Head of Student Voice
Head of Student Voice
Permanent – 35 hrs per week
£30,657 per annum
The role offers an excellent working environment and benefits package including generous personal development opportunities and 34 days annual leave plus eight paid public holidays. Full training and supervision will be provided.
Cardiff University Students’ Union (CUSU) has a vision of working with every Cardiff University student to enhance their university experience. As a student-led, independent part of the university, CUSU represents students and provides a diverse and inclusive range of activities and services that enrich student life. These include advice, training, skills development, volunteering opportunities, employment and other services that promote inclusion, friendship and personal development. CUSU supports over 200 student societies and 60 sports clubs that boast more than 10,000 members.
CUSU is also the recognised voice of students at Cardiff University, joining students in campaigning about the issues important to them. The trading subsidiary of CUSU, Cardiff Union Services Limited, manages a purpose built facility in the centre of Cardiff and operates cafes, shops, bars and events that help fund CUSU’s charitable activities. CUSU is based on Park Place and at the Heath Park campus, employing over 100 permanent staff and 300 student staff. The organisation is ranked in the top 100 of the Sunday Times Best Not-for-profit Companies to Work For, as well as holding Gold status through Investors in People. CUSU aspires to have a positive impact on the wider community in Cardiff and is consistently graded the number one Students’ Union in Wales and in the top ten in the UK for student satisfaction.
This post will lead the Student Voice team in their delivery of a number of important functions:
The Students' Union, working closely with the University, facilitates the Student Academic Representative system. Students, elected by their peers, need to be trained and equipped with the skills and information they need to effectively represent those peers’ views and needs, when engaging with professional academic staff. They further need ongoing support to ensure they can build effective relationships with decision makers and ensure that students are key partners in the development of the educational experience.
Policy Advice and Development
The Students' Union, as the recognised voice of students within Cardiff University, is involved in consultation with senior staff within Cardiff University and other stakeholders regarding the student views, needs and aspirations in relation to their university experience. The Student Voice team are pivotal in informing the organisation of relevant trends, issues or developments within organisational, local or national policy that will have an impact upon students.
The Union is proud to be led by students. We utilise a number of democratic systems in order to enable students to make decisions that influence the future and direction of the organisation. This includes annual elections to select members of our Sabbatical and Campaign Officer teams, full time employed and voluntary roles that represent students’ views within all decision making levels of our organisation. In addition, we are responsive to the wishes and needs of our student population that are formalised through referenda, general meetings, or Student Senate, our student policy making body.
The team are the principle support available to our Campaign Officers and other students who want to make the Union, University or wider world a better and more equitable place. This includes the training and delivery of advice and guidance on how to seek to make such change and put important topics on the agenda for consideration.
Clearly the current pandemic has had a significant impact on the operation of some of our activities, however the majority of our activity within the Student Voice team has continued throughout the last nine months. We want to get back to in person activity in this area, but also want to take the lessons learnt in virtual service delivery to ensure we can be as efficient and effective as possible for our future students.
The Working Environment
The successful candidate will be required to engage with 35 hours of work per week. These hours will largely be worked during Monday to Friday, but the role will be needed to oversee and support events and activities that may fall on evenings and occasionally weekends, for which time off in lieu will be provided.
The role will work remotely until such time that the Union building in Cardiff is able to operate fully, at which time, this will become the primary place of work.
The role will seek to:
- Take operational management of functions of the Student Voice function, ensuring that all of the services of the department are working effectively and providing a great service to our members
- Drive the strategic development of our services, ensuring that our activity is at the forefront of sector best practice
- Engage directly with University stakeholders, ensuring that a joined up approach is taken to development and enhancement of the Student Voice function to the benefit of our members
- Ensure that our democratic systems and processes are fit for purpose and operated in a fair and transparent, ensuring students have faith in our organisation
- Give a support to elected representatives, whilst being mindful of the need to remain non-partisan on sensitive political matters.
- Line manage the current two full time posts within the Student Voice team, being responsible for the recruitment, management and development of team members.
As the successful candidate, you will be able to demonstrate experience in managing and leading a team of staff members having been involved in the recruitment, setting and monitoring of objectives, performance management and development of those you were responsible for.
You will have a background working in a relevant environment in democratic, representative, campaigning or policy development environments.
You will be comfortable engaging with a range of individuals and be equally able to provide support to volunteers at the early stages of their professional development and be comfortable engaging with senior staff members on complex and sensitive topics.
You will be a stickler for systems and processes, ensuring that we remain compliant with our own rules and provisions.
You will be exceptionally organised and will have the necessary project management skills able to manage competing deadlines for multiple projects. You will be reliable and cool under pressure. You will work conscientiously, able to produce high quality work quickly and with attention to detail.
You will relish an opportunity to solve problems and enjoy the challenge of getting the most out of resources through effective planning. You will be comfortable managing multiple deadlines and conflicting priorities and will strive for excellence in everything you commit yourself to.
You may have experience as a professional in an education setting, but either way, you’ll be an individual who is genuinely interested in the development of national and local educational policy and be able to keep your finger on the pulse of the sector.
You will have the ability to take in vast quantities of information from multiple sources and be able to formulate and deliver a summary of key points to stakeholders in a balanced manner.
You will have exceptional ICT skills and be willing to learn new software packages.
Most importantly you will be conscientious and ambitious, with a commitment to personal and professional development. You will have initiative, energy and enthusiasm. You will be genuinely excited by the prospect of having a positive impact on students and improving the experience of our 32,000 members.
For further information and to apply online, please click 'Apply' below.
Please note, we reserve the right to close this position early. We would urge candidates to submit an application as early as possible.
The closing date for this position is 16:00 on Tuesday 1st December 2020.