Your Big Ideas Update

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NSU is here to listen to your needs and wants, that’s why we set up the “Your Big Ideas” platform, where any student can share an idea to help improve the university experience. We have been working hard all year to make your ideas a reality, and we wanted to provide an update on what we’ve done about the ideas from the last academic year:

We’ve made progress on lots of the ideas students raised:

Scrap payment for guests to attend graduation ceremonies – We haven’t been able to scrap the cost of graduation ceremonies altogether but the Sabbatical Team has pushed the Uni hard to lower the cost of tickets.  A price reduction of £2.50 per ticket means we’ve saved students at least £42,000 per year, and we’ll keep working to make sure graduations are as affordable as possible.

Cheaper car parking (Coach Lane) – The Sabb Team has been working on this over the past year. We were able to persuade the University to remove permit charges for students and we’ve helped reduce parking charges to £2 per day.  We’re currently working with students who’ll be starting at Coach Lane, to make them aware of what parking at the campus is like and help them plan for this.

Make additional costs clearer – We agree that the University should make it absolutely clear what the costs of studying a Northumbria degree really are.  We've been working on this issue for years and as well as persuading the University to remove hidden fees worth at least £2million per year to students, they’ve now made the real cost of a Northumbria degree clearer on their website.

Keep Wednesday Afternoons free – Last year’s Sabb Team worked hard to lobby the University to remove Wednesday afternoon teaching.  From term one to term two the Uni removed some of the Wednesday afternoon teaching, though we know about one in twelve undergraduate students still had regular teaching at that time.  We’ll be continuing these discussions this year, stressing the importance of free Wednesdays in how the timetabling team plan their work, and we hope to further reduce the proportion of students facing this.  (One exception is postgraduate research students, where reps have indicated that students are broadly happy for development sessions to take place on a Wednesday afternoon.) If you still have teaching on Wednesday afternoon please email your welfare office on

More space in lectures – wherever students identified that their lecture theatres weren’t suitable, we took this up with timetabling and in the instances we were aware of, more suitable spaces were identified and the lectures were moved.

Get more cycle racks on campus – Campus Services have installed more cycle racks on campus since this was raised around the turn of the year.

Create the role of BAME Students’ Rep – Following a big idea, our Student Executive agreed to change the role of BME (Black and Minority Ethnic Students’) rep to BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students’) rep. You can read their blog to see what they get up to throughout the year. 

Raise concerns about the number 1 with Stagecoach – We’ve taken the issues we were told about up with Stagecoach and the University, and things seem to have improved.  The number 1 now has its final stop at Coach Lane campus to speed up its route, which was often slowed down by traffic around Four Lane Ends.

Get a computer booking system in the library – With the current IT system this is not possible, however, you are now able to check where computers are available, click here for more info.

An elected Coach Lane Representative - We have recently undergone a democratic review of Student Exec and this option did come up in discussions but it was not agreed to create this role this year. However, any Coach Lane student can run to be one of our Open Place Councillors, Equality Reps or Sabbatical Officers so can represent the views of Coach Lane students this way.

Some other ideas haven’t been resolved yet, but we are still working on them:

  • We’re reviewing the menu at our Coach Lane café, and we’ll be looking to reduce the waiting times
  • We’re working with the University to seek the introduction of language learning opportunities for Northumbria students
  • Additional support requirements for student carers
  • More vegan options on campus
  • A library amnesty week
  • Graduation viewing rooms
  • Teaching availability for PGR students
  • Laptop loans
  • Improving information on the new My Northumbria portal

To check out all of the ideas that were submitted 2016-17, click here. Most importantly, keep telling us about your ideas at


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