The University of Birmingham (UoB) shares the top step with forty-three HE institutions as critics claim the new teaching excellence framework (TEF) has faltered under starter’s ordersWritten by Erin Santillo on 24th June 2017
Guild Of Students Rated ‘Excellent’ By NUS Regulator
The Guild of Students has been awarded an ‘Excellent’ status by the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Quality Students’ Unions regulator
The auditor of the award congratulated the Guild for having a great range of high-quality services, paying attention to ‘the dedication and commitment of the Union’s career and student staff’.
All areas of the Guild were assessed in a two-day auditing process last month. Activities, events and governance were evaluated. Specifically, the report praised the Guild’s use of the online democratic tool ‘Your Ideas’ as well as the Student Mentor Scheme and the International Buddy Scheme, which were hailed as ‘sector-leading’ and deemed as exemplary of the Guild’s ‘real strength’.
Alex Hunt, a first year Chemistry student, agreed that all of these practices are of excellent quality. He said, ‘the Guild runs good events and activities. I really enjoyed ValeFest this year, so if they can match their future events with that level of quality, then why not? They probably deserve it’.
“Keiller: 'This award strengthens my confidence that we really are helping all students get the best from Birmingham. We pride ourselves on engaging with students on the issues that truly matter to them, and it is great to see this work recognised nationally!'
However, Hunt also noted what he saw as a level of disconnection between students and the Guild, specifically regarding the passing of information such as the news of their recent accreditation. Hunt said that he ‘had no idea they’d even received anything like that’.
Redbrick also spoke with Sophie Uyttenhove, a second year English student, and Laura Pritchard, a second year English and History student, who had mixed views regarding the functioning of the Guild.
Uyttenhove said, ‘the Guild has a friendly atmosphere that crucially functions at all hours, and is absolutely key for all students at Birmingham’.
However, Pritchard stated her belief that not enough support is offered to stay-at-home students such as herself. She said, ‘we’re often excluded from some events, which segregates us from our friends. I would have loved to have gone to the Winter Ball, but because I didn’t live in halls last year, I wasn’t allowed to buy tickets.
‘I feel like there is still a lot of progress to be made with the Guild’.
Mixed opinions notwithstanding, attaining this award has placed the Guild in the top tier of the highest performing student unions in Britain. Ellie Keiller, Guild President, shared her pride in the achievement:
‘I’m incredibly proud that the Guild has been recognised as an “Excellent” union for Birmingham students.
‘This award strengthens my confidence that we really are helping all students get the best from Birmingham. We pride ourselves on engaging with students on the issues that truly matter to them, and it is great to see this work recognised nationally!’
The Guild has added its NUS-approved ‘Excellent’ status to its growing collection of awards. Recent additions include the Investors in People Silver award, as well as the Green Impact Excellence award.