Our Big Idea
Making Sure Students Love their time at Leeds
Our vision is inclusive, ambitious and passionately positive. Just like us. It’s successfully been our vision since 2010 and it’s not going anywhere. It’s at the heart of everything we do as LUU. And our four-year strategy will help us to get there.
Our four-year strategy works to support our members in every bit of their student life. Every volunteer and person who works at LUU will help to get this plan off the ground.
We've got over 35,000 students from 122 different countries across the globe and a postgraduate population that is bigger than ever; below are just some of the amazing things they get up to in their time here.
Our strategic plan recognises that everything we do in LUU is working towards our three impacts; it’s how we talk about what we do, how we measure our successes and why we exist.
All our achievements and the positive impacts we’ve had on students’ experiences have been down to the dedicated and talented volunteers and people who work here. We strive to make sure our people are happy and have purpose in their work, so we want to continue to dedicate our time to this.
We’d love our people to be as diverse as our student body, so we are going to be doing more to remove barriers to success within LUU and continue the progress we’ve made in this area. We want everyone to feel engaged in their work, and to make that happen learning and development will continue to be a primary focus, supporting and developing them in their career through LUU and beyond.
By 2022 our people will love their time at Leeds and provide excellent service for our members.
Our student body is changing. More students will be accessing university digitally and through global campuses, and it’s important they still feel part of LUU. We’re looking forward to this challenge and know that digital investment is our answer. We have the ambition to become a digital-first union, where every union service is either delivered, supported or tracked by a digital channel or system.
We will work to build on all the innovative digital changes we have been making to improve our building, our services and ultimately our members’ experience of engaging with us.
By 2022, our students will find new value in all the services we provide through our digital solutions.
With all the activities, services, events and opportunities LUU provides, we really do get to be at the heart of student life. We love helping them to create lifelong memories of their time at Leeds. And that’s the way we want it to be, always.
When we asked our members what they wanted from their union, 79% of students said it was important that we deliver quality and value through our services with an emphasis on accessibility and user-friendly facilities.
Through this mission we will get a better understanding of how we can adapt and improve, and through our diverse events programme create great memories and new opportunities to meet our members’ needs.
Our building improvements have provided us with exceptional space for our students and plenty of opportunities to grow and develop. Through this mission, we will continue to make sure students get the most out of these spaces and that they grow with our members’ needs. To help to fund all our crucial services, we’ll continue to be innovative and explore diverse income opportunities for LUU, making the most of what we have. We're also going to keep being as environmental sustainable as we can be and make sure we keep hold of our environmental credentials.
Our members told us they want us to be more transparent in communicating where the money they spend in their Union goes. As a student-led charity, we know that every penny our members spend with us goes right back into supporting them and we will be communicating this more clearly from now on.
We support our members in fulfilling their ambitions no matter what they are. In fact, 67% of our students believe LUU should play a big part in preparing them for their future. We’re ready to take on that challenge.
Often our members don’t realise all the skills they are gaining and developing through their voluntary and paid roles here. So we’re going to work even harder to help them to recognise them as well as providing even more opportunities and making them even easier to access.
By 2022, our students will not only feel like they are graduates of the University of Leeds but from LUU too. They’ll feel confident in their abilities and ready to take on whatever is next for them.
We will help our members reclaim their wellbeing as a positive area of their University life. 71% of our students told us that LUU offering help and support was important, and with many of our students concerned about mental health, this continues to be high on our agenda.
Over 10% of our students told us they needed better access to health services, so we’re ready to take this on and partner with new organisations or lobby existing providers to champion this need. We are also going to develop our wellbeing engagement and activity so that ‘looking after yourself’ becomes second nature and ultimately reduces the need for external support services in the future.
By 2022 our members will feel the measurable difference we’ve had on their happiness, wellbeing and health.
There are so many different ways students can engage with us, from going on trips to Whitby to being part of the Street Dance performance at the Riley’s. We don’t mind how our students interact with us, we just want to make sure every single one of them does. We’ll do this by remaining relevant and being here for them. We know our students want to find somewhere to belong, make friends and share their passions.
To foster this feeling, we’ll bring international and UK student communities together, we’ll help students to engage in the political sphere on their terms, and we’ll grow our student programmes in the community residences, as well as working alongside clubs & societies to create a sense of belonging for everyone.
Our members feel great pressure to succeed and achieve in their academic life. Over 70% of our members agreed that our students need and want us more than ever to help them get the most out their education. They expect to be partners in their education and we will help to inspire them to take control and do just that.
With more and more distance-learning students and students who are being taught overseas, we will develop academic communities worldwide to help our members still feel as supported, represented and part of the Union as they would if they were on our doorstep. LUU will also be visible in every faculty school or department, either through our reps or direct communication channels.
Having strong and positive relationships with all our members is something we work towards every day.
Through this mission we will strengthen our relationship in three key ways. We will continue to listen to our members and gather even more understanding and insight so we can serve their needs. We will treat all our 35,000+ members as individuals by making sure every interaction they have with us has that personal touch. Plus, we will do even more to reward our members’ loyalty, so they keep coming back and engaging with us.
Straight from Students
How do we know how to support our members? Because they told us. As a completely student-led organisation, our four-year strategy has been shaped entirely by our members. A big thanks to everyone who took the time to fill us in. You can find out about what they said in more detail below.
Key Partnerships to enhance Impact
Last year we saw our Union supermarket Essentials becoming a Co-op franchise to ensure we are providing better value for our members both in shopping experience and product range. In response to the growing digital sector in Leeds, we’ve also created a micro-agency with local marketing agency Epiphany, and partnered with Student Minds to bolster the support we give to our members and their wellbeing.
To round it off, our existing partnerships with Unipol, Santander, Leeds City Council and Endsleigh will only grow and develop.
In February 2019 we opened a brand new Co-op store in the LUU building, the first of its kind in the UK. Since then we have been working closely with the Co-op on product selection, sustainability (including a free water tap in the store which has saved over 10,000 plastic bottles so far), and on ensuring our student staff members gain high-street standard skills and experience. We even hosted one of their national Join-In Live events, bringing our local community even closer to LUU.
Our partnership with Epiphany is now well into its second year. Our jointly developed micro-agency Digi has two full-time associates who are in the process of recruiting and training a team of 70 volunteers. These volunteers are learning valuable digital skills as well as building up practical experience to take into the next step of their chosen pathway.
Student Minds update
Student Minds are a national charity at the forefront of work to improve student mental health provision. A major area of work for them throughout the last year has been developing a ‘Student Mental Health Charter’, and not only has LUU partnered with them and the University of Leeds to contribute to the charter, we were also the host for their launch event on the 9th of December 2019.
A Big Thanks to You
We’re already so proud of where our new strategic plan has taken us.
LUU wouldn’t be LUU without our student members, staff, volunteers, trustees, committee members and partners in the city. Our strong partnership with our colleagues at the University of Leeds also means we’re making great strides with our strategic impacts. We hope everyone knows how thankful we are for your support in making everything we do possible.
Together, we make sure students love their time at Leeds.