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The first complete breakdown of Student Experience Report and YUSU accounts

Nouse has had an in-depth look at the York Student Experience report and YUSU's accounts from the past academic year

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Nouse has had an in-depth look at the York Student Experience report and YUSU's accounts from the past academic year.

The Union appears to be in a strong financial position and is coming close to maxing out the funds available to them. The Student Experience Report has shown that whilst students are largely pleased, there remain some serious concerns.

The data for this report was obtained from a variety sources including interviews, surveys (both external and internal) and discussion groups. The report found that 83 per cent of students are satisfied with their academic support, but 32.9 per cent of students were dissatisfied with study spaces on campus.

Academic representation appears to be an area for concern, with just 37 per cent saying they were satisfied with their ability to influence the decision making process within YUSU, and only 45 per cent satisfied with the ability of YUSU to represent students' views to the University.

Despite 93.2 per cent of students claiming they had heard of their course reps, only 60.6 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their ability to communicate with them.

According to the report, 90 per cent of students were satisfied with their course and 85 per cent were satisfied with the student union's organisation and management. This puts York as 11th in the sector and 4th in the Russell group.

There are huge variations in satisfaction between departments. The report says, "Although 83.7 per cent of respondents stated that they were satisfied with the teaching, there was a lot of concern about the range of teaching staff and inconsistencies within and between departments; 11 per cent were dissatisfied.

Some departments had satisfaction levels as high as 95.4 per cent and others as low as 50 per cent." On average, 9.8 per cent were dissatisfied with their courses.

The report highlighted that a major area to be dealt with was final year student satisfaction. At 71 per cent, York is currently 33rd in the sector and 5th in the Russell Group.

YUSU suggested assessment through a range of different method, including online submission.

For student development, a number of areas were looked into, for example, only 59.7 per cent of students were satisfied with the careers service. The report also noted that almost 20 per cent of students were working in a part-time job - over the limit recommended by the University.

There was an extensive analysis of the benefits of the college system. There was significant demand for more non-alcoholic events, with 24 per cent saying they wanted them.

Large differences in the satisfaction of events were identified between different colleges, ranging from 24 per cent in Alcuin to 68.9 per cent in Derwent.

Overall 69.5 per cent of students felt like a valued member of their college community but only 34 per cent of off-campus students felt this way.

While it was viewed that the YUSU elections were successful the report reveals, "it engaged significantly more males than females."

There is also cause for concern over students' belief in YUSU. Only 45 per cent of students were satisfied with the ability of YUSU to represent student views to the University.

Whilst most had heard of the YUSU President, 57 per cent were unaware of what the role entailed. The student assemblies failed to engage students, with only 7.9 per cent of students attending at least one of the assemblies.

The report also highlights that 56% of students are concerned about safety on campus. Worries centred around poor lighting, poor security presence, isolation and a history of crime.

The survey, carried out before the tuition fee rise, revealed 34 per cent of respondents did not feel like they were getting value for money from their course. More concerning is that 80 per cent of respondents were concerned about their personal bank balance.

The report says that 72.2 per cent of students were able to choose their first year campus accommodation but less were able to make the choice between catered and non-catered.

It also highlights that a significant portion of students are concerned over green issues, with 18.3 per cent of students thinking that YUSU should be concentrating its campaigning activity on Environmental issues. A majority actively recycle despite having to put in extra effort for it.

Last year YUSU received a slightly higher total of incoming funds at around £3,685,000 compared to £3, 660,000 in 2011. YUSU spent about £1,185,000 of restricted funds and around £2, 456, 000. This was from a total expenditure of just over £3,641,000, compared to last year's £3,479,000.

This meant the net incoming resources before exceptional costs and transfers was -£217, 550 for restricted funds and £261, 272 for unrestricted funds - giving a total net income of £437,222.

This is compared to a significantly smaller £180, 976 last year. YUSU then had to pay other costs including £500,000 to the University for the new student centre.

YUSU's commercial operations proved profitable, yet again the group making over £1,424,000 compared to £1,350,000 last year. This included £699, 702 from Your Shop and £306, 893 from catering. YUSU Bars also generated almost £409,000.

Credit: Brandon Seager
Credit: Brandon Seager


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1 Comment

Financier Posted on Saturday 26 Jan 2013

"yet again the group making over..."

You mean, turning over [income]. A more representative figure to publish would be the net profit available to support Union activities.

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