Your Union

We're a students' union - a membership organisation that exists under the Education Act 1994 - and we're here to make student life better at Royal Holloway. But what exactly does that mean? Well, think of the Students’ Union as that place that always has your back.

We're a separate legal entity from the University which means we can act independently to champion student interests - as a quick note, the University part-fund the SU and we also share some central resources such as IT support.

This means we can fight for your rights and ensure you are always getting your voice heard. The best bit is that upon enrolling at Royal Holloway you automatically become a member (you can opt out easily), and we’ll represent you on both a local and national level.

Royal Holloway Students' Union exists to advance the education of students at Royal Holloway for the public benefit by:

  • Promoting the interests and welfare of students at Royal Holloway during the course of their study and representing, supporting and advising students;
  • Being the recognised representative channel between students and Royal Holloway, University of London and any other external bodies; and
  • Providing social, cultural, sporting and recreational activities and forums for discussions and debate for the personal development of students.

Legally, the Union is a democratic charity (charity number 1141998) and must follow the laws and regulations which govern UK charity organisations. This includes the publishing of our accounts and annual report via the Charity Commission website.

Now let's break down that legalese a little bit. As we said at the start, we represent student voices and interests but that's just one slice of the pie when it comes to what we’re about. We’re also responsible for running all the sports clubs and societies (think of these as communities of students coming together to form a group around a shared interest or hobby) on campus ensuring there’s always an outlet for your passions, while we cook up a mean burger in our bars.

Away from the bar, we run an Advice Centre that offers confidential, impartial, and independent advice, while we also run free events with our Give It A Go programme, and loads more!

As a charity, the Students' Union is not run for profit. That said, our goal is to be a financially responsible organisation and we aim for a financial surplus each year so that we can build reserves. This ensures that we have enough funding to deliver larger scale improvements that have high costs e.g. refurbishing our bars or investing in new stage equipment. It also allows the Union to weather periods of instability like the closure of our venues - which we witnessed during the lockdowns associated with COVID-19. The key takeaway is that every pound we generate gets reinvested into the services we provide, be that student groups (via grants), the Union Shop, events calendar or our campaigns.

We are funded in a variety of ways:

  • A Block Grant from the College
    Each year we get a lump sum from the University to run our services.
  • Commercial Operations
    We run bars, cafes, shops, and hire out our physical spaces to external clients.
  • Sales and Sponsorships
    We work with external organisations that want to engage students, selling them advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

Our values dictate the way we operate, the behaviours we champion, and how the organisation should feel:

  • Student Focused
    Everything we do will have students at the heart of it.
  • High Quality
    Your expectations are high and we must exceed them.
  • Trustworthy
    We will ensure that we are transparent, honest and fair in what we say and do.
  • Inclusive
    We will offer a diverse range of activities and services which are fulfilling and accessible.
  • Brave
    We should be bold and not afraid to challenge the status quo.

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What's Next III - Our Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan sets out the aims, enablers and values of the Students' Union. The current plan takes us through to 2024 and has been built alongside the University's strategy to ensure that we can continue to make a positive impact on student life for the forseeable future.

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How we represent your views

By being the collective voice of students we are able to tackle pressing issues, lobby for social change and campaign on your behalf - using your views and opinions as guidance.

There are tons of different ways you can actively get involved, from becoming an academic rep and making changes on your course to sitting on one of our Executives where you'll play a leading role in the development, scrutiny and maintenance of Officer policies and plans.

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Work with us

Student Roles

Career Roles

Volunteer Roles

We employ over 400 students across a range of specialist roles. From bar and catering, to graphic design, there's a role for everyone at RHSU.

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