As part of its commitment to widening participation and diversifying its access and leadership, Newman Students' Union have secured sponsorship funding from Student Loan Company, Future Finance, to launch a "PT Officer Widening Participation Bursary" for 2020/21!
What is Widening Participation?
"Widening Participation" refers to raising the aspirations and attainment of students from backgrounds that are under-represented at University, and in this case, the Students' Union.
Who will get the Bursary, and how much is it?
The £300 per-year Bursary is available to Part-Time Officers of the Students' Union to assist with their costs such as travel and childcare while they are fulfilling their elected role of supporting other students.
It will only be available to students who meet at least ONE of the following criteria:
Why are people from this criteria given the Bursary?
The idea behind this Bursary is to support the under-represented groups that exist within Newman and encourage them to to apply for our Leadership roles. This is a direct response to the lack of diversity that has existed within the Students' Union, where we have taken action to try and make change.
How do I apply?
You don't need to apply! Simply self-nominate in our elections, and, once elected, with your permission and as part of our data sharing agreement, we will ask the University to confirm if you fall into one of the criteria (not disclosing which one).
When is the money paid?
We haven't finalised this detail yet, however, we envision that the Bursary will be paid in January.
Future Finance are also sponsoring our Societies. Although not a huge amount of money, they have agreed to sponsor our new SOCIETY OF THE MONTH for six months of the year, which will be determined by the Executive Committee.
Where did this agreement come from?
This fund came from networking; years ago in a previous role working in Internationalisation at Coventry University, I made lots of friends, and often keep up with them through places like LinkedIn. One of those contacts was a colleague from a different department who now works for Future Finance.
Noticing that I was General Manager at Newman Students' Union, he approached me about sponsoring some of the Students' Union activities. This was our opportunity to get sponsorship for something really beneficial, and to encourage change to something we know we really had to act on.
Without networking, and keeping contacts, this wouldn't have been possible and I am delighted that we are now able to respond to the feedback from our Black Students' Experience Panel that we need to do much more to encourage diversity within the Students' Union.
We hope that this is just one small part of our demonstration of commitment to Widening Participation and to diversity at NSU. If you have any questions regarding this Bursary, please contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org