We know that in order for students to enjoy a life-changing student experience, and a strong voice both locally and nationally, they need powerful students’ associations with effective officers and staff. Part of NUS Scotland’s role is to help make sure students have access to the best possible students’ associations by facilitating their continual development.

College Students’ Association Development

NUS Scotland currently runs a project to help develop stronger college students’ associations, alongside the Framework for the Development of Strong and Effective College Students’ Associations in Scotland, which was published in July 2015. The project involves intensive consultancy work with each of the college students’ associations in Scotland and their stakeholders within college management, as well as some national pieces of work to help students’ associations to become more autonomous, representative, sustainable, partnered and accountable. Our work includes:

  • Intensive consultancy with students’ associations and their stakeholders
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Guidance reports
  • Election support
  • Lead and Change: College Student Representation, our summer training residential for college officers
  • A network for staff in college students’ associations

Over the past few years, this work has helped to transform most college students’ associations from a small group of volunteers into more professionalised organisations making a significant impact on the life and work of their college and the wider community.

University Students’ Association Development

Our work to help facilitate the development of students’ associations in universities is much more bespoke to the self-reported needs of those associations. In addition to officer training provided through the NUS Lead and Change programme, we provide in-house training for new officer teams to help them understand their role within their own institutions, and to introduce them to the work of NUS Scotland. We provide training for deputy returning officers to make sure elections in students’ associations are consistently fair and democratic, and provide returning officers to give associations an external perspective on their election practice. We also work closely with the Strategic Support Unit to provide organisational development support to our members.

For more information please contact Dougie Smith, Development Manager, on