How SUs can get involved in the UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission

Jim is an Associate Editor at Wonkhe


This is a briefing for Wonkhe SUs subscribers.

Back in March, we announced an exciting and intensive piece of work to ensure that post-Covid, students get back on track as quickly as possible to secure their successful futures.

The UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission is bringing together a group of experts from across the sector, including students, to understand how the pandemic has affected students’ learning, development, and prospects, so that we can now offer them the best chance of future success.

Since then we’ve been busy behind the scenes – refining the objectives, recruiting commissioners and getting some polling out in the field so we have a robust picture of how the pandemic has impacted students.

Now we’re moving in wider evidence gathering mode so that we can understand where the most damage has been done to students’ progress, their wellbeing and mental health, their social and extra-curricular experiences, and their confidence to steer towards successful graduate careers.

And that’s where students’ unions come in.

1. Send us your evidence

At the simplest level, we’d like to invite all students’ unions to submit any evidence that you may have gathered this year. It could be a piece of polling, a focus group or a synthesis of feedback from course reps. Quantitative or qualitative, whether it was gathered in March 2020 or April 2021, and whether it’s on paper, on video or some powerpoint slides, if you think it tells us something interesting about the experiences of some or all of your students, we’d love to see it. We’ll only quote from it publicly if you’re happy for that to happen. Submissions will close on Wednesday 30 June.

2. Make a specific submission

If you’re keen on drawing together the evidence you have with some commentary from your officers, you can make a specific submission into the commission. That will be both a great chance to influence the national work and an opportunity for you to learn lessons from the year just gone as part of your handover prep, and create an output for you to feed into your university’s decision making structures too. Submissions will close on Wednesday 30 June.

3. Run a focus group and give evidence

If you’re really keen to lead the way, there’s something else your SU can get involved in. We’re working with the UK’s leading public policy and research specialists Public First on the commission, and they’re keen to work with a small group of SUs interested in improving their research practice. You’ll get an invite to an exclusive event on focus groups for impact from some of the country’s most influential wonks – and in exchange you’ll organise a focus group locally that will both deliver results in your own university, and allow you to take part in our national, high profile, live streamed evidence session with the commissioners in June. Do get in touch now if you’re interested in applying for this unique opportunity for you and your team.

Read more

UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission minisite

Student polling for the commission

Formal call for evidence

Leave a Reply