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||
|Union Futures 1||The impact of NSS Q26||
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.
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