AboutNorthumbria Students’ Union (NSU) is a leading charity in the North-East with a £4m+ turnover and one clear goal, to have a positive impact on the lives of the 30,000 students who study at Northumbria University. We have 55+ members of staff who are dedicated to this goal and support our work by delivering modern, first-class services to benefit our students.
Northumbria Students’ Union is a vital part of the student experience at Northumbria University. We are independent from the University, a registered company and charity and comply with best practice financial reporting for both regulators.
When a student registers with Northumbria University, they automatically become a member of the Union. There are currently over 40,000 members around the world, with the majority studying in the city of Newcastle.
The education and welfare of Northumbria students is central to our charitable purpose and the Union undertakes this is in a wide range of services for students.
Representation: With over 1,000 programme representatives, departmental and faculty level student representatives, a separate Postgraduate Research representation structure, Student Council and the Sabbatical Officers, this is the core of our work in supporting student voice to be heard at every level of the institution.
Advice: The Union provides academic advice as well as housing advice and uses case work to inform our policy work. We work with the University Student Law Office to provide legal support where appropriate for housing cases.
Quality Review and Policy: The Union produces an annual assessment of the quality of learning and teaching in the University as well a range of policy positions informed by student expectations and input.
Consultation and Feedback: We undertake a range of consultation and feedback activities ourselves and in partnership with the institution to produce high quality evidence that complements and enriches the University’s own channels of feedback.
Co-production: We seek to embed co production of education experience throughout out work, for example our student reviewers who are part of the validation and review process for new and refreshes programme approval process.
Graduate Outcomes sits in the Education team as one of our teams within the Union.
The Union employs over 170 staff at the busiest time of the year and employs a core of around 60 people on a year-round basis.
About the role
With the introduction of higher fees and most students borrowing increasingly large sums of money to fund their higher education, the Union’s emphasis is firmly on ensuring that both their academic and extra-curricular achievements are high quality and enable them to stand out at all stages of recruitment, to secure the jobs they want.
This is in line with the expectations of students at Northumbria – our research has shown that our students see a very strong link between their attending University and the opportunities that attendance offers them once they graduate.
Over the past decade, the Union has built a national reputation of the quality of its extracurricular provision with a focus on meaningful experience that balances fun and enjoyment with personal development.
We are recruiting a manager who can help us take forward the latter element but without removing the sense of fun and ownership that our volunteering should provide to students.
The successful post-holder will work closely with the University careers to ensure improved awareness amongst students and to build the capacity of our student volunteers and leaders to reflect on their experiences and use those to inform their approach to making job applications; recognising their own achievements and framing those achievements in a way that employers understand and want to know more about.
The post-holder will lead on our system of volunteer recognition to ensure it is accessible to students, recognises activity in a meaningful and evidenced based way and resonates with employers. The post holder will look to maintain our model of leadership development for student volunteers across the Union as well as the potential for other skills training, delivered internally or externally and lead on the Union’s annual training plan for staff and student volunteers.
The Union’s ambition is to ultimately have our volunteering recognised in a credit bearing module within the University framework and the post-holder will lead on the planning and supporting the Officers to helping this come to fruition and then delivering.
Finally, the post-holder will work with individual strands of the Union to support student activity from oversight of specific projects aimed at personal development to securing additional funds that build student employability.
Our ambition is to see more of our leadership volunteers and indeed volunteers at all levels utilise our systems for recognition and the post-holder will work closely with those groups to help them through that process.
To succeed, the post holder must be enthusiastic about working within a busy environment that serves a large and diverse student body and passionate about the benefits of student representation to the students of Northumbria and to the representatives themselves in terms of a meaningful volunteering experience.
This is a very exciting time to be part of this dynamic and unique organisation.
MAIN DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
Leadership and Management
1. To be a leader within the Students’ Union
2. To manage staff and student volunteers in a consistent and professional manner in line with Union policies and management competences
3. To be an advocate for the benefits of coaching and mentoring within NSU and across the University.
4. Undertaking the recruitment, selection and induction of staff as required in line with the organisations recruitment and selection strategies and policy.
5. Ensuring a culture of consistent, high quality giving and receiving feedback is embedded in the team.
1. Lead on the delivery and development of the NSU volunteer recognition programme, working across NSU to engage volunteers at all levels.
2. Deliver events and activities to support volunteer development within the recognition programme, drawing on activities across NSU.
3. Lead on the delivery of a programme of activities to support development of leadership skills amongst women students, LGBTQ* and other groups as agreed by NSU
4. Lead on delivery and development of programme of student peer to peer mentoring
5. Ensure the benefits of NSU volunteer recognition programme are clearly communicated to students, University and employers.
6. Work in partnership with Northumbria University’s Graduate Futures team to ensure high levels of awareness amongst students of services that support their employability and agree areas of joint or complementary working.
7. To support Sabbatical officers in representing student views to the University in regards its employability, enterprise, and entrepreneurship plan.
8. Working with the Head of Education, inform the Education Policy work on student employability and graduate outcomes.
9. Working across the Education Department, support elected representatives in their campaigning work to address attainment gaps linked to graduate outcomes and employability.
Management and Administration:
10. To lead on annual planning cycle for team, including aims and objectives, marketing plans, training plans and impact and output measures. Ensuring that these are in-line with the Students’ Union aims, KPIS and corporate plan.
11. To act as budget holder and be responsible for expenditure and activities against budgets at appropriate intervals.
12. To adhere to the financial regulations and all other relevant policies and procedures of the Students’ Union.
13. To manage effective information systems for all relevant systems for recording volunteering achievement and ensure staff in NSU are competent in their use as appropriate.
14. To be the lead manager for events and activities undertaken in relation to graduate outcomes, and ensure they are delivered in line with Union policies, working across teams to draw on expertise and capacity of other departments.
15. Take the lead in ensuring all Union departments have a strong understanding of graduate outcomes and their role in promoting and ensuring it.
16. Work with Marketing Department to prepare digital and physical reports, handbooks and other relevant publications and materials to enable student representatives and elected officers to work effectively.
17. To work with Marketing Department to ensure sections of the Students’ Union website dedicated to graduate outcomes are regularly updated.
18. To develop and maintain effective communication links with University staff involved in supporting and working with student representatives and other volunteers.
19. Alongside the Marketing department, lead on promoting a high level of student awareness of graduate outcomes, and its impact, through an annual communications plan.
20. To liaise with the Students’ Union’s elected and appointed representatives to ensure they are kept informed of key policy issues relevant to their role.
21. To ensure department delivers the highest standards of service as expressed through the Union’s customer service standards.
22. To attend appropriate and relevant training events, courses and conferences as required.
23. To respect the democratic structure of the Students’ Union; the post holder will be expected to work with elected officers and help support achievement of their manifestos.
24. To abide by the Students’ Union governance, policies and procedures at all times.
25. To uphold the Students’ Unions environmental and wider corporate social responsibility practices.
26. To undertake mentoring of staff and students as agreed with your line manager and to undertake if required investigation into breaches of the Code of Conduct for student members and/or sit on disciplinary panels.
27. To be committed to NSU’s values of Supportive, Inclusive, Fun, Democratic, Ethical, Innovation and Excellence
28. The above is not an exhaustive list of duties, and the post holder will be expected to undertake any other reasonable duties as may be required.