SUBU winning the prestigious NUS Education Award 2016.

As well as this sector leading work on the student voice, SUBU was also recognised in other areas. The union was a finalist for the NUS Higher Education Students’ Union of the Year 2016, and won Gold in the NUS Green Impact Awards.

A big focus over the last year has been on developing the diversity of students involved in the union. The diversity of students standing for leadership roles was greater than ever before, with 35% of candidates for our officers being from non-traditional backgrounds. As a result of this focus, SUBU is proud to have its first postgraduate and international student as President for the coming year. To demonstrate this change in culture at SUBU, there have been new events across the year that have become ‘business as usual’ – Black History Month, Bournemouth Students’ Pride, Mature Students’ Coffee Mornings, One World Day, and the Families’ Christmas Party.

Our community work has taken a big step forward this year. Our student fundraisers donated £88,403 to charities through RAG, and 242 of our students volunteered regularly in the community. The Community Wardens have had a big impact, working with Bournemouth Borough Council to improve community relations, and we are pleased to have ended the year by adding a new Vice President to our team with responsibility for our Community work.

We have been proud to work with the university this year on many projects which have helped make BU even better. Our partnership approach is now the envy of the sector across the UK, and things like the continuing consultation that we have been involved with for the new building works at Talbot Campus and Lansdowne give us confidence that the BU experience will be the best it can be for all students in the years to come.

As a Community Warden I saw how SUBU wanted to give back to the community and was concerned about helping students live within a community.”

Bahijja Umar, Community Warden, SUBU

In my 2nd year I became a volunteer leader and a co-founder of the Green Taskforce which has allowed me to create wonderful projects.”

Lisa Fischell Volunteer Leader, SUBU

Being part of the RAG leadership team has enabled me to extend so many skills both on a personal and professional level.”

Abbie Spring, RAG Chair, SUBU