Three photos of Cambridge students placed next to each other, engaging with other students.

WHAT WE DO

We are your brand new, Students’ Union here at Cambridge University. 

We exist to fight for, advocate and represent the interests and needs of all students at Cambridge University. All students are automatically a member, and all members drive what we do.

We’re a registered charity, we’re independent from the University of Cambridge (although we do work in close partnership with them) and we are led by student Officers that you elected.

Our goal is for Cambridge SU to be a groundbreaking organisation that leads the way in representation for all students, both undergraduates and postgraduates. Cambridge SU will replace two current students’ unions, and be a single union for all students. In combining our expertise and resources, we will ensure that all students, regardless of level of study, are represented, supported and have their voice heard across the University of Cambridge. No matter your level of study, background or the marginalisation you may experience, Cambridge SU will be a union that fights for you.

 

Affiliations

Cambridge SU is currently affiliated to the below organisations. Affiliations for Cambridge SU are approved annually at the SU Council. For more information about these affiliations or if you would like us to affiliate with your organisation, please contact president@cambridgesu.co.uk

NUS logo

The National Union of Students of the United Kingdom (NUS) is a confederation of students' unions in the United Kingdom.

living wage foundation logo

The Living Wage Foundation celebrate and recognise the leadership of responsible employers who choose to go further and pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living, not just the government minimum.

UKCISA logo

UKCISA is a charity and membership organisation supporting international students and all who work with them.

CCVS logo

CCVS is an independent registered charity, set up by local organisations in the 1970's, to provide a central source of expert help and advice for local groups.

 

History

Cambridge SU is founded in the efforts of two central Students’ Unions of the University of Cambridge in 2019. These are the Cambridge University Students’ Union and the University of Cambridge Graduate Union. This proposal comes at a time when Undergraduate and Postgraduate student numbers are equal, so we feel that a new organisation should represent both groups of students and those that fall in the grey area between them sufficiently and equally. An all student referendum was held in Michaelmas term of 2019, asking students:

Referendum: Do you approve of the dissolution of CUSU and the GU and the creation of a new single students' union in the form of Cambridge SU?

The referendum was PASSED (and the voter turnout threshold of 10% was reached).

Yes

2272 votes

70.58%

No

737 votes

22.9%

Blank ballot

210 votes

6.52%

 

THE GRADUATE UNION

From its founding, the Graduate Union acted as a hub for students for whom the colleges struggled to accommodate, such as international postgraduates and their partners, mature students, visiting scholars and later post doctorate researchers.  These students were somewhat neglected and also did not fit in with the paternal culture in the colleges at this time.

The Graduate Union was founded in 1955, by grace of the Regent’s House to support Postgraduates better, and raise awareness of this growing group. Credit for this founding goes to Margareta “Greta” Burkill, who previously studied at Newnham College. She was born in Germany and became a political refugee due to her father's activities. She helped house many child refugees escaping persecution in the 1930s and 40s. She also helped found New Hall (now Murray Edwards College) to further the Higher Education of women at the University of Cambridge.

CUSU

CUSU was founded as the Cambridge Students' Union (CSU) in 1971 to represent all higher education students studying in Cambridge, that is students attending the University of Cambridge plus undergraduates at CCAT (the then Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, which in 1993 became Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge). CSU also represented students at Homerton College, then a separate teacher training college in the city.

CSU during its early years from 1971 to 1974 received support from CCAT Students' Union as CCATSU was from the 1960s the only large NUS-affiliated, and conventionally funded, students' union in Cambridge. CSU in turn supported CCATSU in its campaigns to get more student housing provided for CCAT degree students, a serious issue for the college by the early 1970s. CCATSU and CSU went their separate ways after 1974.

CSU was formally recognised by the Cambridge University authorities on 25 May 1984 and renamed, following a student referendum in March 1985, as CUSU - Cambridge University Students Union.