UEA Students Union

UEA Students Union

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Education
  • Local / community
  • Young people

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We are the Students’ Union at the University of East Anglia and we’re the heart of student life at UEA. We’re about Students Transforming. We are students learning and developing through opportunities to do things. We are an award winning Union, run by students, and we change every year as students change. We are about changing your course, your community and your world.

If you’re starting a degree or postgraduate course here, you’ll automatically become a new member of ueasu. We are led by student officers, who are democratically elected by a ballot of all UEA students each year. Those student officers are guided by the policies that students make through referendums and through a representative body called union council.

The elected student officers determine the direction of the SU and employ around 90 members of career staff (people who work full weeks all year for our members) and around 500 members of student staff to look after the day to day operations. They act as advocates to the University, to the city of Norwich and nationally to the Government for the students at UEA. They represent students on a large and diverse set of issues, many of which change year on year. They lead campaigns to create positive change and allow students to shape their educational experience.

In addition to representation, the SU provides professional support and advice on academic, welfare and housing issues to individual students, as well as running our own housing bureau, Home Run.

The SU provides the majority of extracurricular activity on campus. We run and support over 60 Sports Clubs and 160 Student Societies. Our commercial services, which are aimed at students, but open to anyone, include retail shops, bars and 2 entertainment venues. The SU and its services have a combined annual turnover of around £10 million.

Although much of our operations are seasonal, based around the 30 weeks a year of undergraduate teaching at the University, the Student Officers and members of career staff are employed all year round.



First we think:

  • Horizon We try to think about what’s going on around us - in society, in education, in the community and in the University - and we think about where we might change that or how it could impact on us
  • Review We review and evaluate what we do and try to make improvements that students have prioritised. We look at strengths and try to maximise them, and we look at weaknesses and try to make them better
  • Ideas We gather ideas from students, volunteers, activists, officers, staff and other SUs and we don’t dismiss ideas that sound “out there”
  • Analysis We think about ideas, issues and problems and try to figure out if they’ll work for us. And we try to get under the skin of issues and problems when we’re trying to solve them.

Then we plan:

  • Opportunities and Threats We do our best to grab opportunities if they come by and save time to head off threats to the student body or the SU
  • Ambitions We have a bunch of ambitions that we have for our organisation - what we’d like to be like and be able to do in an ideal world
  • Intentions We have things we’re intending to get done over a three year period
  • Plans We have detailed plans for what we’re going to achieve in the year ahead
  • Targets And we have ways of measuring the outputs and impacts our plans will have

Our relationship with UEA: An assertive partnership We love UEA - but we want UEA to be even better. Our relationship with the University is complex; we advocate for our members to it, but it is also our main funder and one of our regulators. We rely on the University for the buildings we occupy, capital expenditure for major projects and also for on-going funding for our operations.

There’s a really stale debate out there about whether SUs should be in the pocket of their parent institution, or constantly at loggerheads. The University Vision for 2020 says that “we’ll challenge established practices, disrupt the status quo and develop new ways of doing things to help our students succeed”.

At UEASU we’re all about developing an assertive partnership between the SU and the University - acting as an autonomous agitator for students within the corporate ambition of the University. That means:

  • Working closely and jointly on key projects like employability, enterprise or volunteering
  • Helping to supply valuable student insight and evidence into the University’s quality improvement processes
  • Questioning perceived wisdom and experience to ensure policies and delivery changes are carried out in the best way for students
  • Praising the University when it gets things right, holding the University to account when it gets things wrong, and making sure it does the right thing through lobbying, campaigns and student action

Transforming Equality Our vision for equality is clear; we believe that the diversity of our students strengthens our community. This is why we have put equality at the heart of everything that we do.

We have dedicated strategies for Postgraduate, International and Health Sciences Students. We’ve also developed a cross cutting Equality and Diversity Strategy that impacts on everything we do at the SU.

We understand that getting equality right has the power to transform the lives of students both whilst at UEA and beyond. By doing so, we enable students to play an active role in shaping their course, their community, and their world.

Equality means treating everyone with fairness, respect and recognising the needs of students as individuals. We want to bring every student onto a level playing field, by addressing existing disadvantages that affect how students participate in society. We want to transform equality.

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