Union Futures
  • January 29, 2018

Union Futures

Union Futures is an ongoing series of collaborative projects, designed to address the key topics that students’ unions are facing. As policy priorities and performance metrics in UK higher education continue to evolve, we allow the voices of thousands of students to be heard. We collate and assess the research findings, bring them to life with real-life examples, and then help students’ unions to take action which leads to better student experiences and outcomes.

Why are Union Futures projects collaborative?

The higher education sector continues to face change at an unprecedented pace; the role of the students’ union is continually challenged and, in some cases, being marginalised. Students’ unions are facing increasing pressure from partner institutions to demonstrate value for money; students’ expectations are rising, and union’s place in student life is being threatened.

Unions that thrive will be those that truly understand and respond to the motivations, perceptions and experiences of their Students. Our Union Futures projects allow unions to work together to generate fresh evidence, share best practice and uncover exciting innovations; at a much lower cost than a stand-alone project.

Union Futures project status:

Project Title / Theme Status
Union Futures 3 What’s a student union worth?
Union Futures 2 Being well, doing well
  • Project fully subscribed
  • Research analysis in-progress
  • Report due May 2018
Union Futures 1 The impact of NSS Q26
Student Life Pulse

Monthly insight into your students’ lives and experiences.

Unions must contend with limited resources and strive to strike the balance between breadth and depth of impact.  Student Life Pulse will help you increase engagement, improve experience, drive change and measure impact.

Monthly surveys build up a picture of students’ lives and experiences of your union, then each quarter you’ll receive a report, bench-marking your results against other collaborating student unions. Different packages offer increasing levels of data analysis and interpretation of results to suit your needs

Read more on Student Life Pulse here. 

Union Futures project summaries:

Union Futures 1 – A national study exploring ‘the impact of NSS Question 26’ on students’ unions.  18 students’ unions came together and over 17,000 survey responses were received.

Union Futures 2 – 14 students’ unions took part in ‘Being well, doing well’ which is one of the largest-ever studies of student mental health, with over 12,000 students surveyed.

Union Futures 3  –  A project to evidence the lasting impact of a students’ union and signal the union model should look like in the future. The outcomes of the project will be used internally for strategic development and student engagement, and externally to engage key stakeholders (e.g. partner institutions and the new Office for Students).

Union Futures costs:

Costs vary by project and will depend on the methodology used, the level of bench-marking and the detail of results and examples required.

Alterline and student research

Alterline are a specialist student experience research consultancy.  We use evidence about students’ lives, experiences and needs to help you solve problems, innovate and grow.

The Student Life Pulse provides monthly insight into your students’ lives and experiences. The Pulse is designed to help you increase engagement, improve experience, drive change and measure impact.

See our work for Student Unions

See our work for Universities

See our work for University Libraries

We also have our own panel of students; the Student Street Community