CUSU Useless in National Survey

CUSU has been ranked sixth from the bottom in a national survey of satisfaction over student unions.

CUSU has been named as one of the least popular student unions in the country according to new data released by the National Student Survey.

It came sixth from the bottom in a survey which revealed that just 46 per cent of finalists said that they were satisfied with the services CUSU provides.

Students at Sheffield are the happiest, with a rating of 95 per cent.

Other universities with well-regarded unions include Loughborough (91 per cent), Leeds (90 per cent) and Queen’s University Belfast (82 per cent).

Sheffield – red brick haven of happiness?

Bottom of the pile was The Other Place, with a satisfaction rate of just 46 per cent.

One possible explanation for Oxbridge performing so poorly is the collegiate system, with JCRs that perform many of the functions that the student union at other universities do.

Liam Burns, president of the National Union of Students, said: “The results pose challenges and identify scope for continuous improvement.

“The lesson here is that constructive partnerships between institutions and unions have a significant and positive impact on student satisfaction.”

Overall, unions received a grilling, with only 66 per cent of all undergraduates saying they are satisfied with their unions, compared with the 85 per cent satisfaction expressed for courses.

Rosalyn Old, CUSU President, told The Tab: “CUSU have long campaigned to the University for a better social space and greater funding to improve our services; to help us communicate and involve more students; and, to employ more staff to support and resource our active student groups.

“Our University provides us with literally no block grant with which to provide such services, however we are proud, confident and consistent in providing the most crucial elements of support, representation and campaigns with the money we’re able to raise for the purpose.”

Gerard Tully, ex-CUSU President, added: “The reason for this turnout is that the other student unions in the survey have significantly more money and staff. For example, Sheffield’s turnover is in the high millions and it employs hundreds people. Excluding sabbatical officers, CUSU only has three full time members of staff.

“In an area such as access, all of the data indisputably demonstrates that CUSU is a heavy influence. Imagine if CUSU had resources, time and energy to focus on other campaigns as much as they do on access.”