Cambridge SU is the representative body for all students at the University of Cambridge and its constituent Colleges; it is a registered charity within the Cambridge community that exists to represent, campaign for, and support students at the University. When you enrol on a course here, you are automatically made a member of Cambridge SU - welcome!
We exist to fight for, advocate and represent the interests and needs of all students at Cambridge University. Cambridge SU provide's high-quality tools, skills, strategies, knowledge, and development opportunities for students to shape their education and experiences. We are proactive in building student communities and developing effective relationships.
We’re led by elected student officers (Sabbs) who are part of our growing team to deliver positive change for current and future generations of Cambridge students. As a student-led organisation, we're focused on matters that affect your student experience and encourage all members to input into our work through Student Council, Forums or the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to name a few examples.
The Cambridge SU strategy allows our organisation to collectively focus on empowering our members and building communities among the student body. It underpins every element of what we do and has been informed through student consultation to ensure it accurately reflects the needs of those we represent.
Our strategy document demonstrates how Cambridge SU will increase the power of the Cambridge student community to deliver positive change whilst also enhancing our students’ experience. We have clear timelines to implement operational changes and measure progress and we will produce an annual impact report which references these. Our strategic objectives fall into six categories; Communications, Communities & Extra-Curricular, Empowering Change, Advice and Welfare, Commercial Growth and Our People.
By 2022 we will produce a communications strategy that will guide the way that the whole organisation communicates. The communications strategy will deliver;
- a 50% increase in engagement across social media platforms, and engagement in SU activities by the end of 2023
- a 60% open rate and 50% growth in engagement rates across all departmentental messaging
- 60% of students spoken to will tell us that they know they have a good understanding of who the SU is and that the SU has paid professional staff with an understanding of the work that they do for them by 2025
- The SU will define our role and our offer to colleges and J/MCRs in a college engagement plan that is shared with all JCRs and MCRs by 2023.
- By 2025 students will be more involved in our decision making processes; we will see a 50% increase in submissions to council and an increase of 50% in engagement with our priority change making campaigns.
Communities and Extra-Curricular
We will be the central support service for the majority of student societies at Cambridge.
- By 2025 75% of society committee members surveyed will tell us that they see Cambridge SU as the primary source of support for student groups.
- We will develop strong and inclusive communities for marginalised students, so that by 2025 we will have doubled the number of students who are actively engaged in the SU Liberation Campaigns.
We will empower academic reps to deliver positive change for their cohorts so that;
- by 2025 90% of academic reps surveyed will say that support from Cambridge SU has benefitted them as representatives.
- 75% of faculties meet baseline standards for academic representation co-developed with Cambridge SU
- We will become a central hub of knowledge and support for J/MCRs, giving them the resources to improve their own college experience so that by 2025 90% of J/MCR leaders will say that Cambridge SU is providing effective tools to reduce inequality in the student experience between colleges.
- By 2025, 60% of students surveyed will see the SU as effectively providing support to students who want to make change, including; tackling issues of injustice and inequality; and shaping their academic experience.
We will ensure that students have a roadmap to gain the support and help they need to navigate any issues they may face with their education.
- Students will see the Student Advice Service as the primary resource for independent, professional advice, signposting and casework for those in need.
- By 2025 60% of students surveyed will report that they are aware of the Student Advice Service and the services that it offers.
We will develop a commercial strategy that will deliver a 50% increase in commercial revenue by 2025.
- All new commercial activities and partnerships we develop will have to also benefit students as well as deliver a profit.
- We will secure our grant funding at the levels required to effectively fulfil our objectives and will diversify our funding streams to ensure that our income is sustainable for the future.
We will develop and implement an HR strategy that ensures staff are supported, rewarded and offered all relevant development opportunities.
- By 2022 we will have implemented a staff survey that collects the opinions of all SU staff.
- By 2024 90% of staff surveyed will report that they feel Cambridge SU is a great place to work; the majority of staff understand how key decisions are being made and that they have the resources they need to achieve their goals.
By sharing our strategy with our members, we hope that you will feel confident in our aims and how our work will affect your experience of Cambridge. Read our full strategic plan here for more information regarding our methodology and do reach out to us if you have any questions.
Cambridge SU was established in 2020 to serve Cambridge University students and provide a central support network across the collegiate structure. It is founded in the combined efforts of two central Students’ Unions of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge University Students’ Union and the University of Cambridge Graduate Union, following 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).
The proposal to form a new, single Students' Union came at a time when Undergraduate and Postgraduate student numbers equalised within the University. We felt passionately that a new organisation should represent both groups of students, and those that fall in the grey area between them, sufficiently and equally. Our founding principles and the values carried throughout our strategic plan are integral to our daily operations and how we plan to deliver transformative change within Cambridge.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Union of Students of the United Kingdom (NUS) is a confederation of students' unions in the United Kingdom.
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 is a charity and membership organisation supporting international students and all who work with them.
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.