NSU is led by the views of students. When we came to set out plans for the Union’s progress from 2013 to 2018, we asked students across campus to choose, in a referendum, what our priorities should be. 

There are FIVE big ideas, each representing a different aspect of student life at Northumbria. Every Big Idea has a set of goals chosen by students that the Union aims to achieve by 2018. We’ve summed up the Big Ideas below, to read more about these goals click here.


What this means: Representing you is our first priority. Student voice means getting your feedback, knowing your concerns, your involvement in Union decision making and working together to bring about positive change and improvement to your university life.

Why it is important: With increased fees students have a greater than ever stake in their education and how it is delivered. Student Voice is the key mechanism for you to bring about improvements you want to see whether across the University, within a specific course, in your Union or within the city of Newcastle and on the national stage. Your participation in Union decision making will make the organisation the legitimate voice for all Northumbria students.

In a nutshell: Have your say and we will work together for improvement.



What this means: Community might be your course, the activities you are involved in, where you live, study or socialise. The Union brings students together to help you form lifelong friendships, share interests, for mutual support and to work collectively for the good of all.

Why it is important: The University is a diverse community of students of different cultures, religion, country of origin, sexuality, disability, age and family background and ensuring everyone feels valued is paramount. Strong on-campus social networks local community links, good friends and a sense of belonging is essential to a student’s happiness at Northumbria and successful study. To reduce negative misconceptions locally the Union should act responsibly and promote the positive impact of students on Newcastle.

In a nutshell: Building student communities on campus, locally and globally.



What this means: All Northumbria students should enjoy a happy, healthy and personally rewarding time as a valued member of a friendly, supportive, inclusive and mutually respectful university community.

Why it is important: Student life can be very challenging financially, emotionally, socially and academically and impact on your wellbeing. The university community is made up of a rich diversity of people of different dispositions, backgrounds, cultures, expectations and needs which require support to ensure that no one is excluded and that all aspects of student life contribute to positive personal wellbeing.

In a nutshell: We will support you through all aspects of student life.



What this means: The Union’s services, activities and campaigns will help you, whether you are a volunteer, student staff member or neither to develop the skills and experience you need to stand out in the workplace after graduation.

Why it is important: Future job prospects concern every student. It is important therefore that the Union, through its services, activities and campaigns, provides a wealth of opportunities and experience that complement your academic achievement, make you stand out to employers and increase your confidence as you enter the job market.

In a nutshell: The Union will do more to help your future job prospects.



What this means: Supporting Northumbria students wherever you are in the world, helping overseas students settle into life in Newcastle and giving UK students routes to go abroad while studying and after graduation.

Why it is important: In an increasingly connected world it is vital that UK students are employable in an international arena and international students choose to study at Northumbria because it meets their social and personal needs as much as their academic expectations. The Union has an essential role in the success of both groups of students while at Northumbria and after graduation.

In a nutshell: An international Union for a global student body.



What this means: Through effective leadership and management ensure your Students’ Union maintains and develops viable, quality services and activities, with sound ethical decision making, delivering long term financial stability.

Why it is important: Successful organisations always take a long-term view of how their actions will affect future generations and make themselves accountable for the decisions they take. We want to grow and develop in a way that is financially realistic, has respect for the environment, transparent and in line with sound ethical standards. Doing the right things, in the right way at the right time will be essential to our long term success.

In a nutshell: Sustaining the organisation for students for all time