Student Trustee

 

University of Wolverhampton Students’ Union (UWSU) is here to represent the views of the 22,000 students at University of Wolverhampton to the institution and beyond.

Alongside providing Advice and Representation for students, we also offer a wide range of activities and opportunities, including student societies and help you with having your say at university through our online engagement tools; and Academic Representation rep functions.

We offer welfare and other support with our health and wellbeing service Well at Wolves and social and recreational activities through our catering and bar outlets at Walsall Campus - with all profits being reinvested into the Union and the overall student exerperience.

Established in 2010, when UWSU became a registered company, we are led by four Full-Time Student Officers, and more than 20 members of permanent staff that help us strive to develop our ambition of making sure the student experience at the University of Wolverhampton is the best it can be. The Trustee Board are responsible for the strategic managment and administration of the Union.

 

The Road Ahead: Achievements and Challenges

 

The UWSU is going through a transformative process fuelled by an external review that looked at our governance and management structures to ensure we continue our valuable work with our members.

We have high hopes for the future as we aim to make the Students’ Union the very best it can be, enabling all our members to get the support they require.

There are numerous challenges and opportunities on the horizon; our last three year strategic plan (2017-2020) has expired, and once the new Chief Executive is in post, we will develop a new strategy to ensure a clear focus on engaging more students with advice, support and opportunities. This is an exciting time to be joining the Board of Trustees and new Student Trustees really do have the opportunity to make a real difference to the future of the Students’ Union in the years ahead.

 

Welcome

Dear Candidate,

We are delighted that you have shown an interest in becoming a Student Trustee of the University of Wolverhampton Students’ Union. We are a dynamic charity with a bright future and are always looking for ways to improve and to serve our members - the students of our University.

Our current vision is that every student will have an excellent student experience at the University of Wolverhampton Students' Union. Our mission is to ensure the Student Voice is heard and the Student Expe Student Experience is enhanced, leading to Student Success. We have achieved a lot but there is more we aspire to. We are undertaking a full democratic review and governance review this year, to enable us to have a real impact for our members and to ensure that students are at the heart of the organisation.

The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for all activity within the SU. This includes ensuring that the Students’ Union delivers on its charitable objectives to the benefit of the members. The Board is there to provide direction and support for the Chief Executive, and through that person the staff team to help deli team to help deliver on objectives in each of the areas above and to ensure that the elected officers each year are able to achieve their manifesto objectives and make a real change to the lives of students at Wolverhampton.

We are looking for four Student trustees to strengthen the Board at a key time in the development of the Students’ Union. We are looking for experienced individuals with skills in one or more of the areas listed in the Person Specification in this pack. No candidate is of course expected to have all of these skills!

This pack includes more information about the Students’ Union and the University but if you have any questions at all about the role, please do not hesitate to contact us on the email address listed on the final page and we will be happy to arrange a phone call or simply answer your questions.

Information is given about the recruitment process at the back of the pack but we will try to be as accommodating as possible to candidates.

Thank you again for your interest in the role and good luck with your application!

 

 

Dear Candidate,

A year ago, I joined the Trustee Board because I believe in the transformative power of education and because I wanted to play my part supporting and empowering students to be able to maximise the opportunities that university presents and to be able to use this experience change the world, and build a better society.

The last year has presented many challenges, but our hard-working team of Staff, Sabbatical Officers, Trustees and Volunteers have risen to every challenge, innovated, developed new ideas, challenged assumptions and remain dedicated to building a better SU for the students of Wolves. It has not always been easy, but I have loved every minute, and knowing that I have played a part in building a better SU that can support and empower even more of our 19,500 students has been incredibly rewarding.

Our journey isn’t over yet, 2020 and beyond will continue to present more challenges for us. On a national scale, this included the implications of Brexit, continued funding challenges in the Higher Education sector and supporting our students (many of whom are from marginalised communities) in an increasingly divided society. On a more local level, we still have work to do internally to build the systems and structures that can enable Wolves SU to thrive and be the best possible SU that it can be.

By becoming a Trustee, you will an opportunity to help build a better SU for both current and future students. This role will challenge you and will provide you with an opportunity to test, develop and grow your abilities as a leader. You will gain experience in supporting the development of organisational wide plans and strategies. You will gain the experience of governing a charity which will set you apart in whatever you choose to do next in life as you will enter the job market with experience operating at board level for a c£1m organisation. This is especially true for students under 30 as just 3% of Trustees in the entire charity sector in the UK are under 30, and only 1% are under 26.

You don’t need to have prior experience to be a valued member of our Trustee Board, but you do need to be willing to engage, attend and ask questions (no question is too big or small!). You need to be able to think rationally and strategically in the face of complex challenges and issues and guide us towards decisions that have the best long-term outcomes for all students.

We will ensure that you are trained, understand your role and have access to support so that you can feel confident, and be able to thrive in the role.

I can’t wait to work alongside you.

In unity,

Bilgin Yuksel | Lay Trustee

 

Purpose of the role

The Trustees are ultimately responsible, individually and collectively for all activity within the Students’ Union. The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the direction and strategy of the organisation and for ensuring the delivery of organisational purpose.

The Trustees are responsible for ensuring that the Students’ Union operates within Charity and Company law and meets its obligations under other relevant legislation.

 

Key responsibilities

 

All Trustees have a duty to:

• Ensure that the Students’ Union acts in accordance with its charitable objects as defined in the Articles of Association and other guiding documents and remains true to its vision, mission and values

• Help the Students’ Union achieve its objectives and improve the lives of its members

• Ensure that the Students’ Union complies with its governing document, all relevant legislation and regulations, including relevant charity law, company law, education acts and any other relevant legislation or regulations

• Ensure that the Students’ Union uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects

• Contribute actively to the Board of Trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the Students’ Union, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets;

• Safeguard the good name, reputation and values of the Students’ Union

• Ensure the effective and efficient administration of the Students’ Union

• Ensure the financial stability of the Students’ Union

• Protect and manage the property and intellectual property of the Students’ Union and to ensure the proper investment of the Students’ Union’s funds, acting as guardians of the Students’ Union’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking due care over their security, deployment and proper application, and ensuring the Students’ Union uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives

• Appoint the Senior Staff member for the Students’ Union and monitor their performance

• Identify and promptly communicate conflicts of interest, acting with integrity and avoiding personal conflict of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets

• Participate fully in Board Meetings

• Seek professional external advice where there may be material risk to the Association or where the Trustees may be in breach of their duties, or at any other appropriate moment.

• Ensure decisions of the Board of Trustees and its Committees take account of the needs and views of the Union members.

• Ensure the Union considered the needs and views of all student groups including as examples postgraduate, international and pa part time students

• Ensure effective communication between the Union and its members

 

 

Personal Specification

 

Engagement

The Board of Trustees is only as strong as its members and you should be able:

• To communicate effectively and appropriately with a wide range of people, appreciating different perspectives and opinions

• To demonstrate the ability to think rationally and strategically around complex issues

• To fully participate in all board discussions and to constructively question ideas

Values

The Students’ Union is a strongly values-led organisation and therefore successful applicants will be able to demonstrate:

• Commitment to, and experience in delivering equity of opportunity and reduction in barriers to participation

• Commitment to the ethos and values of the Students’ Union and a genuine interest in the empowerment of students

• The highest standards of personal honesty and integrity and the ability to act with discretion


Experience/Skills

The Students’ Union looks for a range of skills from the Student Trustees. These include:

  • A good understanding of the issues affecting students at University of Wolverhampton

An interest, passion or appetite to develop skills in the following:

  • Strategic leadership
  • Governance
  • Budget management
  • Strategic planning
  • Collaborative working

This post of Student Trustee is voluntary and unpaid.

The Students’ Union does not expect any trustee candidate to possess interest /experience in all of these attributes but you should be able to demonstrate a strong interest in at least one area.

Indicative Recruitment Process and time-line

Deadline for applications of an A4 covering letter and CV is Tuesday 1st September 2020 at 12pm.

Interview information to be provide to successful short-listed candidates when available

Applications to be sent in the format of full CV and covering letter.

Your covering letter should include:

• Your motivation for applying for this role

• Evidence of experience meeting the requirments of the Personal Specification

Completed applications should be sent by email to recruitment.wolvesunion@wlv.ac.uk