The YUSU mission is simple...
Representation, provide opportunities and run services for all students
Back in 2014 we went back to basics asking thousands of students and stakeholders what they want
us to prioritise over the next 5 years. Students made it clear that, representation is our core business and
representing student views to the University was the most important role of YUSU.
Students at the heart of everything at York
We represent every single student at the University of York. By 2020 80% of students will agree that YUSU represents them.

51% of students said YUSU should prioritise representing students' views to the University and 46% said it should prioritise their involvement in YUSU's decision making. In 2014 only 45% of students said they were satisfied that YUSU represented them effectively.

Feeling like you have an impact on your university through the union for students should be really important.

Student - Focus Group

Students leading in their academic experience

We will work with the University to develop a partnership agreement guaranteeing student's influence and improve teaching and learning at York.

Louder student voice

We will take a more active role in speaking up for students on local, regional and national issues that matter to them. Students care about issues that affect them such as housing, student fees and employment. We will: listen more, campaign more, consult more, influence more.

Simple feedback

With academic, extracurricular and social commitments all vying for time, student life is busy. We need to make it easy for students to have their say.


Some students don't see how YUSU is relevant to them. We will identify and address the needs of more than just undergraduates & give other student communities a higher profile within the Union.

Impacts for Our Students:

  • Students will be the driver of their own academic and university experience and will feel supported by YUSU in shaping their time at York.
  • The impact on students and their needs will be considered and respected in decision making at every level at the University of York.
  • We will work to increase engagement with YUSU consultations and feedback.
  • Minority groups' individual needs will be specifically addressed to grow our ability to represent the full student demographic.
We have thousands of opportunities to gain skills and greater employability. By 2020 75% of students will feel that the opportunities provided through YUSU have positively contributed to their personal development.

Students were very clear they want quality opportunities that compliment world - class teaching and learning.

50% of students want skills, development and employability as a YUSU priority.

The main reason I came to the University was for employment, I enjoy Chemistry and I wanted to continue studying it, but at the end of the day I want to get a job.

Student - Focus Group

Skills, knowledge and experience

Students said they like the opportunities YUSU offers but they want time spent on extracurricular activity to have long term value. Working with the University, YUSU Student Opportunities will underpin the York Award and Higher Education Attainment Record (HEAR), providing a joined - up approach with the University to student employability.

Quality training

We are committed to developing quality, accredited training programmes that support students who run societies, sports clubs, projects, colleges & elected representatives, which compliments academic attainment and the employability of our students.


You told us once fresher's week is over it can feel like you have 'missed the boat' in terms of getting involved, specifically with sports clubs and societies. We will cater for mixed demand, providing one off and regular opportunities.

Support and Reward Excellence

We will provide opportunities for people no matter the level of commitment. This will include particular support for those who wish to excel. We will increase reward and recognition for those individuals and groups who continually prove their excellence.

Impacts for our students

  • Students will have access to opportunities that will further their personal development.
  • Students will leave the University with the confidence necessary to achieve their personal ambitions.
  • Students will recognise their skills, networks and experiences and be able to articulate the value they have gained from opportunities YUSU has provided and supported.
We are here to make student lives better. By 2020 at least 90% of students will know how to access advice and support if and when they need it.

Student life has its ups and downs. YUSU will develop a new culture of well-being to help students stay ahead and tackle challenges before they arise.

41% of students believed that YUSU should prioritise providing advice and support where needed.

The Students' Union needs to be a place for students to come to, speak their worries, have good or bad comments heard, express their views and hopefully the Union can do something about it.

Student - Focus Group

Proactive approach

We will help students stay ahead by promoting supportive social networks and clear avenues to support. Proactive well-being will build students confidence and resilience for what life throws at them. Students will have access to clear information and tools to enable them to support themselves.


Students told us they are most likely to go to their college or department for support, and the Union should be there in case it is a more appropriate source of support. As a trusted, independent partner with the University, we will continue to grow a joint student advice service with the GSA that offers specialist information and advocacy.

Single access point

The research revealed that students sometimes did not know where they should go for advice and support. A single point of entry to the range of university, union, college and other support services ensures students know where to turn and how to navigate the excellent support available to them.

Impacts for our students

  • Students will understand that they will face difficult moments at university and will be equipped to identify and deal with personal challenges independently.
  • Students will be able to easily access and benefit from a range of specialist support when they need.
We bring together all students. By 2020 most members are proud to feel part of a York community which enhances their student life.

YUSU plays an important role in bringing students together to form communities based on mutual interests.

In 2014 only 32% of students felt a valued part of a community.

Making sure everyone is included especially people off - campus, people from Heslington East campus, postgraduates and not just fresher's living in the main colleges.

Student - Focus Group

Making it easy

Student-led communities will be better supported in their activity. We will remove unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to student-led activity.


An institution with so many student groups means there is a danger that students don't feel part of a larger University of York community. We aim to bring people together through large community events, marketing, partnerships and campaigning to create a strong sense of York community.

Residents of the City

We will reinvent the relationship students have with the city to create a shared sense of pride. We will break down the feeling of a 'campus bubble' and prevent students living off-campus becoming isolated.

Impacts for our students

  • Students will access and benefit from the communities that they associate most with.
  • Students will feel proud to be part of a wider York community by 2020.
How Will We Deliver?
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To make sure we deliver this strategy by 2020 we have considered the key drivers for our organisation.


All our current communication will be reviewed in consultation with students and professionals. We will improve our presence and proactively explore new ways to communicate and develop the YUSU brand.

systems and finances

It is vital that we invest in our infrastructure to improve the services that students access. Our systems will be easy to use. Our organisation will be efficient and effective.


We will welcome new challenges through our ambitious staff and support them in their career progression. We will provide job opportunities for students to gain valuable experience and to increase their income.

commercial services

Our commercial services will be unique and provide safe, fun, professional spaces and facilities. These will deliver value for money for students and generate a modest surplus to support our charitable activity.


Everything we do we will demonstrate that we are:

For, with and by Students