Practice Guidance

Good governance is essential for students’ union to function effectively. This website has been developed as a result of the work undertaken by the NUS ‘Good Governance Project’.

The Good Governance Project

NUS has undertaken a two year project to support the improvement of the governance of students’ unions, with the view to building stronger relationships between students’ unions (SUs) and higher education institutions (HEIs). This project was funded by the HEFCE; Leadership, Governance and Management Fund.

Project Partners

Universities UK, GuildHE, the Committee of University Chairs, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and the Association of Heads of University Administration all supported this project and were represented on the project steering group, alongside a number of pilot students’ unions and universities.

Project Research

A range of research has been undertaken to identify examples of good practice across the sector and beyond. Students’ unions and higher education institutions throughout England took part in a survey which focused on students’ union governance and the relationships that exist between students’ unions and higher education institutions. 63% of all higher education institutions and 70% of all students’ unions took part and provided some extremely rich data. This data has informed the development of the range of practice guidance available on this site.

Practice Guidance

There is a range of practice guidance which can be found on this site including:

  1. Good Governance Code of Practice for Students’ Unions
  2. Self Assessment Tool-kit
  3. Relationship Agreement
  4. Guidance for University Governing Bodies

The website also acts as a hub for accessing additional resources including a range of information developed by NUS, examples of shared practice from other students’ unions and links to other sources of governance related advice and guidance.

Links with other good practice guidance

The NUS Good Governance Code of Practice, has been informed by and links directly to the national ‘Governance Code of Practice for the Voluntary and Community Sector’ which has been developed by a Steering Group made up of experts from the field of Third Sector governance.