The referendum in October 2010 identified six strategic Priorities for the SU for the next five years, which are currently being incorporated into a strategic plan for the Union (due for the February UGM). As it is important to be able to measure success in each a few KPI’s are suggested, (KPI = Key Performance Indicator). They were voted for in this order:
Whilst SOAS gets quite good satisfaction ratings in the National Students Survey for teaching, it fares quite badly around areas of feedback and support. This priority would identify a shopping list of educational demands from the School, who may be a bit complacent about their delivery of course at SOAS. In particular to improve the resources and feedback mechanisms within SOAS to improve the standard of education.
SUGGESTED KPI’s: Success on a number of stated goals on “shopping list”
Increase in NSS overall satisfaction score to above 4.5.
2) SPORT DEVELOPMENT
SOAS Union has traditionally been weak at competitive sport, only fielding a small number of mens and even smaller number of womens sports teams. This has changed over the last five years with a massive increase in players and teams and success. But this has happen in an ad hoc manner, and without any additional funding for the School. By voting for this as a priority the union will lobby the School for more funding, to get regular pitches and places to play. This aim also recognises the value of non-competitive sport and fitness in general and would also look at improving opportunities for SOAS student to keep fit, socialise at all levels of sport and activity.
SUGGESTED KPI’S: Increase of students playing sport
Increased success at sporting competitions.
SOAS prides itself on being an international and diverse Union, however we recognise that international students have different issues to home students, and need specific support. This aim would try to improve facilities for international students. However it is also recognised that SOAS Students need to engage more with the wider world to help aid their studies, and put them into practice. The expansion of the Beyond Borders scheme to take sports and societies around the world is a good example of this.
SUGGESTED KPI’S: Increase in satisfaction ratings for international students.
More students on Union sponsored Beyond Borders activities.
4) ENVIRONMENT AND ETHICS
We know from the SU Survey that union members are very concerned about environmental issues. The Union has received a Sound Impact Silver award for its lobbying work and its own environmental impact but knows it can do more both within SOAS and outside. The Union also prides itself on its ethical stance, but has little written down about this which can be concretely used in campaigning.
SUGGESTED KPI’s: Win a Sound Impact Gold Award.
Clear ethical statements with stated ethical goals.
5) EMPLOYABILITY AND ENTERPRISE
SOAS Students already run a number of social enterprises: the Food Co-Op, the SOAS Recipe Book, the Common Ground Garden and the Detainee Support Group have all attracted external funding for their work. Part of this aim is to increase and improve these type of activities within SOAS, but also to improve the work done by the Union to increase the skills of SOAS students to make them more employable in the increasingly difficult job market.
SUGGESTED KPI’s: Setting up more social enterprises.
Improvement in the employment rate of SOAS graduates.
With the increase in student fees, hardship is a real issue for SOAS students, particularly international students. The Union does not run any direct welfare services but works closely with School’s welfare department. Indicating this as a priority will make us review that relationship, seeing if some of these services should come to the Union and how we can help support students in hardship and with other issues.
SUGGESTED KPI’s: Increase in welfare grants from the School.
Increased student satisfaction on welfare services from School and Union.