NUS Awards 2018: The Results

Football may be coming home this summer, but unfortunately we weren’t able to add another trophy to the collection, as we were pipped to Students’ Union of the Year at the NUS Awards 2018.

What's the story?

The Awards are an annual celebration of the extraordinary work which Union’s undertake each day, applauding the unsung heroes from the movement while reflecting on the standout stories and achievements of the past year.

Birmingham NEC was the venue for the showpiece event, with eight SU’s battling it out for the biggest accolade of the night.

The judging panel, made up of experienced individuals from across the sector, praised the high-quality submissions and the range of diverse and valuable work being carried out by Union’s across the UK.

The winners

As with the other award categories, the Students' Union of the Year shortlist was trimmed down and four winners were selected: University of Birmingham Guild of Students, University of West London Students' Union, Leeds City College Students' Union, and Forth Valley College Students' Association.

As referenced by NUS, our movement is at its strongest when we work together with others, and we would like to extend our congratulations to all of last night’s award recipients.

Tasha Barrett (outgoing President), Pippa Gentry (outgoing VP Societies & Media), Rob Scully (Head of Finance & Business Reporting), Abi Jesson (Head of Membership Support & Engagement) and Michael Bailey (Head of Marketing & Communications) enjoying the NUS Awards

2017/18 recap

Since our trustees identified the need to radically transform the organisation back in 2015, we have been working tirelessly to deliver on our promise of making student life better at Royal Holloway. 2017/18 has been a year of real progression for the SU, as we continue to drive a dramatic change in culture.

In no particular order, here’s a quick top ten recap of the things we achieved this year:


  1. Establishing a single helpdesk for the entire organisation making it easier for students to get the help they need.

  2. Rebranding the organisation, launching a new website, and rolling out our 'Union Upgrade' website.

  3. Securing easier access to campus out of hours.

  4. Securing the allocation of free printing.

  5. Conducting a review of the campus health centre.

  6. Transforming academic representation.

  7. Supporting students to make their own changes via our Bright Ideas platform, with 127 ideas submitted and 2933 unique engagements.

  8. Seeing significant increases in our participation levels within the Union’s activities - voter turnout jumping up to 28% from below 20%, the number of student groups and members rising by 20%, and the number of students accessing our Advice Centre up 10%.

  9. Improving our Rate Your Union satisfaction scores - 88.0% of students agree they are satisfied with the Students' Union (69.7% strongly agree); 80.0% of students agree we have a positive impact on their life at Royal Holloway (61.6% strongly agree).

  10. Taking over three additional trading outlets: the Union Shop, The Packhorse and HouseSearch.

Our work isn't done yet

Despite all of the great things which have been achieved, we know we still have a long way to go. As we alluded to in our Rate Your Union headline results, we know there are a number of key areas where we still need to make improvements and we are putting the plans in place to make the positive changes that you want to see.

Thanks again to everyone, especially our fantastic students, who made 2017/18 a year to remember – none of this would have been possible without all of your hard work, passion and enthusiasm. We can’t wait to do more to ensure your university experience is the best it possibly can be, and hopefully next year we’ll be able to sing ‘It’s Coming Home’ all the way back down the M40.

NUS Students’ Union of the Year 2019, we’re coming for you!