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Following the largest research and consultation exercise ever, the Guild of Students has just revealed its strategic plan for the next three years. The plan’s overall aim is to support the students and make sure they get the most out of their time at Birmingham.

The “strategic enablers’”that are needed to “facilitate change” are identified in the plan as finance, effective operations, staff and students. The University has agreed to support the project by providing funding while the guild will be allocating more staff to ensure that these aims are achieved.

The plan, which is a response to student feedback, it split into 5 ‘strategic priorities’. Each one presents the findings from the research carried out, describes the steps that will be taken to implement the ‘priority’ and how they will measure success throughout the three-year scheme. In a short video on the Guild of Students website, the Sabbatical Officers briefly explain the 5 areas to be focused on.

5 Priorities
  1. Improving the Academic and Learning Experience: By introducing a student representation scheme, the Guild promises to voice students’ concerns about their course to the University
  2. Representing the Student Voice: Reforming the democratic structure to more effectively represent the student voice to the University
  3. Developing Skills and Increasing Employability: Aiming to have 12,000 students participating in students groups, 8,000 students volunteering and 2,500 students finding part time work through the Guild by 2017
  4. Giving Better Value for Money: Ensuring that the Guild offer a wide range of reasonably priced food by opening new food, drink and trade outlets as well as expanding the Joe’s plus card. They aim to achieve 80% of student satisfaction by 2017
  5. Increasing Engagement and Participation: Providing information about voting, ticket sales, events, student groups and how to get involved

The plan also outlined an intention to reform the Guild’s democratic structures and officer team. Poppy Wilkinson, Guild of Students President, emphasised that ‘any model that goes to referendum will be in response to the huge consultation conducted in the last academic year but will not be the same referendum’.

The amount of money the Guild receives from the University has increased this year. The extra funding be used to deliver a new student representative scheme, a new Volunteering and Employability Service and to support improved communications.

In order to support the strategy, 17 new staff posts will be introduced to the Guild. However, Wilkinson told Redbrick there would only be an overall increase of 7 members of staff. Wilkinson stated that ‘some posts have been refocused’, suggesting 10 existing positions have been removed to be replaced with new posts.

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